Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Beets (repost from 2012)

I never thought I liked beets and now they are one of my favorite vegetables. If you cut off the greens, they will keep in your crisper drawer for quite a while. Here are some hints about using beets as well as my two favorite beet recipes.

Beets have a tendency to stain everything they touch so be forewarned. In order to reduce staining do not cut the root ends or peel the beets, keep the stems about 4-6 inches long and don't scrub them, just wash gently. When the beets are done cooking you just slide their skins right off or eat with skins on.

Beets can be grated raw in a salad and beet greens are also edible although they should be eaten soon as their integrity will diminish quickly. You can steam or saute beet greens or use them in any dish that calls for fresh spinach.

Roasted Beets:
I think beets are best roasted. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Toss clean, diced beets with olive oil, salt and pepper and place on baking sheet or in a glass dish. Cover loosely with foil and bake 20-30 minutes or until beets are fork tender. I usually remove the foil for the last 10 minutes so that they caramelize. Eat them as is or for an added treat, toss roasted beets with feta cheese. You can also experiment with adding some of our fresh herbs to the pan.

Pickled Beets (from the Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook):
2 lbs beets
1 med white onion, sliced
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups white vinegar
1 tsp whole allspice
2 whole cloves
1 stick cinnamon
Boil or steam beets until tender. Reserve 1 cup cooking liquid, then drain beets and let them cool. Peel, slice, and pack beets and raw onions into pint jars (about 3). Combine reserved liquid, sugar, vinegar, allspice, cloves, and cinnamon in a pot; bring to a simmer and cook 5 minutes. Strain and pour into your jars. Cool, cover, and refrigerate 24 hours.  

Secret Chocolate Cake
From Anja Mast of Trillium Haven CSA
" Delicious plain, frosted or served in bowls with applesauce.
They'll never know the secret ingredient unless you tell them."
Puree in blender/food processor until smooth and set aside:
2 cups beets (cooked, peeled and chopped)
1/2 cup applesauce.

Combine in a large mixing bowl and beat with electric mixer 2 minutes:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3 eggs

Add along with pureed beets and beat another 90 seconds:
1/2 cup baking cocoa (sifted)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Gradually sift into the batter, mixing it in with a spoon but
stirring only until blended:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)

Stir in 1/2 cup chocolate chips and /or nuts (chopped).
Pour into greased 9 by 13-inch baking pan. Bake in
preheated oven at 350 degrees F until knife inserted in center comes
out clean, 40-50 minutes. To bake in a bundt pan, pour half of
batter into the greased pan, sprinkle chocolate chips evenly on top,
then add remaining batter.

Summer variations: Substitute 2-3 cups shredded raw zucchini or
summer squash for the cooked, pureed beets. Use the ground cinnamon
and add 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice.

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