Pickled beets

Beets for constipation

Pickled beets are rich in iron and soluble fibre.

For a change, beetroot that is not too vinegary and is delicious, though beets are also excellent just boiled. Pickled or plain, best get them young. That way they have a naturally sweet flavour. Cooking beetroot is simple, though it does take some time.

Enter the pressure cooker. A must surely for every family, certainly if you're planning to improve the health of your colon with foods like chickpeas, dried beans and of course beetroot. I use it for meat that looks a little on the tough side too.

  • Solar pressure cooking

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This page was last updated by Dr Barrie Lewis on 20th July, 2019.

Cooking beetroot

Time is money, and so are energy costs. The use of pressure reduces the boiling time by at least two thirds. We use ours every week; for extracting the cartilage from chicken bones and making soups too, and cooking beetroot; and to prepare the chickpeas for your own homemade hummus, for example.

If not for pickled beets, then for our authentic hummus recipe; chickpeas are best pressure cooked from scratch. In cans they are more than double the price.

Another reason to enjoy beets and their tops is their choline and betaine; these are very important compounds in the methylation of highly toxic homocysteine, a breakdown product of protein metabolism. The average American diet contains only half of the required daily amount; the result is inflammation in the organs of the body. Read more about it at choline food sources.

My dad had a farm, and we grew beets. Believe you me, we ate them in every conceivable form. They must have the same active ingredient as MoviPrep, make sure you read right to the end of this page, otherwise your are missing out on something seriously good!

  • Remove the tops from the beetroot, and cook the leaves separately. They make a delicious spinach. Pressure-cook the beets for about 15 minutes depending on size, or just boil until tender. More than an hour. Cooking beetroot couldn't be simpler.
  • Drain the beets, rinsing them in cold water. Use your fingers to slip the peels off of the beets, and discard. Slice the beets.
  • Make a vinaigrette by whisking the vinegar, olive oil, salt and dry mustard. Combine beets and vinaigrette in a bowl and allow to marinade for a half hour and, hey presto, you have your pickled beets. Now use them to make a beetroot salad.
  • If you want them to last longer, then boil them for five minutes in the vinegar and olive oil mixture.

Pickled beets

Ingredients for your pickled beets.

  • 5 medium size beets
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • I don't add any sugar as they are rich in natural sugar: Sugar beets are a first cousin. Maybe one or two teaspoons if you have a sweet tooth, and aren't overweight!)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • Salt to taste

Actually, we pressure cook 10 beets, and enjoy five before pickling.

Growing beets is a cinch but you must water them.

Beetroot's love a medium to light soil. What it definitely does not like is a soil which has recently been manured; this will cause the roots to be mis-shapen. But well rotted compost is a must for a good crop.

Either use a garden site which was well prepared for a previous crop, particularly legumes which add nitrogen to the soil, or dig the soil over  well in the autumn and let the winter frost break up even more.

Or grow a crop of green beans once you've removed the compost. Those nitrogen fixation bacteria will make a great starter for your next compost heap or a crop destined for pickled beets.

  • Starting a compost pile ...
  • Nitrogen fixation bacteria ...

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Compost heap for green beans.

When digging over the earth, remove as many stones as possible - the roots like to grow without restriction or the beets will be misshapen.

Please note, beets don't like to dry out. They just go to seed before forming a proper beet, becoming tough and fibrous. Keep them moist, eat 'em young.

Sow the seed when the danger of hard frost has passed. Plant one row at a time up until mid-July or you will end up with too many at one time. (In the Northern hemisphere. In the South we have to get them in by January- February).  Then sow another row in a few weeks.

Before sowing, soak a couple teaspoons of seed in water for an hour or two. They germinate without difficulty. With a trowel, scoop out a line in the soil about 2.5cm deep, spacing the lines about 30cm apart. Beets like all vegetables need full sunshine. Space the seeds in the lines about 5cm apart and cover with soil. Water.

The seedlings will appear in one to two weeks, depending on the weather.  Remove any weak looking seedlings, leaving only the strongest.

The tender young seedlings often attract the attention of insects and birds. Cut the bottoms and tops off plastic plastic bottles and place over the seedlings if necessary.

A good soaking once a week is a must if there is no rain. This encourages more rapid growth and your beets will be more tender and tasty. Sweeter. Down on your hands and knees, say a prayer, and get any weeds out. Fortunately they form a dense foliage that keeps most weeds down.

Seriously, weeding is an important part of gardening. It's routine stuff, and sets the mind free to roam... when the world wearies, and society ceases to satisfy, there's always some weeding to be done.

Don't let them grow woody. Young beets are best, max 2" in diameter, and don't forget the leaves. They make a marvellous spinach. In fact, my sister-in-law grows beets for the leaves, and gives us the beets!

Quick constipation relief

Like apple diet pickled beets are rich in soluble fibre, the best sort for a healthy colon. They make the stool soft and easy to pass and give quick constipation relief. Don't be surprised by the colour - it's not blood! Pickled beets and apples - God's gifts to the constipated colon. The benefits of beetroot are vast. Rich in iron too.

Red blood in the stool, by the way usually means haemorrhoids, but can be serious. More worrying is black blood; sign of a bleeding ulcer, usually from taking anti inflammatory drugs. Tens of thousands die every year from it; sudden death from bleeding internally.

The normal passage of your food through the bowel is less than 36 hours. If it's more than that before you get a pink show in the stool, then you should be eating a lot more fibre in your diet. Constipation is associated with a heap of serious bowel diseases. HELENS 15 EURO SALAD (then known as the five dollar salad) is what saved me from the misery of constipation when I was studying Chiropractic in Chicagoland.

Healthy living tips

I always direct my slipped disc patients to this pickled beets page; these healthy living tips are just one way to try to improve folk's overall health. I learned a long time ago, when a patient died from a heart attack soon after I'd fixed his back that it me who had missed the plot. I never said a word about his weight; that's serious negligence and cost him his life.


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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I've left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he's happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He's doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost painfree. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he's well pleased; sixty five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he's taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily walk has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. Xrays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65 year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88 year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done.  

10. Mr X is a 71 year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a year ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38 old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he couldn't sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71 year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.

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