Believe in the Beet

Ask and you shall receive. In my last post I wished for beets, and low and behold the very next Tuesday some beautiful beets arrived in my veggie box. I didn’t have the opportunity to enjoy them until last night but they were well worth the wait.

I’ve never prepared beets before, so I referred to my trusty How to Cook Everything cookbook and  was ready to go. I love this cookbook. Bittman, the author, really teaches you how to cook anything. He also has a vegetarian edition, for all you herbivores out there! He suggested the following instructions for optimal beet goodness. Who am I to argue with the expert?

  • Wash well, wrap individually with tin foil, bake at 375º for 45 – 75 minutes, depending on the size. Poke with a knife to check for done-ness. If the beet is soft, peel and enjoy!

You can also prepare them ahead of time. Beets are delicious cold and fantastic pickled. One of these days I’m going to start on a pickling adventure. I’d like to get a jarring kit first.

You know beets are good for you because of that beautiful crimson color. Most foods of natural color are filled with disease fighting anti-oxidants. Beets in particular are suggested to help prevent colon cancer. In Chinese medicine we believe them to cleanse the Liver and the Blood. It’s ironic that we use artificial food coloring to make foods that are bad for us look more delectable, but often fail to enjoy the rainbow of health-promoting foods offered by nature. I think we went backwards somewhere along the way. What do you think?

Besides eating them cooked, beets can be juiced and added with carrots or apple. Their sweet earthy flavor just screams, “I’m good for you.”

 

Oh, and don’t be so quick to throw out the leaves. These can be prepared just as you would any leafy green. I like to saute with a little garlic salt and red pepper flakes. Yum!

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