Beets’ sweet taste reflects their high sugar content, which makes beets an important source for the production of refined sugar (yet, the beets that are used for sugar consumption are of a different type than the beets that you purchase in the store). Raw beet roots have a crunchy texture that turns soft and buttery when they are cooked. Beet leaves have a lively, bitter taste similar to chard. The main ingredient in the traditional eastern European soup, borscht, beets are delicious eaten raw, but are more typically cooked or pickled.
Since beet juice can stain your skin, wearing kitchen gloves is a good idea when handling beets. If your hands become stained during the cleaning and cooking process, simply rub some lemon juice on them to remove the stain.
I found this easy storage method on Martha Stewart’s food website. The site also has several recipes for beets and other seasonal produce- you might want to take a look.
“Cut the greens from the roots, leaving an inch of stem attached, and place the different parts in separate plastic bags and refrigerate. Beet roots will last at least a month, but you should use the greens within three or four days.”
For the beet lovers, here is a recipe to try out with the beets that come in your CSA. CSA member Jennifer Peterson was kind enough to share this recipe with us, found at http://thewaytomyfamilysheart.blogspot.com/2013/04/dark-chocolate-beet-brownies.html
- 2 large beets, peeled
- 3 large eggs
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips, at least 60% cocao
- In a medium saucepan, cover the beets with water by an inch. Place the pot over medium high heat and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer the beets until they are soft enough to easily be pierced through the center with a knife, about 25 minutes. Drain the beets and puree them. You may need to add a tablespoon or two of water to the beets to get them to puree smoothly, Add only what you need. Set the beet puree aside to cool.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, oil, and sugars. Add the vanilla extract and beet puree, and whisk to fully combine. Mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into the wet ingredients. Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into a 9×13 inch baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray, or lined with foil or parchment. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out clean but still moist. Cool the brownies completely before cutting. They will keep in an airtight container for 3 days.