Thursday, February 20, 2014


I have a special love for beets. They're the type of vegetable that people either love or hate. I never liked them as a child and didn't eat them at all until later on when I moved to Cincinnati. Summer time in Cincinnati can be unbearably hot and humid. I had a friend there who made fantastic borscht. She would make a hearty root vegetable based borscht in the winter and a lighter, ice cold chilled borscht version in the summer. I have many fond memories of hot summer evenings spent out on the balcony sipping ice cold borscht from a bowl while watching the lightning bugs.

Beets are amazing. I just cooked some that I had bought probably back in May of last year. They've been sitting in my refrigerator that whole time. I pulled them out last night and not too bad! A little moldy around the root and starting to sprout leaves, but all in all still quite edible.
The health benefits of beets are many . Beets are loaded with antioxidants and are an excellent source of iron, calcium, fiber and folic acid. Betacyanin is the pigment that gives beets their striking magenta color. It is absorbed into the blood and can increase the oxygen by up to 400%.
One of my favorite salads is just a wedge of iceberg lettuce with some dressing and pickled beets on top. So simple! Iceberg lettuce gets a bad rap for lack of nutrition, (which is not true). It is crisp, crunchy and the pickled beets together with the dressing give it so much flavor. See the picture below?... that whole salad is just under 100 calories. I buy cans of julienne beets, drain them and marinate them in rice vinegar with fresh mint, salt and pepper. I keep this in a jar for when I need to put together a quick salad. You just can't get any easier than that...


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