Friday, July 15, 2011


Beets, botanically-known as Beta vulgaris, are native to the Mediterranean. although, the leaves have been eaten since before written history, the beet root was generally used medicinally and did not become a popular food until French Chefs recognized their potential in the 1800's.

Selecting Quality Beets:

The best time for beets is between June and October when they are at their youngest and most tender.

Avoid beets that have spots, bruises or soft wet areas, all of which indicate spoilage. These are also signs that the roots are aged, tough and fibrous.
Cut the majority of the greens and their stems from the beet roots, so they don't  pull moisture away from the root. Leave about two inches of the stem attached to prevent the roots from "bleeding."


2 bunches medium beets, (about 1 1/2 pounds) tops trimmed

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1-2 medium pressed & finely chopped garlic

2  tablespoons Apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons organic extra-virgin olive oil

Small bunch fresh chopped  Italian parsley


1/2 cup walnuts or pine nuts

1 bunch arugula, trimmed and torn

1/2 medium head escarole, torn

4 ounces goat cheese, (preferably aged goat cheese) crumbled
5-6 fresh basil leaves


Wash beets thoroughly in clean running water. Fill saucepan with water season generously with salt, add beets and cover. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until fork tender, about 20 - 40 minutes. When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel beets. Wearing kitchen gloves is a good idea when handling beets.  The skin should slide right off with a bit of pressure from your fingers.  Cut each beet into slices and  transfer to a rectangular glass dish; drizzle the Mediterranean Dressing while still hot.  Allow the beets to marinate in the Mediterranean  dressing for a flavorful taste; so refrigerate and enjoy them a little later ~smile~. That's why I love to eat my beets the next day!

Mediterranean Dressing:

In a small mixing bowl add the apple cider vinegar with salt, pepper and garlic. Whisk olive oil in a slow steady stream to make a dressing. Drizzle dressing over beets place in the refrigerator for approximately 2 hours to enhance flavors.

Other Serving Ideas:

-Grate raw beets for a vibrant and  delicious addition to salads or garnish for soups.

- Boil beet greens for 1 minute for a great tasting side dish, similar to Swiss chard.

- Use fresh lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and fresh herbs
- Divide arugula and escarole among 4 plates. Scatter the walnuts and goat cheese on top of beets

Beets make a delicious juice, but it does have a strong flavor and are usually best mixed with a combination of fruits and other vegetables.

Apple Cleanser:

2 apples
2 Kale leaves
1 stick celery
1/3 long cucumber
1/2 beet

This fruitness of the apples offsets the more challenging taste of the greens. A beautifully ruby red delicious detoxifying juice.

Note:  It is normal to see red pigmentation in your urine or stool after consuming beets, do not be alarmed.

Green leafy vegetables are a great source of calcium, magnesium and vitamin K, all excellent nutrients for bone health. Unfortunately, beet greens also contain oxalic acid which binds to calcium and tends to counteract its absorption. Consume beet greens sparingly if you are trying to build up your bones, and you.

Oxalic acid, a naturally occurring substance found in some vegetables which may crystallize as oxalate stones in the urinary tract in some people. Cooking can inactivate oxalic acid. It is therefore recommended that individuals with known oxalate urinary tract stones are advised to avoid eating excess greens. When oxalates become too concentrated in body fluids, they can crystallize therefore people with existing kidney or gallbladder issues should also use sparingly.

Can't BEAT BEETS ~grin~

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