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We all know that beets are very healthy! They are high in fiber, vitamin C, iron, potassium and other vitamins. They are associated with lowering blood pressure, filtering your blood and increasing physical exercise performance. There are people who love the sweet, earthy flavor of beets. I am a big fan of their wonderful health benefits. I eat them and I can actually feel the heath benefits when I do. But, I am not a great fan of that earthy flavor that people describe. To me, they taste like dirt when eaten all by themselves, but when you pair them with other ingredients they tend to take on those flavors and are much more palatable. So, because of my desire to reap the health benefits and yet avoid the literally earthy taste, I've found ways to eat beets that make them delicious to me.
Before I forget to tell you this, let me say that not only are the beet roots edible and healthy, their tops are also edible and considered even more healthy than the roots themselves. They have even more vitamins and antioxidants and to my mind (or mouth), taste much better! You can eat them raw or cook them.
Before you get to these beet recipes, you need to prepare your beets. This past week, my son's MIL, Anita, who has an amazing backyard garden, shared some of her homegrown beets with me! I spent the weekend doing things with them. The first thing I did was boil some and roast some. Here are the steps I took:
Refrigerator Sweet Pickled Beets:
3 cooked beets, sliced into half circles
1 c. apple cider vinegar 1 tsp. allspice
1 c. sugar 1/2 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. cinnmon 1 tsp. white mustard seed
Combine the liquid and the spices and sugar into a pot and bring to a simmer. Add the beet slices and simmer for about 15 min. Put into a quart jar, making sure to cover the beets with the liquid. Put a lid on the jar and keep in the fridge. These will last for a couple of weeks in the fridge. If you make a larger batch, process the jars in a hot water bath for 15 min.
I began with the ingredients pictured above. I was actually going to use bell pepper instead of the yellow squash, but I was out of them. I think pepper would have been delicious in this dish though. Follow the pictures below to see how I did the rest.
*Just a quick note: When you add the tomatoes, you could also add some chopped beet root. It will turn everything red, but that is not a real problem and the bacon will make it taste good! Continue seasoning to taste.
The moral of the story is: Don't be afraid to give beets a try! They really are a super food. I haven't grown them my self yet, but Anita has so much success with them, I think I will give it a try. And, even if you don't like them all by themselves, there are so many other ways to eat them. Besides that, they are so pretty and add a nice color to the foods you will make. Your kids will love them because as you prepare them, the juices will make you look like you are bleeding! Beet juice use is an entirely different article waiting to happen!
Let me know if you try any of these ideas or if you have recipes that you use with beets that you would like to share!
*If you are trying to add more vegetables to your diet, here are some other posts you might enjoy!
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to eleven! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!