Health Fitness

Nutritional information and cooking methods for beets

Beets are very nutritious and healthy root vegetables. Beet juice is a common ingredient in healthy diet recipes. This tuber can be eaten raw or in salads, cooked as a vegetable as a garnish for the main dish of the meal.

Have you ever tried eating fresh beets? In a grocery store, they won’t look very tempting; covered with dirt and a funny purple color.

Not many are tempted to eat this purple vegetable. Beets, well prepared, can be a very tasty and healthy dish.

Selection and storage:

When shopping in a store, look for raw beets that are fresh, firm with shine, not too dry. It is even better if the beets contain leaves. If you buy pre-cooked, the skin should be smooth, without black spots or cracks. Try to buy small beets as large beets can contain more fibers.

Storage:

Fresh, you can keep it for 3-4 days in the vegetable compartment of your refrigerator, enclosed in an airtight container. Cut into slices or cubes, it can be kept frozen and for several months.

Preparation methods:

To cook beets, first wash them under cool running water to remove dirt and grime. Then dip them in boiling water with their stems. Add a little salt and vinegar. When it cools down, you should be able to peel off the skin.

Recipe ideas:

  • When buying raw beets, grate them finely and have them as an appetizer with vinegar and olive oil or simply by adding salad sauce.
  • Precooked beets are great for salad dressings.
  • You can also find them as pickles in stores and very popular in South American homes.
  • In Indian cuisine, it is used to prepare curried meat dishes. Beet juice is also a very popular health drink.

Some history:

The botanical name for beets is Beta Vulgaris. It belongs to the Amaranthaceous family. It is more commonly known as ‘beetroot’ or ‘garden beet’; a purple root vegetable. Beets are also grown as a leafy vegetable. The different varieties of beet vegetables are:

Chard:

A green leafy vegetable commonly used in Mediterranean recipes. It is a very nutritious leaf but its roots are not so nutritious. Other common names are; beet spinach, chard, silver beet, etc.

Sugar beet:

It is a plant whose tubers contain a large amount of sugar. It is produced commercially for the production of sugar and molasses.

Beet has a long historical background for its cultivation, most likely dating back to the second millennium BC. According to the story, the plant was first used for domestic purposes in the Mediterranean region. Beetroot was also used for medicinal purposes.

The first recipes were published around the 2nd century. It was then that a high nutritional quality red, white and yellow root crop variety was developed.

Today, it is grown as a vegetable (beet), leaves (chard, beet, spinach), as fodder and for sugar production.

France is the second largest grower in Europe, only after Italy. Beet is grown mainly in Orleans, Brittany and Nord-Pas-de-Calais.

Raw or fresh, it is available in stores from May to October, while cooked and vacuum packed it is available all year round.

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