Beets are a root vegetable that comes in a variety of colors; purple, pink, gold, white, and even striped beets. In recent years, this beautiful purple root vegetable has gained popularity as a superfood. Beets are a great source of minerals and vitamins such as manganese, folate, potassium, iron, magnesium, fiber, vitamin C, A, Vitamin B (B1, B2, B6 & B9), betalains, betaine, and nitrates.
To preserve freshness and nutrients, store beets in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks and wash them just before cooking. Here are more tips to get the most out of your fresh produce: Karen’s Produce Storing Tips.
Beets and beauty
Beet extract is often used for a beautiful red color in food and cosmetics. One advantage is that fewer people are allergic to beets than to red dye. Also, because beets can increase iron absorption, they can help to provide a more healthy-looking appearance to your skin.
Beets, exercise and endurance
The nitric oxide found in beets helps increase muscle blood flow during rest and exercise, which has shown to improve tissue oxygenation and increase the time to fatigue of muscles, thus allowing more prolonged and efficient workouts in athletes.
5 Health benefits
- Beets can lower the risk of developing atherosclerosis, the build-up of fats on the artery walls.
- Both raw beet juice and cooked beets can improve blood pressure, blood vessel function, and systemic inflammation, but the raw beetroot juice has more significant anti-hypertensive effects.
- Beets may reduce the risk of cancer by inhibiting the formation of substances capable of causing cancer and increasing the production of immune cells to help fight cancer development.
- Beetroot provides a mild laxative effect, and beet’s dietary fiber stimulates intestinal excretion of cholesterol. This could be a reasonable explanation for why beet products can reduce cholesterol.
- Red beetroot compounds can stimulate intestinal iron absorption, helping against iron deficiency anemia.
Sugar beets contain a natural sugar called sucrose and contain twice the amount of sugar as table beets. They provide about one-third of the world’s table sugar supply.
The recipe of the week comes via Native Sun
Beets with Walnuts and Blue Cheese
4 med sized red beets, washed, tops removed
1/2 c. walnuts
1/2 c. blue cheese
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. honey
Salt and pepper to taste.
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Rub beets with 2 tbsp. olive oil. Place in baking dish and fill with about a half inch of water. Wrap tightly with foil and place in oven. Cook for 45-60 minutes. Beets are ready when easily pierced with a paring knife.
- Uncover beets and allow them to cool completely. Peel beets using a paring knife (wear gloves). Cut into bite sized chunks.
- Toast walnuts in oven for 3-5 minutes until fragrant. Set aside to cool and then give them a rough chop.
- Toss beets with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, and salt and pepper to taste. Allow to marinate for at least an hour.
- To serve, transfer beets and their dressing to a serving bowl. Crumble blue cheese and scatter toasted walnuts over the top. Avoid mixing to keep everything from turning red.