A friend asked my husband “what do we do with beets?” of course he passed that question on to me because he was clueless. I love beets and I think you either love ’em or hate ’em with no middle ground. I may be wrong but that’s my experience.

There are 3 different kinds of beets that we eat.

  • beet roots, the red root of a beet plant
  • chard or spinach beets are a green vegetable
  • sugar beets which are used to make sugar

We are talking about beet roots today. They 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 beats, 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.

In my opinion beets taste best when roasted. They take a long time but that slow cooking makes them soft and sweet. To roast beets prepare as mentioned above, roast whole beets on an oiled baking sheet at 350˚ for 1 1/2 hours. When they are done simply slip them out of their skins, slice and serve. You can also bake them in a 9×13 pan with one inch of water, covered with foil for an hour(or so) at 350˚ for a steamed baked approach. These cooking times may seem long but if you cook them along side a roast or potatoes you’ll be using an oven that’s already heated up.

I suppose you could microwave them but I don’t so you’re on your own for that one. They can also be cooked in a pot of water on the stove. Start with beets cleaned as mentioned above then boil in an inch or 2 of water for 1-2 hours. Seems like excessive time and electricity usage and that’s why I like the roast along side method best.

Beets are also good for canning. I remember my mother putting up a case of pickled beets for winter dinners when I was a kid. I haven’t made those yet but I did make this beet relish last year and will be making it again this year. It’s really good and pretty easy to make. I like the fact that it uses up some zucchini too. If you are new to canning buddy up with someone who knows the ropes, it will strengthen your friendship and lighten your load. Words of wisdom from someone who cans.

Fresh Beet Relish-adapted from the Riversong Lodge Cookbook By Kirsten Dixon

5 large beets
1 large sweet onion
2 cups chopped zucchini
1/4 cup minced ginger
1 cup honey
2 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tsp red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan over medium heat
Bring the mixture to a boil reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes
meanwhile wash and sterilize 4 half pint jars and lids to match
bring a large pot of water to a boil for canning
carefully pour the beet relish into the prepared jars, wipe the rims and place the lids on
and screw them carefully down
Process in the boiling water for 30 minutes
When they are cool test the lids for a good seal
any unsealed jars should be kept in the fridge and used with in 2 weeks

Beets=yum they also=pink urine in little boys which makes them very excited to eat them. First time it happened to me I pretty much freaked out. And it still kind of freaks me out but apparently it means your body is filtering and all is good.

And if this seemed light on the photos it is! My sd card reader finally broke and I need a new one. I’ll be looking for one tomorrow because I only have a day left before the aircraft carrier cake(wreck) makes it’s debut.

Peace and Love,