And the Beet Goes on

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"And the beet goes on... la di da di dah." Beets (Beta vulgaris) are a great two-for-one veggie. First you get the fruitful root; second, you get the leafy greens. Beets and Swiss Chard are in the Amaranth family and both have mild tasting super vitamin leaves. Cut off the green tops and use as soon as possible, or refrigerate in a bag with a damp paper towel. Beet greens cook quickly in sautés or soups.

beetsThe bulbous beet root can store well for a few weeks refrigerated. Most folks find they are easier to peel after roasting or boiling. With red beets, it’s hard not to get the hands of Lady Macbeth unless you wear gloves. But what better way to show off the work you've put into a meal? Beets also come in gold and stripes if you already have enough drama in your life.

Extolled for their meaty flavor and brilliant color, beets find good companions with citrus, vinegar, and spices such as caraway, allspice, and dill. Beets sweeten when cooked. They are siblings, after all, with the Sugar Beet that accounts for 30 percent of the world’s granulated sugar. One way to convert beet non-lovers is to bake them a chocolate cake made with beets.

Winter soils coast to coast are giving up their beets. Long slumbering organic beets have been absorbing the valuable minerals each region has to offer. They are high in folates, manganese and potassium, and are a natural source of iron (1.34 mg per cup), which makes them especially good for women's health.

- Heidi Lewis


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