If you would have asked me ten years ago which type of produce I liked the least I would have instantly responded, “BEETS!” Things have sure changed because today I love them. I especially look forward to the small spring bunched beets. The flavor may be an acquired taste because I tried them several times, prepared several ways, over several years before I really started to want to eat them.
It all started with the first time I tried golden beets. I decided to give them a try even though I had all but written off beets as people food. Golden beets are every bit as sweet as red but with a milder flavor. Like most roots roasting beets will bring out a richer flavor. I love that now, but at first boiled golden beets and serving with a pat of butter and a small sprinkle of salt seemed to be the only way I really liked them. Then came the beet greens. I juiced them once in awhile and the flavor seemed to grow on me. I decided to give Chioggia a try and liked them very much in my favorite beet salad. (You can find the recipe below). Now days I like beets prepared almost way except pickled. I have a feeling those will grow on me in time as well. If you thought you didn’t like beets before skip down to the health benefits and you just might decide to give them a few more chances.
New to Beets? The basics.
Beets are the sweetest of all the root vegetables. The type of beets we offer are heirloom table beets. There are many varieties and some are grown for making sugar. We offer five or six different varieties throughout the year such as ruby red, Chioggia and golden.
The beet root flavor deepens as they grow so small beets are milder than large beets. They grow well in cool climates making them an ideal for early spring and late fall menus. Beet bunches are a great two in one value because their greens are fantastic sautéed, in salad, soups or other recipes that call for any type of greens. At the bottom of the colorful beet stems are the beet root. This can be prepared simply be scrubbing and boiling whole or roasted in the oven.
It is fantastic to eat food that tastes great and is great for your body. Beets have some exceptionally noteworthy health benefits. Beets are high in potassium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, iron; vitamins A, B & C; beta-carotene, beta-cyanine; folic acid. These are just a few of the many nutrients you consume when you eat beets with the greens. Beets are particularly beneficial to the growth of new cells because of the vitamin B, iron and folic acid content. For this reason beets are commonly recommended to pregnant women and children.
Beets are also noted for their unique disease preventing properties. They have been shown to help prevent various types of cancer, cleanse the liver and blood. This makes them a fantastic food for anyone who wants to eat a preventative diet.
Spring Salad with Beets
- 4 medium beets (any table variety)
- 4 cups greens such as baby spinach, baby greens or spring mix
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans, walnuts or candied nuts
- 1/2 cup feta style cheese, crumbled (such as local jersey dream feta style)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 ounces balsamic vinegar (white balsamic is also a great option.)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a pot of cold water, place beets and then bring to a boil. Allow pot to simmer until the beats are tender but still have slight resistance in the centers. This will take 8 minutes. Peel the beets and slice.
In a small bowl whisk together olive oil and balsamic. Season with salt and pepper.
In a separate larger bowl, toss arugula, beets, pecans and feta style cheese. Drizzle them with dressing and serve.