What do you do when your produce gets out of control? How do you wind up with a 2 pound beet?
Well, it’s pretty easy actually. You send your oldest child off to college, the only other beet-lover/eater in your family, disappear for a few weekends during harvest season, and let rain keep you inside when you should be out checking on your garden. Before you know it you could end up with some whopping big beets, too or maybe that should be 2.282 pounds that is.
Now, I hate to see food go to waste, but I especially hate to see food I’ve grown myself go to waste. I planted seeds, watered, fertilized, weeded, and waited; I’ve got to do something with this monstrosity. I like beets, I’ll eat them boiled, roasted, pickled, and pureed, but two pounds is a bit much even for me. Larger beets tend to be woody, I’m not sure traditional preparations would be the best choice. So I went to Pinterest for ideas.
Have you heard of beets’ cleansing properties? Well, apparently beet juice is some kind of miracle drug. It will purify your blood, cleanse your liver, clear your skin, boost your libido, improve your mood, and tie your shoes if you’re lucky. OK, maybe not the last one, but you get the gist.
Raw beets are supposed to have the most health benefits, so I decided it was finally time to break out the juicer. That would be the juicer I bought at the beginning of the year when Baby Girl was on her raw food diet. It was one of those impulse buys when Sweet Miss and I were at Costco, and it’s never made it out of the box. But if it saves me from having to cook up and eat six pounds of beets (you see that big fella has friends), it may be worth it.
I really don’t know what my problem is. I have this aversion to gadgets, and a rather irrational fear that I’m going lose a finger, an eye, a hand, who knows? The directions were simple, a little cleaning, a little reading, a plunger to keep me away from moving parts, and all was good.
I mixed up a little of the giant beet, an apple, a couple carrots and wound up with this vibrant concoction. Isn’t the color gorgeous?
Baby Girl arrived home from practice in time to take a sip–only a sip. Apparently, the beet taste was too much for her; the color makes it impossible to disguise. I made her some tasty apple/carrot juice instead. If I’d known it was this easy, I’d have been making juice for months. To be honest, I was a little worried about beet juice myself, but I really liked it.
The rest of my giant beet made it into the fridge, cut into chunks, all ready for another round of drinks tomorrow.
The juicer wasn’t the only gadget I pulled out to tackle the beets. My handy-dandy slicer that I picked up off of freecycle made short work of thinly slicing a few more red gems.
Again, it took months for me to get over the fear of using this simple kitchen tool. I’m afraid of mechanical blades, or it could be that I’ve been known to get distracted and do something stupid. I had Sweet Miss’ fellow try out the slicer for the first time when we were making jerky. I figured if a kid could use it safely, I could, too. Now I cut up ham for deli sandwiches, a weeks supply of cheese, meat for jerky, and let’s go ahead and add beet chips to the list.
I used this easy recipe for Baked Rosemary Beet Chips from the Minimalist Baker. With a little rosemary, olive oil, and sea salt, I could eat a bowl of these tasty treats. But with the purported “cleansing” properties of beets, I’m going hold myself back.
Along with beets, I’ve been dealing with apples. Now, this is a problem I totally brought on myself. Baby Girl’s FFA chapter sells apples as a fundraiser, and I’ve been supporting them for the last few years. 40 pounds for $40 is a great deal, and these are sweet, juicy, locally-grown apples. So why did I think I needed 80 pounds? Oh, just for fun…
Baby Girl has been eating the box of honeycrisp apples for lunch, and I’ve been making applesauce out of the Jonamac. When I heard a lady at Bible study mention the food mill attachment she uses on her Kitchenaid mixer for making applesauce, I was intrigued. When I arrived home last week, I immediately looked it up on Amazon. Well, they had a ton of options, and I was confused. Next thing I know, after an email and a phone call, my friend let me test drive her gadget.
I’m not sure if this is considered high tech or low tech, but it is slick.
I lightly steamed six pounds of apples.
Sent them through the food mill/vegetable strainer attachment and wound up with simple apple goodness.
The worms enjoyed the peels, and I boiled the sauce for five minutes before putting it up in jars. I turned 13 pounds of apples into 10 pints of sauce before lunch–not a bad way to spend the morning.
I still have tons of apples, and I still have lots of beets. No need to worry; Pinterest has a million recipes. Just be careful when I offer you some brownies or chocolate cupcakes. They just might have a mystery ingredient, but hey, your skin is going to glow, and you’ll be regular.
Are you a beet lover? What’s your go-to gadget?