Beets enjoy a long and productive season that is expected to end shortly. I’ve been receiving a lot of beets during my week-long CSA shares, so I’m always looking for ways to enjoy these beautiful root vegetables.
What, Where & When?
The ancient Greeks adored beets. Greeks beets were a regular offering to the god Apollo, the god of poetry, the sun, and the arts. Nowadays, they are used in numerous cuisines. They are harvested in late spring through the beginning of winter. They can be stored for several weeks (more on that later).
As part of the same family as Swiss Chard, they are round and tough beets (or beetroots) are found underground -This is what people buy at the market. Also, they have red-veined green leaves that grow above the soil. Both beet’s roots and greens are edible.
Before enjoying beets, peel off the skin stained by dirt to reveal the stunning shades inside. Dark red, golden orange, and even white and red stripes are different. Deep-colored beets may leave marks on your fingers (cutting boards and countertops); however, lemon juice can help wash the stains off. It is also possible to clean them using rubber gloves.
A cup of raw beets includes 58 calories and 4,2 grams of fiber and offers a decent quantity of folate, a nutrient essential for cell growth in healthy blood vessels. Don’t throw out the greens – one cup (cooked) contains 39 calories and vitamins A, C, K, magnesium, and potassium.
What To Do With Beets
The most basic way to serve is to add crunchy raw beets in salads and slaws. After cooking, these vegetables transform into buttery and sweet. Roasting the vegetables caramelizes their natural sugars, which makes them more delicious. Beets cooked with cooking can be used in salads, but if you want something extra, mix them in the roasted vegetable medley or mix them into a mixture of cooked grains like rice or quinoa. In the case of the greens, steam, saute, or add pieces into stews, soups, tomato sauce, or pasta dishes — make use of them as you’d Swiss the chard or spinach.
Although beets are readily available most of the time, preserving them for a long time is possible by picking them or making cans so that you’re continually supplied with them.
Shopping Tips: Store beets not washed (greens taken out) inside the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks. Gardens are more perishable, so place them in a bag made of plastic in the fridge and then use them within four days.