Beets can be cooked just about any way you like. They are great boiled or baked, sautéed or stewed. Usually I cut them into bite size pieces to bake in the oven because I love roasted beets! Simply coat in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake at 375 °F for about 35 minutes (try adding some parsley when they’re done). But they can just as easily be cooked in a frying pan along with other veggies. The beet greens are great sautéed as well so don’t throw them out! Try cooking the greens in a little olive oil with garlic, salt and pepper on medium heat until bright green – be careful not to over cook.
Popular as a finger food, celery also makes a flavorful addition to soups. Because of their crescent shape, they make a great healthy medium to stuff as a fun and flavorful snack. You can get creative when it comes to what you put on them: Peanut or almond butter is the classic pairing but you can pair celery with just about any snack dipper. Cream cheese makes a good filler, try it mixed with chopped nuts and raisins. Homemade ranch or Hummus also makes a good savory pairing. Celery is also great in salad. It can lend itself to the sweet: using thinly sliced apples, pecans, raisins, yogurt or sour cream, honey and a pinch of cinnamon, or, the savory: with lettuce or spinach, finely chopped onion, olive oil, lemon juice or vinegar, salt and pepper.
Savory is an aromatic herb similar in flavor to thyme that works well to season fish and meats as well as vegetables like summer squash, green beans, and tomatoes. It is perhaps best known for flavoring lentils and beans, where it helps with digestion. Savory blends nicely with other spices such as rosemary, basil, oregano, marjoram, and bay leaf. Strip the leaves from the stalk and add towards the end of cooking to best preserve the flavor. This savory was cut at prime while flowering and dried for packing early August.
Chocolate Beetroot Cake
Who knew that adding this vegetable to a chocolate cake could make it the most moist and delicious cake ever? The beetroot plays up the chocolate but you’ll be hard-pressed to taste it! Ingredients:
3-4 medium beets, trimmed, peeled, and cut into 2-inch chunks*
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups organic whole cane sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoon Salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup safflower oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Cover beets with 2 inches water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until very tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp paring knife, about 30 minutes. Drain. Puree beets in a food processor until smooth. (See note, below)
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Add in eggs, water, oil, vanilla, and 1 1/4 cups beet puree (reserve any remaining puree for another use). Whisk until just combined.
- Line the bottom of a 9 x 3-inch round cake pan with parchment, and coat pan with spray. Pour batter into pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Turn cake out from pan onto racks, and discard parchment. Let cool completely, right side up.
- Trim top of cake using a serrated knife to create a level surface. Transfer cake, cut side down, to a platter. Pour chocolate glaze over the top, and let set, about 30 minutes.
*If you don’t have a food processor, leave the beets whole when cooking, then grate beets on your finest-hole cheese grater.
Adapted from marthastewart.com