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Beets: A Down-to-Earth Root

By Becca Knutson
Community Garden Coordinator, Tarrant Area Food Bank

February is typically a month that is covered in pink, red and white and surrounded by hearts and flowers. After an unusually cold winter in the garden, any glimpse of warmth and love is welcomed. Here at Tarrant Area Food Bank, we are warming up by celebrating Food is Love Month.

February is also a fantastic time to remember a beautiful, earthy root vegetable that everyone loves to hate. Beets are constantly being passed up for carrots, rutabagas, radishes, potatoes and other more popular root vegetables. I think it is time to give beets a chance to be loved. After all, February is a month that is full of love!

In February’s Kitchen Garden Cooking School Harvest Series workshop, we will be talking all about beets – how to grow them, what vitamins and minerals they provide and I will demonstrate three different ways to prepare beets. The delicious recipes presented in class are sure to make you change your mind about beets.

My favorite recipe from class is Swedish Baked Beets. The recipe is simple and easy to make. The flavors of the onion and beets come together to create a comforting warm flavor that anyone could enjoy.

Swedish Baked Beets

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Serves: 4-6
Serving Size: 1 cup

Ingredients
  • 6-8 small beets
  • 2 red onions
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sour cream (optional)
Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Scrub and rinse beets. Pat all produce dry.
3. Wrap unpeeled beets in foil, drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper.
4. Close the foil, put in a roasting pan and roast until tender. This may take up to an hour based on the size of your beets
5. Peel and slice red onion into chunky wedges.
6. Put the onion wedges in a pan, drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper and roast for 23-30 minutes until the tips are slightly singed.
7. When the beets are tender, peel the beets and cut into bite-sized wedges
8. Place on a serving dish with the onions and top with fresh dill.
9. Serve hot with sour cream on the side.

Substitutions
  • Use golden or Chioggia beets for a variety in color.
  • You can use white onion instead of red.
  • Substitute parsley for the dill.
  • Add some horseradish for a spicy kick.

Remember to take some time this month for this down-to-earth root. In the spirit of February and Food is Love Month, let’s give beets another chance!

To register for the next Kitchen Garden Cooking School workshop or other events, visit tarrantareafoodbank.eventbrite.com. Visit our Nutrition Services page to learn about our other programs.

Here are some other recipes for you to try:

You can search for more healthy recipes using the keyword “recipe” in our search box.