Tag Archives: Making sugar from Sugar Beets

Homemade Michigan Beet Sugar: Reviving a Tradition

Picture of sugar beet farmer in michigan from 1939

A previous post talked about how most of the sugar beets grown in Michigan come from GMO sugar beets. I am not a big fan of GMO foods and thought it unfortunate that the access to non-GMO white beet sugar, a proud Michigan staple, is not available. Being a local food guy, I thought that there has to be a way to get my hands on beet sugar or make it myself.

Then I found this video on how to make sugar from sugar beets.

The process is a little involved, but I think it is doable and not much more involved then canning tomatoes or making jam. Maybe along with canning, pickling and jam making, a grass root movement can be started to bring back home beet sugar making.

Most home gardens in Michigan used to include a spot to grow sugar beets for sugar. I do not use much white sugar. I used about one five pound bag of big chief this year for a family of four, along with Michigan maple syrup and honey. Looking at the demo, I figure that a single beet could provide a few ounces of white sugar, and even more left over molasses sugar. I estimate that a small patch of a few dozen sugar beets could produce enough sugar for the year, about a pound of white sugar per a half to a dozen beets. I admit that I am getting ahead of myself having neither grown sugar beets or made white sugar from them, but I am up to the challenge. Maybe by this time next year, I will be planning my Thanksgiving desserts that includes my organically home grown, and made white beet sugar.

More info on Michigan Sugar Beets from MSU