Friday, July 20, 2012

Beets, Beets and More Beets

I harvested some Beets today. Not wanting to do the same old thing with them I decided that they would be best used in some different ways. If you go to my GRANDMA FARMERS GARDEN blog, I've explained the value of beets for your diet.

How to Choose Beets
Beets are in season from June to October,but are available in most stores all year round. Choose firm smooth beets. They should be a beautiful color when you rub a bit of the dirt away.

I Am Having a Love Affair With Condiments
Because of my current love affair with condiments gracing my table I am going to give you a link to how to can and make pickled beets.  These are the 'canned' variety.

Pickled Beets Recipe
Canning Beets

I would be amiss if I didn't give you my fav lacto-fermented variety that I keep in my refrig continually.  This is the very best link I could find and I love working with them this way.  Keep in mind that you need to gather your equipment first before you decided to buy your beets.  Since Beets are a root crop they are on my 'must be organic' list due to the herbicides that are sprayed on the beets to keep them weed free (necessary for commercial farmers as beets won't grow in weeds).  We weed all ours by hand.  I like using my Antique Crock bowl for this kind of thing.  Since you are not fermenting in the bowl small cracks don't matter BUT when you are fermenting in the crocks be sure that there are no chips OR CRACKS in your pickling or fermenting crocks.  You can buy them in antique stores often for less than new.

How to Make Lacto-Fermented Beets

holding beets

Beet Juice Blends

Don’t like beet juice by itself? Try these recipes for tasty blends. You can blend with other fruits or vegetables for extra nutrition and flavor. This can be important for some people as beets have oxalic acid which can cause kidney stones. Blending with another veggie or fruit will reduce the concentration, or eat a calcium product in addition to your beet juice.

Using a Juicer
Use whole,raw beets. Wash them extremely well or peel the skin first. Cut into size recommended for your juicer.

With Blender
You can also use a blender to make beet juice. Clean and peel the beets. Chop or grate finely. Add the finely grated beets with ¼ cup water or juice to the blender. Blend well. Strain through a cloth to remove large pieces if desired. But remember, this contains fiber and beneficial nutrients, so find a way to add them to your diet.

Beet and Fruit Blend
Blend together 1 beat with leaves, 1 apple and 1 pear.
Beet and Veggie Blend
Blend together 1 beet, 1 carrot, 1 apple, 1 cup green tea, 1 orange, and ½ inch fresh peeled ginger root.
Tropical Blend
Blend together 1 beet, 1 cup pineapple, and ½ cup papaya

Drink Your Juice Blend immediately to utilize the nutrients before they are lost. If you want to make enough for several days,freeze in individual portions. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator for a refreshing beverage for breakfast.

Beet Kvass
Beet Kvass is a Ukranian drink that no household was ever without. Here’s how to make up 2 quarts of the traditional tonic:

3 beets,peeled and chopped*
¼ cup whey
1 tablespoon sea salt
Filtered water

Put the beets, whey and sea salt in a 2 quart glass jar or container and fill with filtered water. Stir and cap. Let it set on the counter at room temperature for 2 days,then transfer to the refrigerator.
Drink a 4 ounce glass in the mornings and evenings for a regenerating tonic. You can also use beet kvass in place of vinegar in your salad dressing recipes or add it to soups.

*Note: Don’t use grated beets because they will ferment too rapidly. You will have alcohol content instead of the valuable lactic acid that is noted for its medicinal qualities.

Sweet Potato and Beet Chips with Garlic Rosemary Salt

2 Sweet Potatoes
2 large beets
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh rosemary leaves
2 tablespoons salt
10 cups coconut oil

  1. Wash the vegetables and dry very well. Set aside
  2. In a small bowl combine the garlic, rosemary and salt. Set aside.
  3. Warm the oil in a large pot over high heat to 350 degrees (use a deep-fry thermometer)
  4. Trim 1-inch off the end of each sweet potato. Using the V-slicer or Mandoline, slice the sweet potatoes into very thin slices, about 1/8-inch thick. Trim 1-inch off the root end of the beets. Using the V-slicer or mandoline slice the beets into very thin slices, about 1/8-inch thick
  5. When the oil is hot add about a quarter of the sweet potato slices. Let fry until golden and the bubbling has almost completely subsided, about 2-3 minutes. Using a mesh sieve or slotted spoon remove the ships to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with some of the garlic, Rosemary and salt mixture. Continue with the remaining sweet potatoes.
  6. Transfer to a serving plate.
  7. Fry 1/4 of the beets. Let fry until curled at the edges and most of the bubbling has subsided, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer the beets to another paper-towel-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt mixture. Continue with the remaining beets. Let cool and transfer to a serving plate.
Ukrainian Red Borscht Soup Serves 4

8 ounces pork sausage
1 very large beet, peeled and shredded
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
1 large baking potato, peeled and cubed
1 1/4 teaspoon coconut oil
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 ounces tomato paste
1/4 cup water
1/4 medium head cabbage, cored and shredded
1/2 cup diced tomato
1 large clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
1 tablespoon sour cream for each serving (topping)
  1. Crumble the sausage into a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir until no longer pink. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  2. Fill a pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add the sausage, and cover the pot. Return to a boil. Add the beets, and cook until they have lost their color. Add the carrots and potatoes, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Add the cabbage and tomatoes.
  3. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, cook until tender. Stir in the tomato paste and water until well blended. Transfer to the pot. Add the raw garlic to the soup, cover and turn off the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes. Taste, and season with salt, pepper and sugar.
  4. Ladle into serving bowls, garnish with sour cream and fresh parsley.

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