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Saturday, April 23, 2011

the beet. is neat. and sweet. such a treat.

I don't know if you remember, but last time I got beets in my box, I avoided them like the plague. They sat in my fridge and called out to me every time I opened the door, until I finally made a beet salad.

Having gotten over my fear of beets, I went ahead and confronted the beets yesterday... only two days after the four of them came home to roost. And boy am I happy I did! Not only did I cook them, I ate them all up... single-handedly.  Sorry to those other people who live with me. I didn't share.

The beet is really not such a beautiful vegetable on the outside.

It does have a beautiful ruby red inside, though, as my fingers can testify.

Last time I cooked beets, I felt bad about all the vitamins that got thrown out with the bathwater...

So this time I went for a recipe that didn't involve boiling these guys. As a matter of fact, I didn't even peel them, so they didn't lose any nutrients that way, either. And all you add to the beets is salt, so there isn't any added calories or fats, either. Win-win-win!

I present to you.... Beet chips!

First, slice the beets as thinly as you can. If you have a mandolin, use it. I don't, so I went ahead and did the best I could with a knife. Lay the slices out on a baking sheet, on top of a sheet of parchment paper. With parchment paper, you don't even need add oil. Shake a little salt onto each beet slice, and pop them in an oven that has been heated to 325 degrees.

These take a little longer to cook than other veggie chips. Start checking them after about half an hour.
You will know when they are done when they turn a lighter pink color.

Not done beet chip                            done beet chip 

Take out any chips that have turned pink, and let the rest keep cooking. Lay the done chips on a cutting board so they can cool and crisp up. As for the rest, check them every five minutes or so. After they turn pink, they can burn and turn back to a darker color, so you want to make sure you get them out while they are pink. Keep pulling out the done chips when you check, and let the rest cook. The thinner they are, the faster they will cook, of course, and the less likely they are going to turn tough and stale over time.

It was all I could do to wait long enough to take a picture of these before I ate them. I was eating them as they came out of the oven in little batches!  They are great by themselves, or dipped (I had some leftover yogurt-dill dip), and if I had any left, I would crumble them on top of a salad. I can always hope for more beets next week!

While I was at it, I used the green leaves to make some green chips. Here is how you do it, if you are interested. They are also a delicious and nutritious snack.