Monday, July 18, 2011


Beets are such a versatile vegetable. A lot of people are in a love/hate relationship with the beet. What is great is there are so many varieties! Some are super sweet, some are not, some are ringed, some are yellow, some are white! Plus they can be snuck in food so no garden produce goes to waste!

I first started using beets in jelly. So far everyone that has tried my red beet jelly has loved it! Even if they were a beet hater! I have only used the dark red beets for making jelly, I haven't tried the heirloom ringed variety or any other color of beet. That would be pretty neat to try though if I can find some other varieties at the farmer's market!
Beet Jelly
4 Cups beet juice
7 Cups sugar
1 pkg powdered pectin
To make juice: peel 4-5 beets, slice and add enough water to barely cover, simmer until tender. Strain through strainer/jelly bag. Then follow instructions for jello according to pectin directions (I usually follow the directions for making apple jelly. Can't go wrong, I love this recipe!) Process in water bath canner.

My next venture was to make some recipes that did NOT taste like dirt. Seriously. A beet is a root vegetable so it can take a "rooty" or "dirt" taste. I have actually tasted some carrots that instead of tasting like a carrot it tasted like dirt, with an after taste. Not too pleasant.

For cooking for those people not sure about beets we don't want to accidentally serve them a strong earthy root vegetable which could turn them off. I found if I can go beyond the "pickled beets" of the beets I can help other people use the bounty of the earth for their own benefit! Plus its very frugal because beets are so easy to grow!

So besides the typical "chocolate" beet cake which I absolutely loathe because it tastes like dirt to me I decided to do some research and find out other recipes I can utilize the bountiful harvest of beets (uh, hello cheap food too!) and enjoy them!

I found red velvet beet cake (NOT the nasty kind of beet cake), red beet cookies, crunchy beet cookies, beet muffins, plus my beet jelly and of course the typical pickled beets. You can also make your own baby food puree with beets. I planted albino beets this year for that reason, except I am not going to make baby food puree's anymore. Too much money to buy them, too much time to make them. I will post on that topic later, it's actually very interesting and time saving and helps baby develop better!

So get creative, in the process of finding more ways to incorporate vegetables in our diet I came across different puree's you can make (if you have the time to make the puree's) and incorporate a huge variety of vegetables!

We fell in love with kohlrabi this spring too. I love the farmer's market, I can't say enough to people to get out and visit one!

Well, it's off to finish my bean cake! Happy gardening and happy cooking!!!


My next recipe to try from a friend who got it online somewhere:
Beet Cookies
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup pureed beets
2 Tbl oil or softened butter
1 tsp vanilla
white or chocolate chips

~Combine all dry ingredients. Add beets, vanilla, and oil, mix to combine. Stir in chocolate chips, if using in the cookie dough OR melt to drizzle on top of cookies after cooking.
Drop by tablespoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 min at 350. Makes 1-2 dozen depending on size of cookies~

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