Stocking the Pantry- Beetroots

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Now beetroot has been one of the vegetables that I’ve never really known what to do with. This could be because they look kinda odd with there purpley [ is that even a word??] skin and are very very messy. Have you ever tried to clean your hands after cutting beetroot? Or clean chopping boards and counter tops? My kitchen looks like a crime scene on NCIS. I wouldn’t mind this if Mark Harmon was going to pop round and investigate, but sadly I don’t think this will happen.

What I usually do with Beetroot is cut them into wedges, cover with oil and roast to create yummy Beetroot wedges.  Brilliant alternative to chips or potatoes. My hubbie however suggested that I try pickling Beetroot instead. He thought that this would help use up some of the beets , so less wastage and they could be kept and stored for longer.

Interesting tidbits……Whilst researching Beetroot recipes I found out that beetroots are highly nutritious ,a good source of folic acid,  high in antioxidants ( including Betaine which has anti-inflammatory properties), vitamins and minerals. Apparently beets were used in the past for liver disorders to stimulate the livers detoxification processes. I found this really interesting given my health issues, that require daily folic acid tablets and auto immuno suppressant medication to prevent my immune system attacking my liver.*

I wonder if eating more beetroot would really help my health issues……??? I would be interested to hear other peoples opinion or experiences on this. Although not sure these benefits still apply to eating pickled beetroots. I would probably need to eat them raw or drink beetroot juice….. beleugh!  The butter, chocolate, whole milk and cheese addiction also may cancel out any health benefits.

Researching pickled beetroot recipes on the Internet, many of them seemed to call for cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns, bay leaves, sugar and a cornucopia of other ingredients however I decided to use my mother in laws recipe which basically used beetroots, salt, vinegar and water. Simples!

Hubby brought in a net ( yes, a net, he said he wasn’t sure how many I would need!) of beetroots, and by brought in I meant he came in the door and dumped them on the kitchen floor. The beetroots were all still covered with mud, which meant my floor was all covered in mud too. Given the smallness of my kitchen, I have often tripped over veg littering my floor and sometimes feel I’m on an obstacle assault course, between avoiding the veg and the wellies!

I gently washed the beetroot, about 6 of them of varying sizes ( some the size of a tennis ball, some much bigger, but not quite as big as a football, well a soccer ball as opposed to an American football!).

I then brought a pan of salted water to a simmer, and placed the beetroots in the pan. I simmered on low heat for about 1 1/2 hours and then tested with a knife to ensure the beets were soft. Although I have received conflicting information about using a knife to do this so I’m sure some of you are screaming “Noooo ….what did you do that for?”

I then drained the water and placed beets in a sieve and ran them under a cold tap, then left them aside to cool further.

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Whilst the beetroot was simmering, I placed some jars in the oven at 150° for about 20 minutes to sterilise and placed the lids in a basin of boiling water.

Once the beetroot cooled, and using rubber gloves so I didn’t get covered with beetroot juice ( I had learned my lesson the hard way! ) and also using a plastic chopping board, I gently rubbed the skin of the beetroot to remove skins and then sliced the beets into about 1/4 inch slices. These were then added to jars, which I filled about 3/4 full. I didn’t take any photos of this as that would have meant removing my beetroot covered gloves and knowing my luck my wee Samsung camera would have got all covered with beetroot juice! As well as covering myself with it too!

I used a mixture of half white distilled vinegar and half water and mixed. I started off with 2 cups of vinegar to 2 cups of water, however this will vary depending on how much you are making. You can also use all vinegar, but this may make it very vinegary but its personal preference. It is also easy to make up more of the mix if you run out. I then poured the vinegar/water mixture into the jars, covering the beetroot.

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I got 7 jars, of assorted sizes ( as you can see in the photo) but I also had some cooked beets left over that hubbie ate when he came in for work only because I had no sterilised jars left.

This was so easy to make, so please don’t be put off by the time it takes to simmer or by the possible mess. Use rubber gloves and a smooth plastic chopping board ( ones with groves or uneven surface  or wooden ones will absorb the juice and stain) as these can be easily cleaned, place newspapers under your chopping board to catch any juice or mess. I have heard that washing your hands in lemon juice can also help, but if you use gloves you won’t need to do this.

Whilst searching beetroot recipes I also came across chocolate cake using beetroot…. I think this is a recipe will be put on the list of things i want… NO need to bake!

Does anyone else have good recipes that use beetroot?? Or other recipes for pickling and preserving veg or making chutneys? We have access to lots of organic veg such as carrots, onions, cabbage, parsnips, leeks, kale, Kohlrabi, Celeriac, Turnips so would be good to know what else I could do with them. Please comment on this post or email me at weebluemixer@gmail.com

P.s Hubby has warned me that eating too many beets could result in purple coloured pee! Lovely. We best not eat the 7 jars too quickly then!

 

 *References: Information on the supposed health properties of Beetroot http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/ingredient-focus-beetroot, http://www.theautoimmunewellnessproject.com/, https://www.allnaturalsupplements.co.uk/health-benefits-of-beetroot/4/

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