A dear friend of mine is an exercise freak. When she’s not cooking a scrumptious omelet or mixing a Greek salad, she is jogging or working out at the gym. I asked her, ” Why the strenuous activity and attention to a healthy diet?”
“When I die,” she responded, “I am being cremated. I don’t want to be a grease fire.”
Okay, okay, you’ve heard it before. I just couldn’t let that little snippet pass without sharing it with you guys. But, it is a great bit of advice to heed. Obesity is becoming a leading health concern in the United States.
I’ve been enjoying fresh red beets ever since my boyhood days on the farm. The sweetness surpasses anything that comes in a can with a beet label. When I bought a few at the market today, my friend said he loved beets but did not know how to cook them. I’m sure most of you know what to do with beets, but for the few who don’t, this post is for you.
The beetroot is the taproot of the beet plant known in North America as the table beet, garden beet, red beet, or golden beet. It is a cultivated variety of Beta vulgaris. They are a powerhouse of beneficial nutrients including vitamins A, C, E, K, and the B vitamins thiamine, riboflavin, B6, B12, pantothenic acid and folate. They are also high in calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium. Additionally, beets contain important phytonutrients and dietary fiber.
Beets are not recognized as a super food as much as kale or blueberries, but these roots can hold their ground against the best of super foods. Check the link
for all the great health benefits available. And if you are not yet convinced, BEETS ARE CONSIDERED AN APHRODISIAC. Yeah, I can see those busy little fingers tapping on the keyboard now. The high content of boron boosts sex hormone production and the nitrates increase blood flow to the organs. Guys, y’all know what that means. Hey, I’m just passing along information available on the great link I provided above.
There is a simple method to cooking those great roots. I learned it from my grandma who pulled bushels of red beets from the garden and canned them.
- If you are lucky enough to buy beets with the tops, cut the tops off about 1 ” above the root. DO NOT CUT INTO THE ROOT. The tops are delicious cooked or in salad.
- Scrub, scrub, scrub the roots
- Place in a pot large enough to cover them with cold water
- Cook for about an hour. It depends on the size of the beet
- Refrain from piercing the roots until you think they have cooked long enough
- Pierce one beet for tenderness
- Remove from the heat and run cold water over them
- When cool enough to handle slip the skins off. You will be amazed how easy they skin
- The top and the root ends will have a coarse texture. Slice them off
Now you have fresh, cooked beets ready to prepare according to your favorite recipe. Honestly, I keep a bowl full in the refrigerator and eat them like snack candy. They are that sweet.