Sugar beets were originally grown to feed livestock and not really fit for human consumption. But you can make your own sugar from them. What is more, use the leftover meat of the beet as a hot or cold mash for your livestock. Waste not, want not!
Beet sugar is easy to make, it doesn’t take a long time and you don’t need any special equipment.
1. Scrub your beets to get all dirt and debris off of them.
2. Thinly slice, dice or shred the beets and place them in a pot.
3. Add just enough water to cover the beets.
4. Heat to a boil then simmer long enough for the beets to become tender and soft.
5. Remove from heat and strain the beet pulp out of the juice using cheesecloth.
6. Return the syrup to the pot.
7. Hold the cheesecloth full of pulp over the pot and squeeze as much water as possible out.
8. Simmer until it becomes thick, honey-like syrup, stirring frequently, then remove from heat.
9. Place in a storage container and allow to cool.
10. As it cools, the sugar will crystalize. Remove crystals and smash into a powder with your fingers so that it looks like table sugar.
11. Store and use just like you would regular sugar.
Refining beets into sugar produces a strong aroma. Use the stove’s exhaust fan and open the windows to minimize it.
Handle beet sugar with dry hands so you won’t introduce any moisture to it. Wet beet sugar has a short shelf life and can harbour bacteria.