Beet That!

Anyone who embraces his or her Ukrainian heritage is in the midst of a very busy time. Some of you might be puzzled by this, but anyone who enjoys Ukrainian cuisine knows that it’s the time of the year to celebrate the bounty of the beet. No other cultural group utilizes the common beet as well as Ukrainians. (But I admit I might be a bit biased about this.)

For the past few weeks beet leaves have been at the perfect stage for lazy beet rolls, beet and rice holubsti, and doughboys, or beetniks, as some call them. Just wrap a beet leaf around some dough, bake and voila, doughboys! Add a delicious dill cream sauce and a gourmet treat is at hand.

The young beets are also perfect for spring borsch. Nothing is as tasty as that first pot of beet soup straight from the garden. A slice of homemade bread to sop up the juice makes this a complete meal.

As the beet roots mature and become larger, huge stock pots of soup will be prepared and stored for winter use. This is also a good time to make some delicious beet relish to use as a garnish for many dishes. For extra zing horseradish can be added which takes this condiment to a whole new level.

Beets are excellent for pickles which are a colorful addition to any meal. The beets can also be cooked up like any other vegetable. I also remember my Baba making beet jelly.

The versatile beet offers many uses but for Ukrainians it has been a mainstay in their diet for generations. And you just can’t beat that!


Excerpt from Breast Friends Inspire Health, cookbook #6, page 123

Beets have unique detoxifiers, antioxidants and anti-inflammatories which are shown in their deep red-purple colour. Beets help to detoxify the kidney and liver. In studies, beets’ betalains helped to reduce tumour growth in the colon, nerve, lung, stomach, breast and prostate. The carotenoids in beets are important for eyes




Beet Relish

12 cups ground beets                          11/2 cups white sugar

2 cups vinegar                                     Ground horse radish to taste

3 tsp pickling salt

Boil vinegar, pickling salt and sugar. Pour over beets. Add ground horseradish. Heat until hot. Put into sterilized jars, tighten and store.






3 thoughts on “Beet That!

  1. I do remember eating beet jelly, Mom, made it most every year. Love all those items and have my beet relish still from last year. The beets here are grown as a late crop or a very early one.

  2. Mariann, I’m sure your mother was very familiar with all of these dishes. She was quite the cook! I still have a recipe for borsch that she wrote on the back of an envelope. A cherished momento!

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