Festivus Beets of Strength

Festivus Beets of Strength

It’s a Festivus for the Rest of Us!.  Celebrate the season with Festivus Beets of Strength. Super spicy beet latkes to test your mettle during your Festivus dinner. If you you can’t handle it, you can use the Tap Out Sour Cream, if you’re a wuss.

Uncle Matt, Tell Us The Story Of The First Festivus

Ok, gather ’round kids. Once upon a time, many Christmases ago, our prophet Frank Costanza was amidst the throng of Black Friday shoppers at New York City toy store. From down the aisle, Mr. Costanza eyed the perfect doll for his son George. He fought his way through the deal seeking masses and finally made it to the doll. It was the last one left and as Mr. Costanza gazed upon it it was almost as if the doll radiated Christmas joy. Frank extended his arm to reach for the sole doll and as he did the hairy claw of another man came into is peripheral vision and grabbed the doll at the same time. Mr. Costanza knew that without the doll, little George’s Christmas would be ruined. Frank did what any other caring father would have done for his son; he fought for it! As he rained blows upon the man he realized that there had to be another way! In the melee the doll was destroyed, but out of that, a new holiday was born!


Festivus comes from a need to fight against the commercialism and consumerism of traditional Christmas and is held on its own day; December 23rd. So we celebrate not with a tree, but with a simple, strong aluminum pole. And no tinsel! Frank finds tinsel distracting.

The Festivus Pole

A traditional Festivus begins with The Airing of the Grievances. Before we eat, each participant tells friends and family of all the times where they disappointed him or her that year.

I got problems with you people!

-Frank Costanza

When the grievances have been aired and and everyone’s issued shared, we move on to the Feats of Strength! For the Feats of Strength, the head of the household will challenge whomever he chooses at the table to a competition to test his or her strength. The Feats of Strength is not over until the challenger is defeated. Usually this will take the form of a wrestling match. And I challenge YOU! To the Feats of Strength.

When the grievances have been aired and and everyone’s issued shared, we move on to the Feats of Strength! For the Feats of Strength, the head of the household will challenge whomever he chooses at the table to a competition to test his or her strength. The Feats of Strength is not over until the challenger is defeated. Usually this will take the form of a wrestling match. And I challenge YOU! To the Feats of Strength.


Oh yes! First we fight! Then we eat!

Can We Eat Yet?

Yes! So really, folks, if you haven’t caught on yet this recipe is inspired by the Festivus episode of Seinfeld.


Awesome! But What The Hell Are Beets of Strength?

Beets of Strength are basically a super spicy version of beet latkes that I adapted the recipe from the always awesome Sue Moran of The View From Great Island. Nothing wrong with her recipe, I just think that the Beets of Strength should be spicy to test your mettle at the Festivus table.

OK But What Makes Them So Spicy?

2 Words. Ghost Peppers. Ghost peppers are one of the spiciest peppers in the world and as you can see on the chart they rank over 1,000,000 on the Scoville Heat Index (the standard for measuring spiciness in food). For my WTF Sauce, I used fresh ones, but of for this recipe I decided to go with Sonoran Spice Ghost Pepper Flakes.

Scoville Scale

I also opted to make this recipe gluten free so everyone can participate! Except vegans, I suppose. There are eggs in it after all. Anyway, the original recipe uses all purpose flour and to deglutenize (a word I surely did not just make up) we are going to use Mochiko a glutenous rice flour which has enough adhesive properties to serve as the perfect binder. It has no wheat gluten so celiacs will be fine with this.

Blue Star Brand Mochiko

Well I think it’s high time we got started making these here Beets of Strength so let’s start at the beginning! Peel and grate the beets, which you could do by hand but I recommend doing it in a food processor. A Cuisineart with shredding disc would do the job MUCH quicker. Lay the shredded beets out on a paper towel and pat dry. You may need a lot of paper towels because this will get messy. Next, lightly beat 2 eggs in a large bowl. Add mochiko, salt, pepper, chives, dill, mustard, and ghost pepper flakes. Stir and then add the beats. Toss with your hands to coat evenly.

Festivus Beets of Strength!

The prep work is done and we are ready to cook. Preheat a large cast iron or other heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat. Add about a 1/4 inch of oil and heat through. You’ll know when it’s ready when you flick a droplet of water into it and it immediately sizzles. Now, using an ice cream scooper, add 1 scoopful at a time to the skillet pressing down with the back so that they are flat and pancake-like. Do this until the pan is full but not overcrowded. Cook until each side is bright and crispy (about 2-3 minutes per side). Transfer to paper towels to soak up the excess oil. Repeat until you’ve used up all the beets. It should take 2 batches depending on the size of your skillet.

Now you are ready to serve the Beets of Strength! To serve garnish with more chives and dill and on the side include a bowlful of the “Tap Out Topping”, which is just sour cream. Your Festivus guests must first try and eat the Beets of Strength without the topping, but they can say “uncle” and tap out. But then you also have the right to rub their nose in it all year!

I hate Christmas Music. It’s usually hokey, and since my B-day is X-mas Eve, it just me reminds all month long that I am getting older. So, this is my Christmas music, because Batman.

This recipe requires a little something special. Here’s a list of what you will need:

Festivus Beets of Strength

The Beets of Strength! Spicy Beet Latkes to serve at your Festivus Dinner.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword Beet Latles, Festivus, Festivus Recipe, Ghost Peppers
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 41 kcal
Author Matt Cetta


  • 1 Pound of Beets
  • 2 Large Eggs Lightly Beaten
  • 3 Tablespoons Mochiko Rice Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Chives Chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Dill Leaves Chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon Style Mustard
  • 1 Teaspoon Ghost Pepper Flakes
  • Canola Oil For Frying
  • Sour Cream


  1. Peel and shred the beets. Lay out on paper towels and pat dry.
  2. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add rice flour, salt, pepper, chives, dill, dijon, and ghost pepper flakes and stir. Add the beats and toss with your hands to combine.
  3. Preheat a large cast iron (or other heavy bottomed) skillet over medium-high heat. Add about 1/4 inch of oil to the skillet and heat through.
  4. Using an ice scream scooper, add the beets one at a time. Push down on the top with the back of the scooper to flatten them out. Cook until bright and crispy. (2-3 minutes on each side)
  5. Drain on paper towels.

Recipe Notes

Serve with a "Tap Out Sour Cream Topping". If your Festivus guests can't handle the heat, they can tap out and add a dollop of sour cream. That ,however, gives you the right to rub their nose in it all year.

Adapted from Sue Moran of The View From Great Island

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12 comments on “Festivus Beets of Strength

  1. First Happy early bday! 2nd I want to eat this sooo badly but the ghost peppers are a little terrifying!

    • Ohhh are you gonna tap out? Or are you gonna win the Feat of Strength?! 😛
      Seriously, they are spicy but the sour cream (whole only) cools it down 🙂
      And thanks for the B-day wishes!

  2. Oh my goodness, my dad loves spicy food, I will have to make this so he can try it!

    • You should! Are you gonna take the challenge?! It’s a true Feat of Strength!

  3. Festivus!! I missed it! I don’t know why all calendars don’t automatically have it as a holiday. 😉

    And I this is going on my to-make list asap. We are huge fans of spicy food.

    • We should petition The White House to make Festivus a national holiday!

  4. This is genius and hilarious. You are the most creative foodie ever!

  5. I loved that episode!

  6. A powerful healthy recipe indeed. I wish I could have this for lunch today 🙂

  7. I love your site! So unique:) I eat beets all the time. Very delicious recipe!

    • 🙂 Thanks Ilona!

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