waste not want not, beet dye graphic

Making Dye with Your Dying Beets

Waste not, want not. Beet juice is an all natural food dye that can add a layer of brilliant color to many dishes.

Beets are one of the most versatile root vegetables on the market. Beets are natures edible jewel, beautiful coloration, with layers of natural sweetness and after-tones of earthy flavors.

Although beets have a long shelf life you will, from time to time, come across a few that are in the wrinkle stage; wrinkled skins and beginning to soften to the touch. These wrinkled beets are ideal to use as a brine, marinade or as a food color in baking.

The simple method for making beet brine is to thoroughly clean the outside skin, cut “wrinklers” in 1/4s and simmer in lightly salted water (4 parts water/1 part beets) until tender. Transfer the beets and water to a blender and blend until beets are completely pureed, rendering a deep beet colored liquid. From this you can move forward and make a beet based brine by cooking it with the addition of vinegar, salt, sugar and spice. Cooking until salt and sugar are dissolved. This beet brine works exceptionally well for pickled eggs or for a 48 hour brined pork.

Creative uses:

  • Puree beets with a small amount of cooking liquid to render a thick & smooth puree. Add puree as needed to baked items to create a pink colored finished product.
  • Use in salad dressings
  • Pickle cabbage or onions in beet brine
  • Create a beet based BBQ sauce
  • Whisk beet puree into mayonnaise for a beet aioli
  • Add beet puree to creme anglaise for a unique sauce in dessert presentations
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