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Food of The Month: Beets

I know what your thinking!  “Yuck!  My mom force-fed me beets when I was a kid and I will never willingly eat them again!”  Well, I don’t know about you but there a lot of foods that I thought that I hated but realize as an adult these same foods are quite tasty.  As we age and evolve, foods that once repulsed us can become a staple in our diets.  Additionally, I have found that decreasing the amount of processed foods in my diet has opened up a whole new world of taste.  All of the added salt, sugar and fat in processed foods makes our taste buds dull to the amazing tastes that can be found in whole fruits and vegetables.  Give beets a try if you thought they were repulsive as a kid! They are delicious and packed with nutrients!

 

What is It?

Beets are a root vegetable that can be found in red, golden, purple or striped colors.  They were originally shaped like a carrot but have evolved over time to be more bulbous in shape through centuries or breeding.  They have the highest sugar content of any vegetable but are only 43 calories per 100 grams.  There greens can be eaten as well and a great source of Vitamins A and K.

Health Benefits:

Beets roots are a source of folate, antioxidants and fiber as well as a phytonutrient called glycine betaine which is a powerful agent in the reduction of heart disease.  The beet green contain nine times the recommended Vitamins A and K.

Storage:

Store in the refrigerator until ready to use then rinse well under running water.

Uses:

Beets may be grated and served raw, roasted, boiled or pickled.  If you would like to try a recipe that includes raw beets try this one from Cookie and Kate for a Colorful Beet Salad.

My personal favorite is simply to roast them in the oven at 350 degrees until they are soft enough to pierce with a fork.  Remove them from the oven and let them cool.  Once cool, peel the skins and cut into slices.  Place them in a salad with mixed greens, walnuts, and a vinaigrette that has a sweeter vinegar in it like cranberry or strawberry. It is simple but delicious.  Give beets another try!  I think they will surprise you!

 

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