The ingredient of the February is beetroot in all it’s glory! Beetroot is perfect for wintery meals. It’s good, delicious and ecological idea to consume local grown beets and other root vegetables during the winter months. Beetroot is a versatile vegetable that is suitable for smoothies, salads, main courses and baking just to mention a few. It also has important nutritional value.
Beetroot facts and myths
The history of cultivating beets is pretty long. The first documents about beets are Assyrian texts describing beets beeing grown in the Hanging Gardens of Babylonia. Romans grew it a lot, though they used more the leaves than the roots and the main purpose for consuming beets was for it’s medicinal values more than having culinaristic experiences. One of the reasons for Romans’ beet excitement was probably the stories about their beloved goddess Afrodite eating beetroots all the times to stay beautiful and sexy.
The acient beetroot wasn’t red but white or black and it was more of a form of parsnip rather than a chubby bump. Round and red beetroots were developed in 16th century along with the yellow and red and white striped variations.
You can read everything there is to know about the history of beetroots right here.
Beetroots can be eaten raw or cooked. Grate or juice raw beets. If you are not used to eat them raw, start carefully as the raw beets may cause nausea, diarrhea and headaches. Beets are super yummy roasted in oven and boiled beetroots are a base for a great variety of dishes. Beetroots shouldn’t be given at all to children under 12 months because of their very hight nitrate levels. The very same possibly harmful nitrate has an upside too as it helps to lower blood pressure and to improve physical activity performance.
About 87 % of beets is water. Beetroots are a significant source of folate and packed with vitamin C and magnanese.
Eating 100 grams of (raw) beetroot will cover the daily intake values as presented below:
- Vitamin C 8 %
- Folate 27 %
- Magnanese 16 %
- Potassium 9 %
How to by, store and treat beetroots
Even in winter time beetroots are cheap and easy to find in every store. Pick smooth surfaced, firm and dark beetroots. When ever possible, by the beets with their leaves still attached. The leaves are delicious in salads or used in cooking in the same manner you would use spinach. Keep beetroots in a fridge.
Don’t ever peel beetroots before boiling them. The peel helps the colorants and precious vitamins to stay in side the vegetable. Beetroots colour everything in their dark pink tone. The colour is quite easy to remove but specially when handling a larger amounts of beets, it’s good to wear gloves.
The Ingredient of the Month: Beetroot
February is all about celebrating these earthy and sweet vegetables, beets. During the month I will share a lot beetroot recipes and tips here in the blog and in social media. Make sure you follow on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest to not to miss any of the beet love.
If you have a recipe you would like me to try or share, let me know in the comments.
Participate in social media and share your beetroot images #QueenIngredient!