Beets, you love them, or you don’t. We cannot tell you how often we hear of someone’s love for, or detest of, beets. This time of year, red beets offer a rich crimson to your holiday table. Paired with greens, your table is dressed up for a party. The predicament often experienced by beet lovers, is convincing devout beet haters that they truly are delicious. And, on the other side of that coin, are those who do not ever want to eat or prepare beets, and are tired of hearing how wonderful beets are. Nothing in the world can convince you. But, maybe, just maybe something can. Perhaps the large number of organic compounds such as betaine, carotenoids, lutein/zeaxanthin (Lutein and zeaxanthin are two carotenoid phytonutrients that play an important role in health, and especially eye health.), and glycine. As well as 37% of your daily value of folate, 15% daily value of fiber, 11% daily value of Vitamin C may cause you to sway towards loving beets. Oh, and let us not forget, Vitamin B, magnesium, iron, potassium, copper, and phosphorus. All of which are the main building blocks of our human bodies. Wow, beets really do have our best interest in mind.
Yes, the benefits of eating beets are tremendous, and you may be reading this blog rolling your eyes and thinking that this person is a beet loving, veggie head so of course she loves them. Well, it’s true, I do! And, I am determined to help you love them, too! Below I have provided various recipes and tips for preparation to help you over the hump and moving towards enjoying the many benefits of beets.
Tip #1: When working with beets be sure to wear an old t-shirt or an apron that can be stained. Beets are messy, and the juice will stain.
Tip #2: Cover your cutting board with wax paper, or plastic wrap to reduce the potential of staining.
Tip #3: Wear a fresh pair of dish gloves, or disposable gloves to protect your hands from staining.
Tip #4: When preparing beets for roasting, cut off beet tops so that an inch of stalk remains. This reduces the potential for the beet to lose its juices while roasting, deterring a substantial mess.
Tip #5: Keep your beet tops! Prepare your beet tops, with other greens such as chard or spinach. Steam, and serve with a bit of salt and a couple splashes of vinegar (any kind you prefer).
First recipe up…Beets Rosti, a version of the well-loved Potato Pancake.
Beets Rosti (sourced from www.loveandoliveoil.com)
Ingredients: (makes 4 servings)
2 pounds beets (3 very large or 4 to 6 medium)
2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary (or thyme, if you prefer)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons butter
Minced parsley or a few rosemary leaves for garnish.
- Trim beets, and peel them as you would potatoes.
- Grate them in food processor or by hand.
- Begin preheating 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat.
- Toss grated beets in bowl with rosemary (or thyme), salt and pepper.
- Add about half the flour; toss well, add rest of flour, and toss again.
- Put butter in skillet; heat until it begins to turn nut-brown.
- Scrape beet mixture into skillet, and press with spatula to form one round pancake (or separate into smaller pancakes). With medium to medium-high heat — the pancake should gently sizzle — cook, shaking pan occasionally, until bottom of cake is nicely crisp, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Slide cake onto a plate, top with another plate
- Invert the two plates (you are turning the pancake over), and return cake to pan.
- Keep cooking, adjusting heat if necessary, until other side is browned, another 10 minutes or so.
- Remove from pan, garnish, cut into wedges, and serve hot or at room temperature.
Second, up to bat…a sweet, baked good take on beets.
Chocolate Beet Muffins (sourced from www.theworktop.com)
Ingredients (makes 12 muffins)
- 2medium-sized beets
- scant 1 1/2cups all-purpose flour
- 2tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 1/2teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4teaspoon salt
- 2large eggs
- 1/4cup whole milk
- 1/2cup light brown sugar – lightly packed
- 1/4cup caster sugar
- 1/4cup unsalted butter- room temperature
- 1/4cup sunflower oil
- 1cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 355°F
- Peel the beets and grate them. Set aside (DO NOT PRESS OUT BEET JUICE).
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk.
- In a large bowl using a hand mixer on medium speed, cream together the sugars, butter and oil. Using the hand mixer on low speed, beat in the egg mixture. Slowly fold in the flour mixture.
- Using a spatula, mix in the grated beets (and their juice) and the chocolate chips.
- Evenly divide the batter into 12 muffin cases. Each case should be about ¾ full.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the muffins are springy to the touch. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
To top off our exploration of unique beet recipes, a savory dip that will brighten your table.
Ruby Red Roasted Beet Hummus (sourced from www.erinsfoodfiles.com)
Ingredients: (makes 2-3 cups)
1-2 medium beets (if you’ve got roasted beets already, this is a great place to use them.)
1 can of chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow or white onion, chopped finely
3 cloves chopped garlic
1/2 cup tahini or sesame paste (this is a paste of sesame seeds, most likely found in the “ethnic” section of your grocery store or an oriental / near eastern grocery store.)
1 Tablespoon cumin
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- On a large roasting pan covered with foil, roast the beets for 40-70 minutes, or until smooth when poked with a fork.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool, then peel (run under cold water while pushing skin away from cooked beet with your fingers), cut into small chunks.
- In a small frying pan, heat the tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes.
- Whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil in a small bowl.
- In a food processor, chop the beets, onions, garlic, and chickpeas together until smooth.
- Add the tahini and cumin, and process again.
- Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, then replace the lid. While the blades are running, slowly add the lemon juice and olive oil mixture until the hummus until it reaches your desired consistency.
We hope you have enjoyed today’s journey and will open your minds and hearts to the beloved, yet sometimes misunderstood, Beet. Let’s give Beets a chance.