Friday, June 27, 2008

Beet It

So did you know that people originally ate only the beet greens, and it wasn't until around the time of the ancient Romans that eating the roots became popular? I sure didn't.

This is pretty much all I knew about beets:
They're really red and can stain things, and pickled beets are kind of stinky.

Neither of those things were really selling me on the idea of eating beets, so I did some more research. I have since found out that NON-pickled beets are supposed to be smooth and sweet and delicious. You can eat them raw or roasted or steamed or deep fried, NOT just pickled!

As for the color, cooking sites advise keeping the skin and an inch or two of stem intact when cooking beets, so they won't bleed. As with most things, that vivid color indicates the presence of antioxidants, including a type called betalains, and guess what--if you lose the color, you also lose antioxidants, so be careful with that skin! Beets also have a high sugar content but are very low in calories.

I know we'd have a disaster on our hands if we tried to do anything with raw beets (we have wooden countertops--that could get ugly), so we'll probably end up roasting them. I kept thinking, "How about something with potatoes? I love potatoes," so I searched until I found a recipe for Roasted Beet Mashed Potatoes. How about that? First pink mashed potatoes, and now red!

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