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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