What do borsch, pickles and laxatives (well, certain laxatives) have in common? They all start with beet roots.
Mmmm, beets. They are sweet tasting, and give you the fullness of simple carbs with none of the guilt. They’re also a bitch to cut, leaving your cuticles and any cuts bright red. But just like their mess-equivalent of the fruits, pomegranates, the taste is way too good to pass up.
Most beets you find in the grocery store are “Red Ace,” named for their bright pigment. There are also purple and yellow varieties available. Betanin is the name of beet’s bright red pigment, and has antioxidant properties.
Beets as a laxative? Yes, beets have been used as a laxative since Roman times. Also they are a good way to test how effectively your digestive system is working, since you can “see” the red in your stool. Kinda gross, but food should be fully digested within 24 hours. Even more strange, people with “beeturia” are unable to break down the red pigment, which appears in their urine!!!
That distinctive, “earthy” taste of beetroots is caused by geosmin, a smell humans are extremely sensitive to. Geosmin is broken down by acids, so it you like beets but for that taste, add lemon juice or vinegar to your beets before serving.
Beets are bringing sexy back! Here is my favourite beet recipe:
– Peel beets. As many as you can eat.
– Place in a bowl and add 1-5 teaspoons of oil, and salt and black pepper to taste. Get you hands messy and roll the beets around to coat them. Fun!
– Stab a fork into each dressed beet, then wrap them in aluminum foil. Bake in a parchment papered pan at 400 for 30 minutes.
– Unwrap beets and cube them. This is a good time to add other cubed and dressed root vegetables, if you so desire. Roast for 30 minutes at 350.
Here’s what you get: