Beet Recipes 

These easy beet recipes show you what to do with a vegetable that most of us only use from a can, if we use them at all. But fresh beets can be delicious (after all they make sugar from them!) and they are super nutritious.

And don't forget to eat your greens! Many northern city people have never eaten beet greens. They are a staple in the south.

Harvesting Your Beets

Harvest your beets by gripping the base of the leaves and pulling from the ground. Wash the beets thoroughly and remove the leaves. Discard the old, tough leaves, but retain any little tender ones close to the beet. Toss these in with your cooked beets, if desired.

Be very careful not to break off the little fibers and rootlets which retain the juices and coloring. If the beets are tough and withered, soak then for 24 hours in plenty of cold water before beginning to cook them.

We start with the simplest way to prepare beets.

The Boiled Beet Recipe

Boil the beets in a large pan with plenty of water. Test tenderness with a fork. When tender, drop into a pan of cold water and slip off the skins with the hands. If small, serve whole. If large, slice those to be used immediately. place in a dish and season with salt, pepper, and butter. Add a teaspoon of sugar if the beets are not naturally sweet enough. Heat for a minute of two in the microwave and serve hot. 

Cold beets left over may be covered with vinegar and used as pickles.

Beet Greens

Beet greens are best if gathered young before the bulb forms. I plant my seeds close together, then pull the immature beets, thinning the rows so that the beets are about 3 inches apart, enough room for the bulb to form. (Each beet seed is actually a cluster of 2 to 5 individual seeds, so thinning is important.)

Carefully wash and clean young beets, leaving roots and tops together. Put them into a large pan with very little boiling water and allow them to cook until just tender. Salt the water just before cooking is completed. Drain as dry as possible in a colander. Chop. Serve hot with vinegar or butter, salt and pepper.

Caraway Seed Fresh Beets

  • 2 cups sliced fresh beets
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margerine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole caraway seeds

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan; heat only until warm. Serve at once, with dollops of sour cream if desired

Beet Root Pancakes

Don't turn your nose up at this beet recipe until you try it! It is delicious.

  • 2 cups cooked sliced beets
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 egg yolks, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream or undiluted              evaporated milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

 Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl; mix well. Ladle onto hot griddle or heavy skillet. Serve with fruit marmalade or preserves.

Cold Spiced Beets

  • 8 medium beets or 12 small
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 teaspoons brown sugar, packed

Combine all ingredients and boil until beets are tender. Add more water, if necessary. Remove beets and peel. Cool, then refrigerate in cooking liquid.

Raw Beet Salad

This recipe is from The Deaf Smith Country Cookbook.

  • 3 medium sized beets, washed, peeled, and coarsely grated
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped fine
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 1 grated carrot
  • Sour cream or yogurt dressing

Mix all ingredients together with sour cream or yogurt dressing

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I found this recipe in a little magazine called Kansas Country Living.  It uses beets instead of dyes to make the red velvet!

  • One cup fresh beets (can use canned, drained)
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat buttermilk, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract'
  • 3/4 cup, plus 2 Tbs., unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 6 Tbs. unsweetened natural cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup canola oil, chilled
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, cold

Heat oven to 350 F.

Coarsely chop beets; place in blender, add 1/4 cup buttermilk and blend until finely chopped. Add remaining buttermilk, vinegar and vanilla and blend to puree; set aside.

In small bowl, combine flour, 6 Tbs cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; set aside.

In medium bowl, combine oil and sugar. with hand mixer on medium speed, mix until sugar is evenly moistened. Add egg and beat on high 90 seconds until it resembles mayonnaise and the sugar is almost dissolved. Add beet mixture until combined.

Sift dry ingredients into bowl and mix on low speed or by hand until combined with wet ingredients.

Fill 12 lined muffin cups evenly. Bake 28-30 minutes, or until tops feel springy. Cool on wire rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 4 Tbs. reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1-2 Tbs. cocoa

In small bowl, combine sugar and cream cheese together with wooden spoon or hand mixer. Add vanilla. Frost cupcakes. Sprinkle with cocoa.

Note: Frosting is best when refrigerated 8 hours or overnight, loosely covered, before using. Frosted cupcakes can sit at room temperature for up to 12 hours.

More Vegetable Recipes.

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