It’s not unusual to find yourself flooded with excess beetroot as summer turns to autumn and the harvest is upon you. Now you face the problem of what to do with all of that beetroot. Here are some tips to help use up all those beets.
The most obvious place to start in using up excess beetroot is pickled beetroot. By pickling your beets, you can enjoy them throughout the winter with no fear of spoiling. If you are intimidated by the thought of sterilizing jars and making them safe to store for the winter, there are plenty of recipes available for refrigerator pickles. These are best in smaller batches, as they will not last as long as the traditional ones, but they are much easier to make.
Once you have all the pickled beetroot that you want or need, you may be looking for other ideas. Another good use for beetroot, or any other root vegetable, is beet chips, or crisps. Beetroot makes a fantastic crunchy salty snack when it is sliced thin and either baked or deep-fried. If they are kept in an airtight container beet chips will probably stay fresh for about a week.
Everyone knows that roasted beetroot makes a lovely side dish and can be used in a beet salad, but not everyone is aware that you can freeze roasted beets, and they will keep for months and taste just as good as the day you roasted them. After you’ve roasted and frozen them in small batches, you can reheat them or just thaw and serve cold.
While you’re cooking and freezing things, it is worth noting that the traditional Eastern European beetroot soup, borscht, can also be prepared and then frozen in small batches to reheat later. In fact, just about any beetroot soup can be prepared in large batches and then frozen.
When you’re preparing and preserving all of this beetroot, don’t forget the greens. Those lovely greens that you’ve cut off the tops of your beets are also edible and quite tasty. They can be used in most of the same ways you would use collard greens or kale. They can be simply cooked, and because they are often a bit more tender than many types of greens, can even be prepared in a salad.
We’ve looked at all of the traditional and usual ways of cooking beets. If you still have leftovers and you still don’t know what else to do with them, it’s time to get weird. Have you ever tried beetroot bread to make pink sandwiches? Or how about beet pesto, to spread on crostini or toss with pasta? If you like potato pancakes, you can take that concept and combine it with beetroot to make a beet and potato roesti. For some exotic flavour, try an Indian-inspired Beetroot Raitha. You can also start your day with a breakfast of a vibrant pink beet and berry smoothie or some pink-tinged beet granola.
By now you may be getting tired of beetroot. It is time to start hiding the beets inside other foods. The best way to do this is beetroot cake with beet frosting. I’m not kidding. It is a chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting, dyed pink with beetroot. The sweetness of the beetroot blends with the chocolate flavour and adds extra moisture to the final cake. No one needs to know that your decadent dessert is full of vegetables.