Monday, August 29, 2011

Beet Root Powder

It occurs to me that I may have gone off the deep end with my latest garden veggie adventure.  By moving from borscht to beet root powder, I may have gone beyond the "practical, regular everyday" gardening things anyone can (or would want to) do at home.

I'm sorry, but the beets just came coming and I have this new dehydrator and before I knew it, I was dehydrating beets. It all happened so quickly.

The fact is, I wanted to make some really awesome beet chips, like the ones that come in the really expensive bags of veggie chips in the potato chip aisle. I could almost taste them as I sliced three big beets and put them in the dehydrator.  (I tried deep frying and oven baking beets last year.)

It took two days and one night to dry them until they were actually crispy. But as you can see, they didn't come out looking like expensive veggie chips.  They came out looking... well, let's say they were a little weird.  And as for taste - they were quite sweet and tasted very much like a beet.  The dehydrator took out all the water and left all the things that makes a beet a beet - the sweetness, the earthy flavour and the colour.  If you really, really love those things then you'd probably love dehydrated beets.  We're still learning to appreciate beets, so this concentrated beet flavour was a little too much for us.

Then I remembered reading this blog post from Well Preserved about beet root powder.  And thus began my adventure into beet root powder!
beet chips in coffee grinder (should make the next cup of espresso interesting!)
ground to a fine powder

I suspect this powder will last us a while
yup, beet root powder
Apparently 1 tsp of beet root powder has the equivalent nutrition of one whole beet!  That's pretty powerful.  I think I'll toss in a little beet root powder in whatever I can get away with and whatever could use a little colour.  The trick will be to find the right balance between adding enough for colour and nutritional value but not enough to overwhelm the main dish with the taste of beet.

I tried adding some to vanilla yogurt and it worked out pretty well.  The colour changed but the flavour didn't change very much at all.
a great colouring agent
vanilla yogurt with a little beet root powder for colour
I could definitely see adding the powder to some baking recipes (anything with cocoa) and to soups and sauces.

Wonder how long our jar of beet root powder will last!


Anonymous said...

I came across a carrot and red beet carrot cake. No one in the family noticed the added red beet ingredient in the carrot cake (it didn't even change the color). Making the powder seems like too much work.

Anonymous said...