Beautiful Beets : Perspectives Blog
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Beautiful Beets

by Monica Lloyd on 11/29/16

            Health building beets and their greens are tasty earthy edibles worthy of our respect and admiration. These beguiling beauties are simply unbeetable when it comes to being a waste not want not wholesome veggie any time of the year. With so many ways to serve them, there is no excuse for not enjoying them more often.

Detroit Red, Di Chiogga and Golden beets are my personal favorites, but there are many to choose from and all are simple to grow. For instance, Bull’s Blood are characteristically grown for their greens, while others are grown for sugar production and some provide the finest roots.

Beets are esteemed as one of the most nutritious vegetables available with both the greens and root making the charts. It is no surprise due to their high amounts of essential nutrients, fiber and enzymes that help to charge up your body.

Consisting of only 75 calories per 1 cup serving, beets are a low-fat, high-fiber source of vitamins and minerals like folate, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin C, and iron. They have smaller amounts of vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, pantothenic acid, magnesium, calcium, zinc, copper and selenium. This all adds up to one big package of wow!

According to The George Mateljan Foundation, recent studies show that beets, as well as other red pigmented foods, contain distinctive phytonutrients called betalains. Two of these betalains found to be considerably high in beets are betanin and vulgaxanthin, which provide anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and detoxification support.

Moreover, quite a few other health benefits are associated with consuming beets and their greens on a regular basis. They are believed to help build good blood, relieve constipation, balance hormones, alleviate depression, strengthen veins, and are said to fight against cancer, lower blood pressure and increase stamina.

When it comes to adorning our menus, beets are a lovely presentation for any setting. Their deep red, pink or golden shades make a table come alive with rich color, texture and flavor. From simple to elegant and even lavish, beets are easy to include on the carte du jour. I love putting them in mashed potatoes for extra holiday appeal. When glazed they add a rich sheen, while buttered beets give a more subtle look. Raw shredded beets provide just the right touch in salads or used as a garnish. Another unique idea for beets includes using cooked and sliced beets for making an incredibly delightful sandwich. Plus, don’t throw away that precious nutrient dense broth! It can be utilized in a number of yummy ways for nutrition, taste and color.

Beets as desserts or sweets may come as a surprise, but it’s true. They make a scrumptious cake and one old-fashioned way to use the leftover broth is making beet jelly.

Steamed beet greens are an enjoyable side dish that can be eaten lightly salted, with a splash of soy/nut milk or try adding sautéed onion and garlic. In addition, they are nice when chopped and included in stir fry or soup. In addition, my special recipe for Vegan Cream of Greens soup will get your taste bud’s attention.

Raw or juiced beets provide the highest nutritional values, whereas lightly steamed beets will maintain a fair amount of nourishment. Start out slowly with only a few ounces if you want to juice beets, because the detoxification rate can be a bit much at first. Mixing it with carrot and/or greens juice is optimal. Furthermore, steamed beets can be savored numerous ways.

            Stocking up for winter storage of beets is uncomplicated. They can be kept in a root cellar, canned, frozen, pickled or dehydrated.

            I am probably a bit biased in my viewpoint, but I consider beets as a daily staple in my juicing and raw regime.


Bold Beet Salad

Monica Lloyd

                        3 medium sized dark red beets  ¼ c. fresh lemon juice

                        ½ sweet onion                                      2 t. ground cumin

                        ½ c. chopped celery                             1 t. salt

                        1 clove garlic/chopped or pressed         ½ t. oregano

                        3 T. olive oil                                         ½ chopped avocado

Remove beet greens and scrub to remove any dirt or debris. Cut raw beets (unpeeled) up into large cubes and place in food processor with the “S” blade. Next process until somewhat finely chopped. Then add onion, celery, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and seasonings and process just enough to mix well. Pour mixture into a bowl and stir in avocado. Top with alfalfa or clover sprouts and enjoy! Variation: Use Chiogga beets and omit cumin, oregano, lemon juice and olive oil adding ½ cup or more of organic ranch or ranch-like dressing.

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