CSA = Community Support Agriculture
CSA != Confederate States of America (in this context)
The Underwood Family Farms is my CSA supplier and I yet again ended up with an overabundance of beets. “What to do with the beets?” is one of those oft-repeated questions among CSA members.
Roasted beets with feta and arugula are wonderful, but sometimes the heavy, earthy flavor of beets is too much.
Borscht? No, I haven’t tried that one.
I frequently end up with muffins. Beet muffins don’t sound really appetizing, so I try to pass them off as just muffins unless someone asks.
Finding the right muffin recipe is important. Once I tried a new beet recipe that used chocolate and regular red sugar beets. I thought this would make a great red-velvet type muffin, but instead, well, as a co-worker put it: “They taste like dirt.” I wasn’t offended by the comment because I totally agreed. They really did taste like dirt. The cocoa powder brought out the earthy flavor of beets and this wasn’t really a good thing.
I tested a variety of pumpkin, carrot, and basic muffin recipes and finally I found a carrot muffin recipe from Vegetarian Lost and modified it for beets. Using whole wheat flour, a little oat bran, and a few spices provides a tasty, healthy muffin and masks the heavy flavor of beets. Shredded raw beets seem to work best as using roasted mashed beets can end up with chunks of beet, which have a not-so-appetizing texture.
1/2 cup very soft butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
2-3 cups shredded raw beets (red, candy cane, orange, or whatever beet variety is lying around)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup oat bran
1/4 cup soy flour (another flour type can be substituted)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 generous teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt, or two
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer.
3. Mix in eggs and then, shredded beets. Use the smallest possible shredding blade with a food processor to shred beets.
4. Add the dry ingredients onto the wet and blend with the mixer.
5. Heap into the greased muffin cups and bake for about 20 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.
Makes 12 muffins.