I love ordering beets at restaurants but I have always been a bit intimidated to prepare them myself. So when a neighbor brought over fresh beets from her garden, I had no choice! Good thing too, because it could not have been simpler.
After consulting the internet and numerous recipes, I came up with a game plan.
- First I washed them and then trimmed off the beet greens (which I saved and sauteed in olive oil – lovely!).
- Next I loosely wrapped the beets in foil, placed them in a cake pan and roasted them at 425 degrees for 45 minutes.
- I removed them from the oven and used the foil to scrape off the outer skin, which came off so easily!
- Finally I chopped them and added them to a salad for dinner. My boys loved them and thought their stained red lips and tongue were pretty funny.
Beets are either red, “golden” (a yellow color) or pink and white striped. All have a distinct sweet flavor. The red beets can stain once cooked (which is why I used the foil to peel the skin off – you could also use plastic gloves), although I found the color washed out fairly easily. The best season for beets is June through October. At about 40 calories for 1/2 cup, they make a great flavorful, low calorie addition to any meal. They boast high levels of magnesium and potassium, two nutrients that are important in regulating blood pressure. Beets are also a good source of iron, calcium, vitamin A and vitamin C.
Of course you don’t have to prepare them yourself. You can utilize canned beets as well but I hope this has shown you how easy it can be.
Have you ever prepared your own beets before? Do you have any fun recipes that use beets? Please share!
Emily Fonnesbeck RD,CD