Sunday, July 15, 2012

Bring on the Beets

As much as I want to be that mom that drives a hybrid and outfits my children in hemp and secondhand organic cotton, I spend a lot of time at Target. And Starbucks. And while I'm making confessions, sometimes I don't turn the engine off on the minivan while I'm waiting to pick up the kids. Yup. I idle.

But, I do buy organic as much as I can. Dairy and meat almost always, skincare most of the time, produce when it makes sense. I turn off the water while brushing my teeth. The kids color on recycled paper that goes back into the recycling bin. And we subscribe to a weekly CSA box from Angelic Organics. That's a whole share, people. No half-boxes here.

I adore our weekly CSA box. Opening the flaps of that waxy cardboard to a chorus of oohs and ahhs from dill-sniffing, lettuce munching munchkins is pure joy. But there is one problem. The beets.

That's one week's worth, people. There will be more to come in six days and counting. Another confession. I can't stand beets. Yes, I've tried them with goat cheese. I've tried them in salads, roasted, candied. And you know what? I still don't like beets.

But in all fairness I've been calling out the kids a lot lately claiming that they can't say they don't like something until they've tried it in every possible preparation we can find. So, I've got some work to do. Beet chips. It worked for the kids with kale chips. Let's go.

Okay, they are freakishly beautiful. If the chips don't go over well maybe I'll just use the next batch to make some natural dyes. I mean come on, look at those things.
Beet Chips with Curried Yogurt Dip*

4-6 beets, thinly and uniformly sliced on a mandolyn
Canola or vegetable oil for frying
1 tsp. salt
1 cup Greek yogurt (fat content of your choice)
1 tbsp. curry powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. cilantro, finely chopped

1. Heat oil in a deep, heavy bottomed pot to 350 degrees. Add beet slices in small batches and fry until bubbling subsides and edges curl and brown. Interestingly I found different colored beats needed varying frying times with the dark purple beets taking the longest. I'm assuming this has to do with different water content but use your judgement. I recommend frying batches of one color at a time. Nobody likes soggy chips. Burned ones, I kind of dig, but the choice is yours. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt while still warm.

2. For the dip, combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and mix until well combined. Serve alongside the beet chips.

*My kids struggle to gain weight and I was really trying to sell these so I fried our chips. You could save yourself a heck of a lot of calories and oil by baking them instead. Just toss the beet slices in a little oil and place them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until crisp and nicely browned.
Verdict? They. Were. Awesome. I'm still not ready to dig into a bowl of borscht, but seriously, these were perhaps the most delicious chips I've ever eaten. The sweetness from the beets really enhances the salty crispiness we're used to in chips. Bean couldn't get enough. Roo, upon tasting his first chip, instructed me to make all of the rest exactly like the one in his mouth. High praise from a boy who fasts like a martyr much of the time. And Looly, well, she was the lone holdout but it's no surprise. She's a slow sell and she's finally coming around to kale chips so give us a few months.


  1. Heh. We were just debating the other day what to do with all the beets we just received! K doesn't like beets, either, so I think some beet chips are in our future... I'm sure C will like them!

    1. I'm glad the post was so timely. K has to try the chips! I was sure I couldn't be persuaded but these did the trick...I couldn't stop thinking about them afterward. And as for C, what little girl could resist pink chips?!

  2. I've always loved canned beets as a kid but just recently tried fresh beets... although a pain to cook with they are awesome. I'm loving this recipe and can't wait to give it a try!

    1. You're way ahead of me on the canned beets! The chips are really delicious and easy too.

  3. I cannot wait to try this. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Hey Rhea! Let me know how it goes. I really loved these. We just got more beets so looking at another batch soon. :)