When I was a kid, I used to think that beets taste like mud. I highly disliked the taste and that’s a pretty bold stance for a young Polish girl. Beets are incorporated in the Polish food culture and if you grew up in a Polish family then you should eat your barszcz or borsjtj in Russian (that is a well-known red beet soup). If you have Polish or Russian relatives, chances are that you’ve encountered this.. erh.. amazing soup. Although there are lots of people who can’t live without this soup, I sure can. And now, a couple of years later, nothing has really changed regarding my view on beets. They still taste like mud.
The previous three sentences are a strange way of staring a post about a recipe with beets in it. But over the course of years, my cooking skills have granted me the ability to cover up flavors I don’t necessarily enjoy. And so is the case with this recipe. If you or your kids or spouse also dislike the taste of beets then this recipe is for you. The beet flavor is still there but it’s merely a little earthy tone and is not dominant at all, so you won’t end up with associating them with mud if you’re sensitive or dislike the flavor just like me. Beets are good for you and should therefore be eaten. They’re packed with a lot antioxidants (the stuff that prevents you from getting cancer) and folate, which is a important vitamin for women, especially pregnant women (source). Even i you aren’t pregnant or don’t really fear cancer you should still consider eating beets. Amongst their many benefits the two interesting ones are the fact that they promote eye health and give you a nice tan (read more about their benefits here). So if you don’t want to end up with thick glasses later: eat your beets. Preferably this way:
Smoky beet patties with pine nuts
4-5 large beets*
1 small apple
1 medium-sized red onion
4 garlic gloves
1 and 1/2 cup or 3,5 dl oat flour
1/3 cup or 0,8 dl psyllium husks**
1/2 cup or 1,2 dl pine nuts***
1/3 cup or 0,8 dl rapeseed oil
2 T agave syrup or whatever sweetener you have at hand
1 tsp liquid smoke
3 T lemon juice
1 tsp kumin
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 T nutritional yeast (optional)
Olive oil for frying
*Should be just as big as your palm
**Those might be tricky to find so if you aren’t able to then go for some other binder that will not only bind but also absorb the liquid. I would recommend going for chia seeds or flax seeds and letting the batch rest for half an hour or so.
***You can easily sub pine nuts for sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
Grate the first four ingredients (beets, apple, onion and garlic) in a large bowl. If you don’t have oat flour at hand, just put regular old fashioned oats in a blender and process until they are ground into a powder-like consistency. Put the oat flour along with the rest of the ingredients in the bowl together with the beets. Blend everything using both your hands. Form patties and place them on a baking sheet.
Turn the oven to 350 F or 180 C. In a frying pan, heat olive oil. Place patties in pan. Brown on each side, turning gently. They’ll brown pretty quick so pop them in the oven for about 15 minutes once they’re done frying.
And the final product: