3-Ingredient Beet Jam That's So Much Better Than Store Bought

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Spring got you feeling like you could totally pull off homemade jam (but berries are still a little too pricey to try your luck)? Give this three-ingredient, DIY beet jam a try. The rosy root veggie is right on trend — New Yorkers are going crazy for the beet-cured lox at Black Seed Bagels right now — and ridiculously inexpensive. Plus, the sweet vegetable flavor is a modern departure from other cloying spreads.

Microwaving the beets instead of roasting shaves a solid hour off prep time. Just zap ‘em until they’re fork tender, then finely chop, and simmer with lemon juice and sugar until it's all thick and syrupy. It's delicious spread on a baguette, a good grainy bread, or pumpernickel rolls. Simply slather it on with soft, salted butter, and you're good to go.

Hint: Make sure you cover your work space (and/or outfit) if you’re worried about splatters. Yes, beet juice does stain. But, think about it this way: Rubbing a little beet juice on your lips while the jam’s bubbling away will add instant color to your pout, too.

Three-Ingredient Beet Jam
Yields: 1 jar

3 large beets
1 cup sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Directions
1. Peel beets using a vegetable peeler; cut into quarters.
2. Arrange in a glass pie plate or other microwave-safe dish. Add water to cover the bottom of the dish (about one-third cup). Cover with a damp paper towel, and microwave on high six to eight minutes or until the beets are tender when pierced with the tip of a small knife.
3. After draining, let the beets cool slightly, and finely chop them.
4. Bring the beets, sugar, and lemon juice to a simmer in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thick and syrupy, about 35 minutes.
5. Transfer to a jar or other heatproof container; refrigerate until cool. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.