Appalachian Food Gardening

Cooking Beets

Growing Beets

Thanks to the generosity of Hometown Seeds-this is the first year we’ve tried our hand at growing Beets. As you can see-we’ve had a huge success. Last week we got our first Beets from the garden. Not only had I never grew Beets before this year-I’d never cooked Beets either. Miss Cindy was here for a visit-so she showed me how she cooks them.

First she cuts off the tops and put them in water to wash. (who knew you can eat them just like you would spinach or any other type of greens)

Miss Cindy said since Beets can be hard to peel-she cooks them without peeling. Once the beets have cooked-she cuts off the top and bottom portion-then the rest of the peel just slips right off.

Once the Beets are peeled-you can slice them up and eat them. But since The Deer Hunter likes Pickled Beets-Miss Cindy pickled them.

She sliced them up and cut the slices into quarters. On the stove she brought some water, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, sugar and apple cider vinegar to a boil-then added in the cut up Beets.

Then she poured the mixture into a canning jar and placed it in the frig for a couple of hours.

For the Beet Greens-she washed them good-then cut them into pieces-including the stems; put them in a pot with a small amount of water and cooked them. I was pleasantly surprised to discover I really liked the Beet Greens-they tasted similar to Spinach.

Tipper

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32 Comments

  • Reply
    Dee from Tennessee
    June 23, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    Here I am …a senior citizen and I’ve never tasted beets! Maybe I’ll give them a try before I kick the bucket!

  • Reply
    Becky
    June 22, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    I’m curious to know how they know what dirt tastes like? tee hee
    I’ve never eaten a beet that wasn’t pickled. So I don’t know if I like them or not.
    As for the greens…..I don’t care for any kind of cooked greens. Too slimy!

  • Reply
    meemsnyc
    June 20, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    We’re growing beets too, but they weren’t doing so well. Hopefully we’ll be able to harvest some of them. You can also eat radish greens too, which are also very tasty.

  • Reply
    Janet
    June 18, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    We haven’t planted beets for years. I love pickled beets, I just bought a jar a few days ago. Maybe next year we’ll try to grow some.

  • Reply
    trisha too
    June 18, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    My mom and uncle love pickled beets–my uncle actually grew and canned his own last year!
    I’m with the nut-jobs. Beets taste like DIRT!
    (But the juice is pretty.)

  • Reply
    Brenda Kay Ledford
    June 18, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Tipper,
    I love beets and I’m so glad you posted this about beets. Wow! You already have some from the garden. That’s wonderful. We didn’t sow any beets seeds this year. I wonder if it’s too late to sow some? I like beets very much. We used to can a lot of beets and pickle them, too.

  • Reply
    Kim Campbell
    June 17, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    I just cannot acquire a taste for beets. My mom eats them and she also puts hard boiled eggs in beet juice. They LOOK pretty……but….mmm…not for me!! lolol!

  • Reply
    Mary
    June 16, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    I’ve never grown any beets. My dad always has plenty that he shares. I really prefer them pickled, too. I do eat them boiled, but I’ve neve eaten the beet greens. Thanks for sharing this!

  • Reply
    Fishing Guy
    June 16, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Tipper: I love beets on a salad bar. I think they taste like corn. They have a real similar flavor. Think about it the next time you have some. The wife loves beets also.

  • Reply
    Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski
    June 16, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Another terrific post … I concur, beets can taste like dirt and they are an acquired taste. May I pass along another terrific beet recipe?
    Spinach salad w/beets & oranges
    2 navel oranges
    6 cups torn spinach
    3 cups shredded peeled beets
    about 1 pound
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    2 tablespoons minced shallots
    1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    1/4 cup minced fresh chives
    1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
    Peel oranges, and cut each crosswise into 5 slices
    Place spinach on a large platter. Spoon beets onto spinach, and arrange orange slices on beets.
    Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots, and saute 1 minute or until tender. Stir in vinegar and pepper, drizzle over salad. Sprinkle with chives and walnuts.
    (one of my favorite beet recipe from the other Miss Cindy!)

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    June 15, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    I’m not crazy about pickled beets but I really like beet greens and boiled or roasted beets with butter. But my favorite is grated raw beets in salads.

  • Reply
    MissFiFi
    June 15, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    Beets are wonderful and yours look really great. My fave way to have them is with balsamic vinegar and black pepper. So tasty. In a salad with goat cheese….such a lovely veggie and now I wish I had grown them!

  • Reply
    Em
    June 15, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    I love beets… I’m trying to grow them this year – also for the first time. Haven’t had any worth pulling yet. They’ve had a hard time fighting the weeds! I think I need to start them earlier next year, indoors – I’ve heard they do fine transplanted!

  • Reply
    GrannyPam
    June 15, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    My girls never would eat them either, and they said the same thing, “Tastes like dirt”. But Bill and I eat them cooked all the time, and love them. I also pickle some for me, he doesn’t eat them pickled. I cook them exactly the same way you do, I just rinse the mud off them outside, then cut the tops short, throw them in a pot and boil. Any extra sand sinks to the bottom of the pot, really. I don’t eat the tops, though. Cooked greens were not part of my experience growing up in northern Michigan, and they aren’t my favorite.

  • Reply
    Susie
    June 15, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    Well like you, I’ve never cooked them before either. I think that’s funny they taste like dirt.

  • Reply
    betsyfromtennessee
    June 15, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    Hi Tipper, I love beets —but NOT pickled… I don’t care for pickled anything much… BUT—I can eat beets just plain with a little salt and butter. YUM…
    I’ve never had the beet greens before—never even thought about having them… But–I like spinach so I guess I’d like the beet greens.
    Thanks for an interesting post.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

  • Reply
    Ken
    June 15, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Hey Tipper,
    Nice post on the beets. Love your
    radio station: it played plum up to about #47 before I had to go and do something else.
    When I was a small boy my mama
    would be fix’en beets and she’d give me one to gnaw on. Before long my face was a mess, but I ate
    dirt back then so it seemed to neutralize the red stain.

  • Reply
    Anastasia
    June 15, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    Your beets look super! Pickled beets are very popular in Greece and Cyprus. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I think beets are much richer in folate and manganese rather than in iron. In Greece, we use them raw in salads and they’re just as delicious.

  • Reply
    Stacey
    June 15, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    Beets are probably one of my favorite foods. I love to pickle them then put a mess of them in a salad…you don’t even need any dressing!
    Stacey
    SWPA

  • Reply
    Eva M. Wike, Ph.D.
    June 15, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    YOUR BEETS ARE BEAUTIFUL! Bacek in the Cove during our canning summers peeling the beets was my job. Mama had six daughters and she had them all ‘available’ during any canning and preserving process! We never ask why just “WHEN will this canning season be over with?” But those foods we ‘put up’ were mighty good in the winter. Pickled beets were my favor right!
    Eva Nell – Matheson Cove

  • Reply
    Grace
    June 15, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    As an adult I like both cooked and pickled beets….however, as a kid I hated them! I would always get pickled beets confused with candied apple slices when they’d be served with school lunch. Needless to say, biting into a pickled beet no matter how good is no replacement for a candied apple slice!

  • Reply
    Granny Sue
    June 15, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    I love beets too. I usually can some plain, and pickle some. And freeze the beet greens that we don’t eat. Yum! they’re high in iron and all sorts of other good stuff.
    I’ve grown the golden kind but don’t like them as well as the red beets. You can plant them as a fall cover crop too.

  • Reply
    Ethel
    June 15, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Last year Pop grew beets for the first time. I had never cooked them from scratch either and tried them roasted. Yummiest veggie I’ve ever eaten! You just wash, trim and oil them, sprinkle with salt and bake at 375 for 1 to 1 1/2 hours till they’re tender. You can slip off the peels if you want. The roasting brings out their natural sweetness – though they do still taste like dirt. Count me among the nut-jobs!

  • Reply
    chris
    June 15, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    If you want some nice things to do with beets, check out Russian recipes. There is a standard awesome beet salad involving grated beets and garlic that is really good. You get the earthy beet taste, but because of the garlic and the rest, it is a solid background, not the only taste. And of course, many kinds of borscht!

  • Reply
    Pat in east TN
    June 15, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    I never liked beets when I was young, but after growing my own, I really got to like them, and pickling them is simply THE best!

  • Reply
    sandra
    June 15, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    I love beets but have never eaten a fresh one. these look delish to me. i also did not know they had to be peeled. thanks for all the info.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    June 15, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Tipper, I never met a cooked green that I didn’t like!!
    I guess the Deer Hunter acquired his love of greens from me!
    I like them young and tender so they can be barely steamed then eaten.
    Your beets and the greens were wonderful!

  • Reply
    Osagebluffquilter
    June 15, 2010 at 11:31 am

    I like beets once in a great while. My Mom use to fix them.
    Thanks for renewing that memory.

  • Reply
    Sarah
    June 15, 2010 at 11:10 am

    i like to cook them, peel them and then chill them in the fridge. i then cut them up and mix with a little salt and a bit of oil. mmmmmmmm.

  • Reply
    threecollie
    June 15, 2010 at 10:56 am

    We simply love beets. Ours aren’t ready just yet, but soon…and we are using the tiniest greens raw in salads.

  • Reply
    Patty Hall
    June 15, 2010 at 10:29 am

    I think they taste like dirt too.

  • Reply
    Just Jackie
    June 15, 2010 at 10:16 am

    I love pickeled beets more than any other veggie. I have been known to buy a jar and eat the whole thing.(at one sitting) I started some beets this Spring but never got around to setting them out. Only thing I have in my garden this year is tomatoes, basil and red onions. Sound like all I need is a head of lettuce. LOL

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