Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wholesome Wednesdays: Beets Plus a Recipe

YUM!!!!!    OMIGOSH that was so good. I didn't take any photos, however, as i hadn't planned on blogging the recipe since it was thrown together last minute. But upon just eating the leftovers for lunch, i felt the need to write it down.

A friend who runs the Hope Farmers Market brought by some beautiful beets and spring onions this weekend knowing that i would know what to do with them. That's a lot of confidence! But i DID i DID know what to do with them, and this is what i did:

While sitting on the back porch enjoying the beautiful breeze, i put a quart mason jar's worth of sprouted black beans (had sprouted 3-4 days) in a pan with a pint of homemade turkey stock and set on medium with a fresh bay leaf while i returned outside to enjoy the weather.  When the beans seemed mostly soft, about 15-20 minutes i chopped and tossed into a large fry pan:
  • 4 cloves garlic, mashed in a T or so olive oil
  • 3 big spring onions, just the white part
  • 1 finely diced habanero
  • salt and pepper
  • smoked paprika
When the onions were softening and the pan was sizzling, i poured in the beans/stock (great sizzling sound!) and covered. Nearing time to eat i tossed in chopped beet greens and the onion greens plus more salt and pepper and some egg whites i had leftover from baking the easter bread. The beet greens wilted much like kale: longer than spinach, and the whole combo was just perfection!

My husband doesn't much care for beets, but he liked the greens so i think i'll try growing some this fall. You just can't beat a vegetable that's as good above ground as it is below! Versatility is a real boon when you have such a tiny space to garden in. The leftover beet roots are destined for some grilling tomorrow night with some more olive oil,  garlic and salt.

So what about the nutrition of these beautiful root veggies? This website has some great details, but the long and the short of it:
Beets provide a good punch of vitamins and minerals with very few calories and delicious sweet taste. 
The pigment that gives beets their rich, purple-crimson color-betacyanin-is also a powerful cancer-fighting agent. Beets' potential effectiveness against colon cancer, in particular, has been demonstrated in several studies.
 Beet fiber contains some helpful enzymes that assist in detoxifying the liver and beet juice was found to be a potent inhibitor of the cell mutations caused by nitrates, preservatives often found in meats and sausage products.  Beets may help to reduce inflammation and are high  in the B vitamin folate, which is essential for normal tissue growth especially during pregnancy.

I'd say beets are great! Most veggies with dark coloration such as beet red or dark leafy green are a safe bet that they help fight cancer and promote optimum health. So enjoy your beets!

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