Beets.  Love them or hate them.  Most people fall into one camp or the other.  We are a beet-loving household.  In fact, while preparing dinner last night I asked Griffin (our three year old) how many beets he wanted and he responded, “At least five.”  To his credit, he ate all five beets.

Here are some of our friends and CSA members’ favorite ways to eat beets.

  • Smoothies are so yum with beets, I know it sounds weird but give it a try!
  • I bake/grill them in foil seasoned with oil, salt, pepper and the magic ingredient…. smoked paprika!  I used to hate beets, but am now a convert.
  • I like to add the beet greens into an Indian Saag for color and flavor, and pan fry the diced beet root on high heat with olive oil and a pinch of salt.
  • We grill ours up with olive oil, salt, and pepper. We LOVE grilled beets!

And then there are always red velvet cupcakes.  If you dislike the earthy beety flavor, then maybe you’ll eat them if they are disguised in a sweet treat.  My mom swears by this recipe and I’m going to try it for Caia’s second birthday in a couple of weeks.  Following the cupcake recipe is one that incorporates the greens as well.

Velvety Beet Cupcakes with Raspberry Icing

Makes 12 cupcakes

1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened  cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
3/4 cup  roasted beets
¾ cup sugar
¼  cup oil (safflower oil)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup buttermilk (1/2 Tsp Lemon juice or vinegar + milk to be ½ C)

  1. Stir all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Puree beets in a blender.
  3. Beat sugar with oil in a bowl, use an electric mixer until combined.  Beat in egg, then beets and vanilla.
  4. Beat in 1/3 of flour mixture until blended, then add half of buttermilk, repeat addition, ending with flour mixture.
  5. Spoon batter into muffin cup, filling each ¾ full.
  6.  Bake at 350F degrees, 20 to 25 minutes.

Raspberry icing

1/2 cup cream cheese
½ cup icing sugar
¼ cup frozen or fresh raspberries

Mix all ingredients together until thoroughly combined.

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Roasted Beets with Wilted Beet Greens

This recipe uses both the root and the greens – a win!  Beet greens are an excellent source of potassium, folic acid, and magnesium.

3-4 medium beets with beet greens attached
½ lemon
extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Trim greens from beets, leaving 1-2” of the stems attached. Cut off and discard stems. Coarsely chop leaves and reserve.
  3. Wrap each beet in foil. Place beets in a baking dish and roast until tender when pierced with fork, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool. Peel beets, then cut each into 8 wedges. Place beets in medium bowl.
  4. Heat a large saute pan over med-high heat.  Add some olive oil and then the beet greens.   Stir until the greens are wilted, just a few minutes. Squeeze lemon over the greens.  Season with salt and pepper
  5. Serve beet greens with slices of roasted beet on top.

Try any of these additions:

  • Orange segments, goat cheese or feta, pistachios, toasted pine nuts
  • Cook the beet greens with some bacon or pancetta
  • Saute an onion and/or garlic along with the beet greens
  • Top off the dish with a chopped up boiled egg