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Monday, September 6, 2010

Beets are Good - Who Knew??

Years ago I went on a diet that had you eat beets everyday. At the time I didn't even know people cooked beets from scratch and so I ate can after can of the nasty stuff. Oh, did I just say that out loud? Anyhow I have never tried them again, as a matter of fact I avoided them at all cost.

But then I have been reading lately about people loving beets. Not only because they are nutritional powerhouses but because they taste good.

Beets are an excellent source of the B vitamin, folate, and a very good source of manganese and potassium. Beets are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus.

So I decided to give them a try. I was able to buy some from the Amish Farmer's Market down the road. I checked out Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything cookbook and he suggests cooking them in foil. I decided to put them in my Dutch Oven which I lined in foil. After I cut off the greens I washed them well and put them in the oven for a little over an hour.

While I was waiting I played a mean game of Go Princess with my princess Sylvia - I won 2 and she won once - oh yeah, I always play to win - even with a 5 year old!
She looks all innocent but she is a ruthless Go Princess Player!

I also toasted some slivered almonds while I waited. When I was looking for ways to serve beets I found several recipes that had walnuts in them, I don't have any right now but I did have almonds.

Once they finished cooking I removed the skin - and sliced them into rounds.

I prepared them two ways - the first was with a little salt and pepper topped with sour cream and almonds. I liked this but I wouldn't call it exceptional although I couldn't believe the difference in the taste between canned and home cooked - AMAZING!

The second way was super easy, I just buttered and salt and peppered them. This is my favorite of the two. I also was serving a cucumber dish that is made with sour cream and vinegar and I grabbed a cuke slice on my fork along with the beets and swirled them in the sauce and it was yummy! It resembled the pairing of sour cream in the first but was better because of the crunch of the cucumbers and the tang of the vinegar.

(sadly there is no picture - but you can imagine just beets on a plate with butter and salt and pepper can't you?)

My husband was thrilled - I didn't know that he loves beets. Now my kids - no one was thrilled about them, but I think if I keep offering them I might get a taker or two.

I will be adding beets as an occasional side dish to our meals.

Random fun fact: Did you know that beets have the highest sugar content of any vegetable, but are low in calories? Yup, beets are like a vegetable candybar. 

Tell me, do you like beets? What is your favorite way to prepare them/ eat them?

I am linking this to Delectable Tuesdays @ Home Sweet Farm and
I am linking this up to Two for Tuesdays - the Awesome Real Food Blog Hop that focuses on Real Food made with love. (That I just happen to co-host with 3 other AMAZING bloggers!)



  1. I roast beets (wrapped in foil) in the oven - it is so easy.

  2. Last Fall I roasted every beet my CSA threw at me, planning all kinds of dinners and pizzas and soups...and not one beet ever made it to our dinner table, I ate every last one! Cut the small ones in half, the larger ones into quarters (or roughly 2" square pieces), drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and bake on a foil-lined cookie sheet in a hot oven. Like candy!

  3. Oh no, endless tinned beets? Nobody could love them that way. Blech!

    Gotta say, I'm with the roasted beets crowd. I cut them into large chunks, coat with bacon grease, thyme, onion powder, s&p, and roast in a 400 degree oven until browned. Can't be beet, er, beat!

  4. I adore beets! They're one of my favorite veggies! Both ways sound deeelicious ;)

  5. They are also good raw grated into salads. I learned a lot about beets when my sister and I catered a wedding in a castle, set in a mid-evil time frame.

  6. Beets are a natural source of hydrochloride. They make HCL pills from beets to aid the digestion of protein.

    I use my pressure cooker for beets. 10 minutes or so and they are soft, but firm. Then I serve with onions, olive oil and vinegar or just pickle them in ACV.

  7. Melynda - I have never had them grated - that will be a new adventure (in a castle? fun!)

    Jenny - I didn't know that - the more I learn the more I know we need more beets in our diet!

  8. Roasting them in foil is the best way to go. It keeps the juices and sugars in and kinda carmelizes as well. So sweet that you barely need to add anything (maybe some balsamic if you like)?

  9. I LOVE beets! But alas, I have only had them from a can. Usually at salad bars or thanksgiving.

    I am going to have to get some and try them...maybe roasted? all your commentators seem to like them that way...

  10. I love beets, but have always been a bit worried about preparing them myself. But having read your post and the comments, I think I might try roasting them in the oven. I like the idea of the toasted almonds too.

  11. I, like you had only had them canned, and decided they were awful. But this year I decided to grow them in my garden,with the mindset that homegrown food tastes exponentially better than canned. I love using the leaves in salads and love the beets roasted! Yay for realfood!

  12. I love beets. No I did not know they are healthy, I simply like them because they taste great. I like your version of beets with butter, salt and pepper. Thanks.

  13. I am so happy that you're exploring beets :D. I love them... raw, cooked, fermented. When I'm grilling, I'll often wrap a beet in tin-foil and throw it in with the charcoal.

  14. Hi Christy, I'm new to your blog and so happy to find you through Meatless Mondays! Your beets look so yummy!

    I absolutely love beets in any way shape or form! Last week I canned pickled beets to enjoy during the coming winter months. I also use the beet greens as a side dish; I saute them in a little bacon fat, add vinegar, sugar then crumble bacon over the top...delish!!

  15. I never even ate a beet until last winter when I got some from the CSA. I prefer to roast them, then dress them in red wine vinegar & olive oil and mix with purple onions.

    Another good way to eat beets is to roast them, sautee the greens in bacon fat w/onions and mix the two together and top with a soft fried egg. It's super delicious for breakfast.

    Beets turn a smoothie a beautiful shade of red, much darker than strawberries can.

    I pickled some this year and canned them. I opened a jar yesterday and they are delicious. I have to say, I think beets are my new favorite cold weather veggie.

  16. Yah christy for trying something new! Awesome! Next time though, do not throw away the beet tops! They are GREAT sauteed in bacon grease! I usually cut the stems into tiny bits like celery and then toss them in first with some grease and garlic until quite soft (you can add in broth) then quick wilt the greens. This is a huge blood tonic and oh so tasty! :) Thanks for hosting and posting on the two for tuesday hop! Alex@amoderatelife

  17. I had basically the EXACT same experience as you with beets! I went on some kind of fad diet when I was younger that made you eat them and couldn't stand them after that. I'm only now coming around to them!

  18. Thanks everyone for sharing how you prepare/eat beets!! I am looking forward to all the different ways to cook them!
    Joanne - that was a crazy diet wasn't it?!!

  19. I adore roasted beets. I love them in a warm salad with green lentils, goats cheese and walnuts. Yummo.

  20. Christy, the only beets I've ever had are canned and I LOATHE them, lol! I keep reading how good they are roasted but I haven't gotten around to making them yet as when I think of beets, I shudder with revulsion. :o)