Beets/Betteraves

Yellow, purple and candy cane beets (pink with white stripes) have loads of health benefits, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxifying qualities. They also happen to be delicious! I'm lazy and don't like to peel beets, unless I'm eating them raw, grated into a salad. Luckily, once cooked, the peel comes right off. The best way to cook beets is by roasting or steaming them, to preserve the abundant health benefits. Occasionally, I will still boil them if I'm in a rush. They're excellent roasted on the BBQ!


Farfalle with Gold Beets, Greens and Pine Nuts
Spaghetti with Beets and Greens

Chocolate beet cupcakes
The icing is dyed with beets; no artificial colour! I took out 1/2 the sugar from the cupcake mix and added chocolate chips - they were great.

Potato Beet Salad

Ingredients:
2 lbs potatoes, boiled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 lbs beets, boiled, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
Fresh herbs, such as basil, sage and/or parsley, and dried or fresh rosemary
Diced or grated raw veggies, such as carrots, cucumbers, sweet bell peppers and/or celery


Dressing:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed (can be replaced with garlic scapes, chopped)
2 tsp dried or fresh dill
Juice of 1 lemon
2 dollops grainy mustard
1/4 cup maple syrup
1-2 dollops mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste

Add ingredients to a large bowl.  Add dressing right before serving and toss sparingly so the beets don't completely stain everything!  Eventually, your salad will be red (unless you use yellow beets) but it will still taste wonderful!


Easy-Peezy Raw Beet and Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:
3 cups cooked quinoa
2 med-large raw beets, peeled and grated
1 medium or 2 small cucumbers, diced
Handful dried cranberries
Handful goat cheese, crumbled
Handful toasted walnuts
Handful fresh basil

Dressing:

1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/8 cup maple syrup
1/8 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
Dollop of dijon or grainy mustard
2 cloves roasted or fresh garlic, mashed or minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Toss all ingredients in a large bowl.  Add desired amount of dressing to taste and toss, or serve dressing on the side.  Enjoy!

Beet Greens Smoothie

Ingredients:
6-8 beet leaves
1/3 cup water
2/3 cup plain yogurt
1 frozen banana
1/2 avocado
2 1/2 cups frozen berries (I like a mixture of blueberries and strawberries)
1/3 cup water or more, depending on the consistency you like.

Add beet leaves, water and yogurt to a food processor. Process until beet leaves are fully puréed. Add banana, avocado and berries and continue to process until fully combined. Add more water as desired. A thick mixture can be eaten with a spoon - frozen yogurt!


Heirloom Beet Salad with Feta and Pumpkin Seeds
From ‘Earth to Table’ by Jeff Crump and Bettina Schormann
'This is the only way to cook beets. Roasting the beets (rather than boiling them) allows
them to keep their colour and all of their flavour.' Serves 4.

Ingredients:
2 bunches beets (about 4 lbs), mixed colours if possible
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp kosher salt
6 tbsp sherry vinegar
2 tbsp local honey
1 shallot, thinly sliced
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup packed arugula leaves
1/4 cup Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut greens off beets, leaving about 1/2 inch of stem.
Scrub beets and toss with 2 tbsp of the oil and salt. Place in a large roasting pan with 1 tbsp water. Cover tightly with foil and roast until beets are tender when pierced, about 40 minutes. (The roasting time will depend on the size and type of beet, so it's best to check them earlier.)
Remove foil and let cool. Peel beets by slipping the skins off with your fingers. Slice beets into wedges and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the remaining oil, vinegar, honey and shallot.
Stir in beets, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or for up to 12 hours.
Drain dressing from the beets and place them on a serving platter. Sprinkle with feta arugula and pumpkin seeds. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Borscht

Thanks for the recipe, Lois! Serves 6.


Ingredients:
1 onion, chopped
3 cups peeled and chopped beets (add potatoes if you don't have enough beets)
2 celery stalks, chopped
½ red bell pepper, chopped
1 ½ cups chopped mushroom
1 large cooking apple, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
2 ¼ quarts stock or water (I use 2 cups organic vegetable stock and 6 1/4 cups water)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
A pinch of thyme
1 large bay leaf
Fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the chopped vegetables and apple in a large saucepan with the butter, oil, and 3 tablespoons of the stock or water.  Cover and cook slowly for about 15 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally.
Stir in the cumin seeds and cook for 1 minute.  Add the remaining stock or water, the thyme, bay leaf, lemon juice and seasoning to taste.
Bring the soup to a boil.  Cover the pan and turn down the heat to a slow simmer.  Cook for about 30 minutes.
Strain the vegetables and reserve the liquid.  Process the vegetables in a food processor or blender until they are smooth and creamy.
Return the vegetables to the rinsed pan.  Add the reserved stock and reheat.  Check the seasoning.
Divide into soup bowls.  Garnish with swirls of sour cream in each bowl and top with a few springs of fresh dill.

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