Sweet and Sour Beets | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen

Sweet and Sour Beets

Teresa

2013 – Gluten Free Living

Sweet and Sour Beets are a delicious way to prepare beets–especially for holiday menus. I’m not a big fan of beets normally. I prefer to slice and then julienne them and serve beets raw in salads. Another way to serve raw beets is on a veggie tray with dip.

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I also like them grilled with just butter, salt and pepper. But when we went to a friend’s house in Black Mountain, NC, recently, he had a huge garden and so he was trying to find ways to serve beets.

He found this recipe on food.com from kittencalskitchen. It is a pretty decent version of Harvard Beets. I have never liked Harvard Beets because of the vinegar, but I liked this recipe.

I finally got around to making these myself so I could show you the step-by-step process. I decided to dice the beets rather than slice them to give them a different texture. One of the things I like about this beets recipe is it calls for orange zest.

I normally just use the stuff from the spice rack but I ran out during the Christmas holidays as I used a lot of it for baking cookies. So I hunted around in my garage refrigerators and thankfully came up with an orange to grate down the zest. I really like the flavor of using fresh orange zest in this recipe. Whatever you do, don’t leave out the orange zest because it provides the wonderful kick this recipe needs to augment the beets.

If you’re a beets lover, or you’ve planted beets in your garden this year then consider this tasty way of making them. You can easily make this recipe vegan by eliminating the butter and using coconut oil instead.

When I initially posted this recipe in July 2012, it was the very early days of my blog. I prepared the recipe later that year, but the pictures were still taken on an iPhone 3 so they weren’t of the highest quality.

I recently remade this recipe (August 2015), and retook the pictures so you can have a better idea of how delightful this recipe is. We have some friends who are from Romania and recently moved into a new home in the neighborhood we’re currently building a house. I asked them if they would eat beets and they said “Yes!” These are some of the best tasting beets you’ll ever eat. The orange zest makes them so special.

Sweet & Sour Beets | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | the most delicious #beets dish you'll ever eat. Flavored with #orange zest, this is a great #holiday #sidedish.

Sweet and Sour Beets is a healthy, low calorie, gluten free dish.

Sweet & Sour Beets | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | the most delicious #beets dish you'll ever eat. Flavored with #orange zest, this is a great #holiday #sidedish.

This dish is relatively easy to make and quite economical on the food budget!

Sweet & Sour Beets | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | the most delicious #beets dish you'll ever eat. Flavored with #orange zest, this is a great #holiday #sidedish.

Sweet and Sour Beets includes orange zest which gives the beets a nice punch in flavor.

Here’s what I did.

Sweet & Sour Beets | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | the most delicious #beets dish you'll ever eat. Flavored with #orange zest, this is a great #holiday #sidedish.

I used these ingredients. I already cooked and drained the beets. Reserve some of the liquid used in cooking the beets for making the sauce.

Sweet & Sour Beets | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | the most delicious #beets dish you'll ever eat. Flavored with #orange zest, this is a great #holiday #sidedish.

Boil and cook beets. Drain, reserving beet juice. Meanwhile, make sweet and sour sauce: place sugar in a mixing bowl. Add cornstarch and salt. Stir ingredients together pressing out lumps with the back of your spoon. Slowly add vinegar so lumps don’t form in the sauce. Whisk to combine.

Sweet & Sour Beets | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | the most delicious #beets dish you'll ever eat. Flavored with #orange zest, this is a great #holiday #sidedish.

Add beet water. (Water from the pot you are cooking the beets in). Stir to combine. 

Sweet & Sour Beets | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | the most delicious #beets dish you'll ever eat. Flavored with #orange zest, this is a great #holiday #sidedish.

Cook over medium heat until the sauce gets thick and becomes more translucent losing it’s bright red color. Meanwhile, grate orange zest. To make homemade zest you can grate orange peels in your food processor and freeze in zip lock bags to keep on hand for recipes like this.

Sweet & Sour Beets | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | the most delicious #beets dish you'll ever eat. Flavored with #orange zest, this is a great #holiday #sidedish.

Add drained beets to sweet and sour sauce. Add butter. If you’re vegan or dairy intolerant you can easily substitute coconut oil at this point. Add grated orange zest. Whatever you do, don’t eliminate the orange zest from the recipe. You need it to provide the kick in taste.

Sweet & Sour Beets | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | the most delicious #beets dish you'll ever eat. Flavored with #orange zest, this is a great #holiday #sidedish.

Stir to combine. Add black pepper. Stir again to combine and heat through. Serve.

Sweet & Sour Beets | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | the most delicious #beets dish you'll ever eat. Flavored with #orange zest, this is a great #holiday #sidedish.

This Sweet and Sour Beets recipe is a great way to use up garden produce or produce from your CSA. When I served side dish initially, I served it with Grilled Salmon with Homemade Tartar Sauce and Squash, Fennel and Potato BakeI’m not a big fan of beets but the sweet and sour sauce with orange zest really helps make it deliciously palatable.

Here’s the recipe.

SWEET AND SOUR BEETS

(Recipe adapted from Ron Pownall, Black Mountain, NC, as adapted from kittencalskitchen on food.com)

Sweet and Sour Beets | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen

Sweet and Sour Beets

Teresa
This Sweet and Sour Beets recipe is one of the best ways to enjoy beets ever! This lovely side dish is made with orange zest adding superb flavor. It's a great side dish for holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas. Gluten free.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Veggie Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 83 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water that you used to cook the beets with
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. salt or to taste
  • 2 cups cooked beets sliced or diced (I used 4 fresh beets); fresh is better than canned
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1-2 tsp. grated orange zest
  • 1/3 tsp. black pepper

Instructions
 

  • In a bowl mix together the sugar, cornstarch and salt; stir in a little of the vinegar to make a smooth paste.
  • Slowly drizzle in the remaining vinegar and the water (adding all the liquid at once can produce lumps in the cornstarch.
  • Transfer the mixture to a saucepan; cook over low heat stirring and scraping bottom of the pan often.
  • Cook until liquid is clear (about 5-10 minutes).
  • Stir in cooked beets, butter and orange zest; stir until the beets are heated through.
  • Season with black pepper as desired.

Notes

NOTE: Replace the butter with avocado oil if trying to stay vegan.
Recipe adapted from Kitten Cal's Kitchen.
© Can’t Stay Out of the Kitchen

Nutrition

Calories: 83kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 1gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 147mgPotassium: 116mgFiber: 1gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 107IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 9mgIron: 0.3mg
Keyword beets, holiday side dish, sweet and sour beets, vegetable
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

 

[b]Sweet and Sour Beets[/b]
Recipe Type: Veggie/Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Author: Teresa Ambra adapted from Ron Pownall, Black Mountain, NC; source: Kittencal’s Kitchen as found at [url href=”http://www.food.com/recipe/kittencals-harvard-beets-130075″ target=”_blank” title=”harvard sweet and sour beets”]Food.com[/url]
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
This lovely side dish is made with orange zest giving it a superb flavor. This is a great side dish for the holidays. Gluten free.
Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup water that you used to cook the beets with
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • ½ tsp. salt (or to taste)
  • 2 cups cooked beets, sliced or diced (fresh is better than canned) (I used 4 fresh beets)
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1-2 tsp. grated orange zest
  • 1/3 tsp. black pepper
Instructions
  1. In a bowl mix together the sugar, cornstarch and salt; stir in a little of the vinegar to make a smooth paste.
  2. Slowly drizzle in the remaining vinegar and the water (adding all the liquid at once can produce lumps in the cornstarch.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a saucepan; cook over low heat stirring and scraping bottom of the pan often.
  4. Cook until liquid is clear (about 5-10 minutes).
  5. Stir in cooked beets, butter and orange zest; stir until the beets are heated through.
  6. Season with black pepper as desired.
Notes
Replace the butter with coconut oil if trying to stay vegan.
Sweet & Sour Beets | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | the most delicious #beets dish you'll ever eat. Flavored with #orange zest, this is a great #holiday #sidedish.

This is really a tasty recipe for beets. Enjoy!

Sweet & Sour Beets | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | the most delicious #beets dish you'll ever eat. Flavored with #orange zest, this is a great #holiday #sidedish.

If you enjoy beets, you’ll love this side dish.

You may also enjoy these delicious recipes! 

Golden Beets Stir Fry

Golden Beets Stir Fry | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | phenomenal #MeatlessMonday dish with #beets, #asparagus, #greenbeans, #broccoli & #zucchini. Healthy, low calorie, #glutenfree & #vegan.

Parmesan Golden Beets and Carrots

Parmesan Golden Beets and Carrots | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen

Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries 

Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this spectacular side dish is perfect for #FathersDay & other #holiday menus. It's crunchy and delicious without being bitter. #brusselssprouts #craisins #glutenfree #vegan

 

Sweet and Sour Beets | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen

Sweet and Sour Beets

Teresa
This Sweet and Sour Beets recipe is one of the best ways to enjoy beets ever! This lovely side dish is made with orange zest adding superb flavor. It's a great side dish for holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas. Gluten free.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Veggie Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 83 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water that you used to cook the beets with
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. salt or to taste
  • 2 cups cooked beets sliced or diced (I used 4 fresh beets); fresh is better than canned
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1-2 tsp. grated orange zest
  • 1/3 tsp. black pepper

Instructions
 

  • In a bowl mix together the sugar, cornstarch and salt; stir in a little of the vinegar to make a smooth paste.
  • Slowly drizzle in the remaining vinegar and the water (adding all the liquid at once can produce lumps in the cornstarch.
  • Transfer the mixture to a saucepan; cook over low heat stirring and scraping bottom of the pan often.
  • Cook until liquid is clear (about 5-10 minutes).
  • Stir in cooked beets, butter and orange zest; stir until the beets are heated through.
  • Season with black pepper as desired.

Notes

NOTE: Replace the butter with avocado oil if trying to stay vegan.
Recipe adapted from Kitten Cal's Kitchen.
© Can’t Stay Out of the Kitchen

Nutrition

Calories: 83kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 1gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 147mgPotassium: 116mgFiber: 1gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 107IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 9mgIron: 0.3mg
Keyword beets, holiday side dish, sweet and sour beets, vegetable
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

19 Comments

  • LCaron

    October 27, 2022 at 3:56 pm

    So simple but adds so much to beets. Will make again. Delicious!

    1. Teresa

      October 29, 2022 at 6:51 am

      So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for stopping by.

  • Denna

    June 13, 2022 at 2:18 pm

    I made pickled beets
    I don’t have the canning equipment if I didn’t make them they would rot so I made them pickled them I also did a no no everyone says I took the skin off cause they were old they still were not going bad they were just going to start to cause me troubles *
    So I had to cook them I boiled water waited for the water to boil peeled my Beets and boiled them thirty minutes made the best pickled broth it was realy delicious * they were soft not as soft as i wanted them * then i added the beets to a big pickled jar I had *
    Poured the beets hot temperature into the pickle jar poured in the hot brine not boiling brine * over the beets and waited for cool to the touch to the refrigerator * will use in a few days to give them time to brine a little more *
    I have beets brine too I’m going to use for onions & eggs * Hope it works *
    Will keep I’m fridge for 2 weeks only * if they last that long *
    I also made leeks chopped them boiled water made a brine again and saltwater vinegar & a little sugar & am doing the same only with leeks not beets *
    Take them out to cook with French soup * & French leeks style * potatoes and parsnips soups and also roast them cause I’m puting the boiled potatoes and parsnips in the refrigerator to roast and also to make soup *
    I’m going to look how to can potatoes * Hope it helps *

    1. Teresa

      June 14, 2022 at 11:14 am

      Great ideas, Denna.

  • Rina

    June 9, 2018 at 3:32 am

    Can this sweet and sour beet be botteld and kept refridgerated.

    1. Teresa

      June 9, 2018 at 7:42 am

      Hi Rina. They would probably need to be canned in a boiling water bath and sealed properly. You can keep them in a refrigerator normally for about a week. If properly canned they will last longer.

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  • refinedchef

    July 16, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    I think I love beets too much some times! Such an incredible and rich vegetable! Thanks for sharing

    1. Teresa

      July 16, 2012 at 8:00 pm

      I have gotten more people to eat beets by having them taste them raw first. Super healthy, too.

      1. Buyiswa

        March 12, 2018 at 1:51 am

        Want to try them and think it saves electricity and time

        1. Buyiswa

          March 12, 2018 at 1:52 am

          Mhhhm😍

          1. Teresa

            March 13, 2018 at 11:43 am

            Thanks!

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