Beets are one of the least appreciated superfoods out there. They are a great low calorie source of nutrients and phytochemicals, packaged in a cheap round root vegetable. A 2 inch beet has less than 50 calories. It is rich in folic acid, calcium, and iron, among other nutrients.
Why do so few Americans eat beets?
One explanation is the red mess in the kitchen when slicing beets. Their intense crimson color is derived from betalain pigments. It is actually used as a natural food coloring in many prepared foods.
Another explanation is the slightly bitter, earthy taste of a raw beets.
However, the most likely reason beets aren’t a mainstay in the American diet is that folks simply don’t know what to do with them.
Here are two easy recipes that will help you bring beets into your life.
But before that, quick tips on choosing beets in the market:
* Find fresh beets in the produce section.
* Choose beets the size of a tennis ball.
* The beets should feel firm.
Recipe #1 : Beet Carpaccio
Instead of thinly sliced pieces of beef, you’ll slice a fresh young beet.
2 fresh beets, small
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1. wash beets thoroughly, slice of the top and bottom ends, then peel from top to bottom
2. mix olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl to create a “marinade”
3. Use a chef’s knife to slice the thinnest possible slices of beet (pro trick: use a cheap vegetable peeler instead).
4. place the slices in the marinade and mix, careful not to tear them up.
5. refrigerate for 30-60 minutes to let the flavors soak in.
6. serve chilled as an appetizer.
Recipe #2: Beet Salad
4 fresh beets, medium, unpeeled
1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tsp parsley, chopped (preferably fresh)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp vinegar
salt and pepper to taste.
you will also need aluminum foil.
1. preheat oven on High
2. wash beets thoroughly, slice off the bottom and top of each beet
3. for each beet: place beet on a square piece of foil, drizzle a bit of olive oil on it, and cover completely with foil
4. roast the beets in the oven for 60-90 minutes, until you can easily pierce a beet with a knife all the way to its center
5. in a bowl, mix garlic, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to create a “marinade”
6. when the beets are ready, carefully remove the foil and let them cool down
7. peel the beets
8. cut the beets into 1/4 inch cubes. They should be very easy to slice through
9. toss beet cubes into the marinade and mix.
10. let stand for a few minutes and serve.