I love beets. Any color. Any time. The musky deep essence created by roasting adds another dimension and complexity to the beets — so much so they do not require any other flavoring. Of course, it is always wise to eat some fat with your vegetables to aid in mineral absorption, so a light dressing of extra virgin olive oil would complement the taste.
Cooked beets are high in Vitamin A and folate with a little choline as well. They are loaded with potassium and there is also calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and sodium. The color of red/purple beetroot is due to a variety of betalain pigments. The composition of different betalain pigments can vary, giving breeds of beetroot which are yellow or other colors in addition to the familiar deep red. These pigments are also powerful antioxidants.
Beetroot or garden beets are different than sugar beets. Sugar beets are a commodity crop used to make sugar and unfortunately some of that crop is now genetically modified. Just to be sure, I only eat organic beets.
Beets are used traditionally in Jewish culture as a soup called borscht. I remember my mother eating this with a dollop of sour cream. At some time in the future I will attempt to make borscht.
Beet kvass is a fermented beet drink which I love, full of nutrition and very cleansing to the liver. However, beets are high in oxalates which may cause problems for people who form oxalate kidney stones and for those who are sensitive to oxalates in general.
Most people find that the red color of beets are passed through to the urine and stools — easily mistaken for blood! Just remember that you ate beets the day before!
Roasted Beet Salad
Three to four large red or yellow organic beets
- Clean and cut off stems and cut the beets in half
- Place the beets in a baking pan with a little water
- In a 350 degree F oven bake the beets for 1 – 2 hours or until a knife goes through easily
- Remove from oven and cool
- Peel the beets (this is a lot easier after they are cooked)
- Cut up into small cubes
- Serve with extra virgin olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar or any good salad dressing (here is my walnut balsamic dressing)