Can’t beet this Week

Jacksons Michael and Janet, Gloria Estefan, Public Enemy, and many more that will really date me – there are a lot of musical references that could lead into this week’s theme. But after a week of exams and a new volunteering gig, I’ve got decision fatigue like you wouldn’t believe. Since I couldn’t pick just one, humor me and hum the “beats” related song of your choice while gazing on these:

Are beets musical? No. Good source of vitamins A and C, folate, potassium, and beneficial pigmented phytochemicals betalains and anthocyanins? Yes. Tasty when roasted, boiled, or even grated raw, and especially well-paired with earthy soft cheeses like brie or goat cheese? Oh, heck yes.

Roasted beets topped with goat cheese and a little balsamic vinegar is a staple side dish at our house. And while that combo accounts for, say 87% of the recipes I found including beets, you’d probably like a more diverse week’s worth, right? So I dug up some ways to eat beets uncooked (people do that?), have beets for breakfast, and even turn beets into ice cream.

One beet recipe caused a fair deal of cognitive dissonance: the custard-style oatmeal with beets.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s good, and pretty easy to make. It’s just that it comes out subtly sweet, and I think evolution trained us to expect a punch in the mouth from anything so fuchsia. Its flavor is squarely in oatmeal’s comfort-food corner. That said, I bet that recipe would be a great way to entice picky eaters into trying beets (since their flavor folds into the oatmeal so easily) or oatmeal (hot pink breakfast! Awesome!).

Before I get too far down the oatmeal path, let’s bring those beets back (aha! I got one in). Here is the week’s worth of recipes:

  • Beet and quinoa pilaf, from NY Times (here)
  • Beet gratin with greens and goat cheese, from Serious Eats (here)
  • Beet red custard oatmeal, from Healthy with Heather (here) – I topped mine with some crunchy almond butter
  • Beets with mint and yogurt, from Epicurious (here)
  • Brie and beets appetizer, from Culinary.net (here)
  • Dark chocolate and roasted beet ice cream, from Serious Eats (here)
  • Golden beet and hazelnut salad, from Sunday Suppers (here)

7 comments

  1. Molly says:

    Ooh, I love the sound of the dark chocolate and roasted beet ice cream. I came across a beet bread pudding recipe earlier this year and was blown away. For some reason, I was expecting savory, but it was definitely a sweet dessert.

    • eatingtheweek says:

      Bread puddings are a big favorite of my husband’s! If you wouldn’t mind sharing the recipe, I’d love to try it.

  2. I think the fact you mention all of these phytochemicals in your post is reason enough to ask your biochem professor to lay off… clearly your time in the kitchen is academic ;-)

    • eatingtheweek says:

      Heh, thanks! His bonus question on the recent exam was about the mechanism by which vit C causes scurvy (lots of left-handed alpha-helix this, hydroxyproline that); much less interesting than “why is maple syrup awesome on everything?”

  3. Serena says:

    I’m making the gratin TONIGHT! I have beets coming out my ears…and this is a great way to use the greens too. I’ve never seen a recipe like this…thanks for scouting it out!(:

    • eatingtheweek says:

      The greens are always a conundrum for me, too! I will admit, more of than not, they end up in our guinea pigs’ fresh veggie buffet. But that gratin is a great way to use the whole shebang.

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