Friday, May 13, 2011

What to Do with all those Beets?

I've never grown beets. 
We learned that fact already this week. 
BUT I HAVE done a pretty good amount of BEETS-RESEARCH. 
(retaining it, that is the problem)

I'm figuring IF I've lived 46 years and had to learn what I can about beets ...JUST NOW,  then maybe there is someone else out there that would benefit from this info...
From here on out ...it's point and shoot,people.  Pretty basic stuff. 

So please humor me Please hold all questions until the end of class. 

I'm guessing this is a 1 gallon pot. 
Start the water to boil--- I covered mine so it would boil faster. (lid not pictured-- smile--) 

 Chopped ALL TOPS off the beets...
Leaving about 2 inches of stems.
The reason for this is the beets will bleed out into the water loosing color, nutrients, and flavor. 
Notice the roots are still attached as well,  they need to remain during cooking for the same reason. 
WE'LL COME BACK TO COOKING THESE BEETS IN ANOTHER POST. 


The beet tops are full of nutrients and fall into the 'GREENS' category of your diet... Actually related to the CHARD FAMILY. I've NEVER had greens, WELL, except for lettuce and spinach. (I know!! I've lead a pretty sheltered life for someone who was born and  raised in the SOUTH)
RUMOR HAS IT ALL SOUTHERNERS EAT GREENS.  it's just a rumor. 


**** This method is for BLANCHING THE GREENS TO FREEZE THEM*** 


Ok...so you wash the greens. 2 TIMES.
First you wash them. ALL. Then you drain the water. Get fresh water. AND REPEAT.  

Check the water. It's got to be boiling. 
Eventually it does. JUST STOP WATCHING IT. IT WILL BOIL... TRUST ME. 


In the mean time you need to set up your ICY COLD WATER.
For this I used an Ice chest. And added ICE.  


For beets the blanching time is 2 minutes.  You put the GREENS in the boiling water; leaving them for 2 minutes. The Blanching process is to stop the enzymes from doing their thing... and causing the GREENS to continue to age... (sorry, don't know the technical jargon...ISN'T THAT WHAT GOOGLE'S FOR?)

Some methods say for you to use a bag or strainer.???  I had neither. So I used some tongs. 
I hope I didn't BRUISE MY GREENS!! 


EVENTUALLY, MY WATER BOILED. 


 Notice... the water isn't boiling. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I added the greens to the water, it stopped boiling. It would pick back up after a few seconds though. I don't know if this will effect the greens either. 


 I then took the GREENS out and threw them in this strainer... NOPE,NO SHOT OF THAT.
But here's a shot of my strainer... point and shoot, people. 

I tossed the greens in the cooler. 
But...not to be left longer than two minutes.  The icy cold water is to stop the blanching/COOKING process. 

I then placed little batches in GALLON SIZED  baggies(cause that's what I had) for the freezer.
TA-DA!

I'm now the proud freezer prepped owner of about 6 pints of greens. Roughly equal to 6 cans of spinach! Only I grew these.
Myself.
In my garden.
With the LORD's blessing.
{BIG SMILE}

While doing my research. I came up with a recipe for cooking these GREENS and hope to post that soon! It sounded really TASTY!

God Bless you and Thanks for reading!
Farm Girl Friday Blog Hop

*** Here is an extra tip for you water conservationist out there-- if you're interested.
I saved my rinse water, both batches in another container. Plus my ice water and boiling water AND! the water I later boiled my beets in, as well.  Put it all in the cooler and took it outside and watered my garden with it! YES. I. DID! 



4 comments:

Granny said...

I love any kind of greens and your beet greens look really great.

Lisa said...

YOU just make me smile every time I read one of your posts! I put my seeds in the ground two days ago and can't wait to do this with them! Awesome info, thank you!

Lindy said...

I love this post! I just cooked my first "mess" of green beans tonight....they were so good!

TASO said...

I love all parts of beets! Last year I tried growing them and found out the hard way that they were actually a cool weather crop! Well, that's how we learn isn't it? Trial and error. Those greens are going to be so tasty! Looks like the effort was very worthwhile.