Monday, January 11, 2010

I ♥ Beets!

I had never had a beet until a few months ago, as my memories are of the red root and bright pink hard boiled eggs in a magenta pickling broth, not so appealing at 5 or 6 years old, and the experience turned me off of beets until they were recently recommended by a friend! Now I absolutely love them, am tickled by the pretty color and since then, have found out just about all I could about the nutritious pink food! Beets are like the Superman of veggies! According to articles I have read they are high in vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, and C. Put it up against Spinach and other greens for iron content and Beet Greens are the winner pound for pound! Betacyanin, which gives beets their red color is apparently a superhero against cancer!

Oh, back to the eggs. I wonder if my Mom knew those bright pink pickled eggs and beets are a harmonious combo - Apparently the Choline in eggs and the Betaine in Beets work together to fight inflammation linked to heart disease, Osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes! I don't know what Choline and Betaine are but that is pretty cool!

There are a few precautions as well. Due to the oxalates those with kidney stones or gallbaldder stones should consume with caution and probably if your doctor says it is ok.

I am not an expert and don't want to make claims but you can read all about it on The Worlds Healthiest Foods or by doing a web search for beets  - you will find a lot of resources!

AND - you may see a little red hmm, hmm, down there after eating beets. This is called beeturia and it is a harmless condition that happens to those who cannot metabolize the betalain that makes the beets red. 10-14% of the population suffers from this.

I love that you can eat the whole plant, root and greens - very economical!

Beets are in season in Sothern California right now. You want to look for small unwrinkled beets when buying, though I had some beets the size of softballs last night and they were wonderful - tender and sweet! The were being sold by the bunch rather than the pound so I just bought the Heaviest bunch there was!

I like a simple preparation for the beets and greens, as they have natural sugar and salt so little to no seasoning is required!

Simple Beet salad with wilted greens and walnuts:
It is a great snack on its own but I love to serve this with grilled Firm Tofu drizzled
with Soy Vay Island Teriyaki sauce.
It goes well with the sweet sauce and would also be wonderful with a side of
Cottage Cheese or a portion of grilled Chicken!

• I started with a bunch of organic beets - about 2 lbs with greens, a bunch of organic swiss chard
(6 cups), and a bunch of organic Mustard (6 cups). I strongly recommend organic produce here!

• separate the beets from the greens, peel, slice into 1/2 inch pieces, place in the bottom of a baking pan, drizzle with about 2 T. of olive oil, a pinch of coarse sea salt (optional) and roast at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. You want them fork tender.

If you want to cut some of the fat out, you may also clean them, wrap in tin foil with the skin on and roast until fork tender. (I just like drizzling with olive oil because all the TV cooks do it and it makes me feel fancy) Remember to peel them after roasting!

• While the beets are roasting rinse your greens well! Take out the tough middle stalks on the leaves, either by cutting, or tearing leaves away from stalk. I like to cut to avoid bruising the greens. Rough chop the greens to about 1 - 2  inch pieces.

• Once the beets are done quickly wilt the greens in 1T of olive oil on high heat. This will take about 2 minutes. Beets greens and chard have a fair amount of sodium naturally so season with a little freshly ground pepper.

• Top with sliced beets and about 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts or almonds! Serves 3-4! make sure everyone gets a couple beet slices! I say this because I like to keep them for myself. :)



  1. This looks so good! And I love your little seasonal food gadget at the foot of your page. Although it is a little depressing seeing what's in season in Washington vs. So.Cal. :)

  2. Thanks Amber! If you can find beets I hope you try it! You can look for frozen organic greens and canned beets. The greens may have a lot of water from the freeze but you can still do the same basic prep. We are lucky here in Southern California to have year round growing season - we don't have any water but we have sun. I'll give you some sun and warmth if you give me some rain!

  3. Hi Amber (he he)!

    Your beet salad looks delicious, Erin! I'll have to try it one night this week!

  4. Thanks Anne-Marie! My favorite is having it with the grilled (or broiled) teriyaki tofu! I hope you like it!

  5. Look so good! Thanks for sharing!



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