These groovy red, yellow, candy stripped beets are back in style. They are gorgeous, they are healthy, and…lucky you…they are in season! If you thought the only way to eat them was in a 1980’s terrine with dry goat cheese and sub par pistachios, welcome to this millennium. They are in everything from sweets to meats and those greens tops are showing up in the fanciest of juice establishments. We have collected our favorite curious moments, health facts and recipes to share with you, enjoy.
Vibrant Health Benefits:
- Good source of folate, potassium, vitamin C and fiber
- Has shown to prevent artery and cardiovascular disease as well as lowering blood pressure
- Boosts your stamina during workouts by reducing oxygen consumption during submaximal exercise
- The juice/extract contains betanin, which has strong antioxidant activity and has been seen to have protective effects in various cancer cell lines (such as breast, prostate, liver, skin)
- Supports detoxification in the body and liver
- Helps fight inflammation in the body
I like to roast 6-7 beets in the beginning of week then add them to salads, quinoa, sandwiches & entrees. It’s an easy way to boost the nutritional value of all my meals. It’s super easy, just watch our 3 minute “how to video”:
Scientific & Historical Curiosities:
- The Romans were the first to cultivate the beet and use it in recipes, especially as an aphrodisiac. In 1975, during the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, cosmonauts from the USSR’s Soyuz 19 welcomed the Apollo 18 astronauts by preparing a banquet of borscht (beetroot soup) in zero gravity.
- Beets have a ton of natural sugar and are often used in cake recipes to add sweetness and moisture. In fact, those clever bakers from the Victorian Era used beet juice to make gorgeous pink cakes and deserts. No red dye # 40 only natural ingredients to make that velvety pink color, just like in the cake recipe featured below.
- Don’t throw out those gorgeous green tops, actually people used to eat the tops more than the roots. The beet is part of the spinach family and those groovy green tops are filled with nutrients and minerals (Zinc, Vitamin A &C, Magnesium, Iron) that can be cooked or processed much like any other greens. Sautees, stir fries, soups, chimichurri….the world is your Beet!
- If you eat too many beets, your urine may turn pink – don’t be alarmed, its a harmless and temporary side effect. Likewise, you can take their ruby hue off your fingers with a mixture of wet salt and lemon juice, followed by a cold water rinse (also works on cutting boards).
Beets can be turned into a wine which tastes like port – because? well, why not? Ironically, the beet is also a natural hangover cure! Beta cyanin, the pigment that gives beets their jewel-toned hue, speeds up detoxification in your liver, which enables your body to turn the alcohol into a less harmful substance that can be excreted quicker than normal.
If you are feeling adventurous,
try one of these recipes:
Burger Style: http://www.greenkitchenstories.com/grilled-beet-burgers/
Storing Your Beets: Fresh beets from the farmers market will last approximately 7 days, while store bought last apx 3 days if you store them properly. Trim the leaves 2 inches from the root as soon as you get them home otherwise they will sap the moisture from the beet, but do not trim the tail. Store the leaves in a separate plastic bag and use within two days.