Winter farmers markets in the Seattle area are brimming with these beautiful, nutritious, vibrantly colored root vegetables. Packed with potassium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, iron, vitamins A, B, and C, beta carotene, folic acid, and antioxidants; eating beets is an amazing way of promoting your health and wellness during our dreary, rainy and windy winter months, here in the PNW. If the idea of preparing these messy veggies is holding you back, read on to see how easy it actually can be! Add them to your holiday dishes for a flavorful and gorgeous side or toss them in with any salad, warm or cold. Roast, boil, or grate away for a delicious, nutrient dense, antioxidant-filled boost.
Roasting whole beets is an easy, low mess way to prepare them. Heat the oven to 400°. Begin by cutting off the top leaves at about an inch above the root. Rinse under cold water and then wrap the whole beets tightly in aluminum foil. Roast until tender, about an hour. Remove, allow to cool, and then trim the ends with a small knife and peel over a garbage disposal or on a cutting board covered with parchment paper to minimize mess and staining. Slice, toss with olive oil, sea salt, and your favorite herbs and they are ready to go!
You can also chop beets before roasting to cut down on cooking time. Begin the same way, cutting greens off at about one inch above the root. Rinse them under cold water and then trim off their ends and peel (optional) over a garbage disposal or on a cutting board covered with parchment paper. Chop and transfer slices to a foil lined baking dish (or use a silicone liner), toss with olive oil and roast for about 30 minutes, stirring them occasionally. I like to add in my other favorite vegetables to the mix, slicing up yams, rutabagas, and turnips and adding whole garlic cloves for an easy roasted veggie medley!
Beets can also easily be boiled. Once again, begin by cutting off the top leaves, using scissors or a knife, about an inch above the root. Rinse the whole beets under cold water and put into a pan filled with cold water. Boil medium sized beets for about 45 minutes, checking the water level occasionally. Keeping the skin on while cooking helps to preserve their vibrant color and keep them from ‘bleeding’. After 45 minutes check for softness with a fork. Once done, strain, rinse with cold water, trim, peel (if desired) and add them to your favorite dish!
Beets are also delicious raw. Simply peel, grate, and add to salads. Done!
What to do with the beet greens you just trimmed off? They are delicious as well! Prepare them as you would spinach or swiss chard to add even more nutrients to your meal.
|Written by the Starkel Nutrition team.