Monday, June 17, 2013

Beet this!!

Dorky title, I know.  But it's such a glorious time of year at the farmer's markets.  Fresh and delicious EVERYTHING.  Beets are aplenty.  And they're nutritional rock stars.

Most of us are familiar with the deep red variety, and only the root part of the beet.  Some of us are familiar with them coming in cans.  But don't shy away from beets!  They are easier to cook than you might think.  There are also a few different varieties: orange-yellow (often variegated), white and red.  Whatever you do - don't toss those greens!!

Check out the stats on beets (root: cooked/boiled/roasted) - in 1/2 cup, sliced:

  • 37 calories
  • 1.7 g fiber
  • 1.4 g protein
  • Total Omega-3 fatty acids 4.3 mg
  • Total Omega-6 fatty acids 49.3 mg
  • Vitamins A, C, K, Niacin (B3) Vitamin B5 and B6, Folate (17%DV)
  • Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc, Copper, Manganese (14% DV), Selenium

So, how to cook beets?  Easy.  Cut the stems ~1" from the root.  Wash the red root, being careful not to tear the skin.  Then put them in a pot, cover the beets with water so the level is just higher than the beets, then boil with the skin on for 30-40 minutes.  Then dump the water, and when beets are cooled, take a paring knife to take skin off the beet; it comes off very easily.

You can also roast beets - wrap them individually in foil with a bit of canola or olive oil.  Roast at 375 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  They are ready when a knife easily pierces flesh.  Roasted beets have a wonderful flavor!  Same thing here - when done, wait for them to cool and peel skin.

Now, what do to with those stems?  Be a Savvy Tart, wash them, and eat them as a side dish!  I take a sharp knife, and cut the greens from the stems.  Wash the greens and stems separately. See my step-by-step instructions.  Beet greens are so delicious and have a natural flavor to them, that you almost never even have to salt them!

Click here for my Beet Salad with Oranges & Goat Cheese recipe.  Super, ridiculously yummy.

You really can't beet it!

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