You can’t beet this

After two months of searching to find fresh beets here in Georgia (that don’t cost upwards of $3/lb), I finally found some!

Two lovely words for you: Super Target. $1.99 per BUNCH. Not pound, BUNCH! And today there just happened to be a bunch that had three ginormous beets twisty-tied together. See photo above: I put my fist in there for reference!

My entire family, including all four kids, LOVE LOVE LOVE beets. I’ll just cut the tops off, give the beets a good scrub (I could peel them, but that just makes my hands all red and the beet skin is so thin–like a carrot–that really just a good scrub will do) then chop them into cubes and boil them in water until they are fork tender.

Next I’ll drain off all that gorgeous red liquid and save whatever liquid I don’t use in the Harvard beets recipe below–a recipe my mom made for us when I was a little girl that I’ve always loved and now my family loves too! (I’ve used the reserved juice for all sorts of things from chocolate cake to chili. It’s a gorgeous color and full of beet nutrients, so don’t just pour it down the drain–find something you can add it to–even if you just add it to pancake mix to make them a crazy cool color naturally)

Harvard Beets

  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 1/4 C water (I use reserved beet juice/cooking liquid)
  • 1/4 C vinegar

Cook together until thickened. Add drained beets and simmer. Add 1 T butter just before serving to make the sauce velvety smooth.

We’ll eat these beets tonight with ground beef in gravy and mashed potatoes. My girls love to drizzle some of the bright Harvard beet juice onto their mashed potatoes and swirl them all around until they have a fluffy pile of vibrant fuschia colored mash. Anything to get them to eat their vegetables, right?

Why eat beets at all? Beets are a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Magnesium and Potassium, as well as Folate and Manganese. They’re provide antioxidant and  anti-inflammatory benefits as well as support your body’s natural detox processes. Beets also provide fiber to help fight against heart disease as well as anti-cancer properties.

NOTE: (possible TMI warning)

After consuming beets (especially fresh-cooked beets using lots of their richly pigmented juices) one may experience some slight color variations in their bodily “emissions”…both solid and liquid forms, so don’t be alarmed if your post-beet-meal trip to the restroom is a bit more “colorful” than usual. My kids actually love this “side effect” of beets. Chemistry is fascinating, isn’t it?

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