Didn't give beets a second thought? Well, here are a few fun facts that are going to be a game changer! I spent some time with a woman from Ballwin, MO who grew up working in her family's backyard garden and now devotes a great deal of time tending to her own backyard gardens. Gloria Wilkinson picked fresh golden beets and prepared the sweet earthy delicious gems for me and I have enjoyed them with no regrets!
Let's start with the fun facts. Beets have come a long way from being solely recognized as some blob of canned stuff to being prepared and served in countless ways in 5 star restaurants globally. During The Napoleonic Wars France's import of sugarcane from The Caribbean was stopped by European Powers. Now that's just plain cruel! Napoleon came to the rescue. He was not about to let his people go without sugar! With the help of chemists it was discovered that the sugar beet produced sucrose exactly as sugarcane does. Good news for France. Soon beet sugar factories were made and sugar beet crops were planted and millions of kilos of sugar were produced. Napoleon handled it. The pigment from beets is used today in ice cream, drink mixes, yogurt and snack type foods.
Beets for nutrition. The leafy greens of the beet root are packed with nutrients even more so than the beet itself. They are loaded with high amounts of iron, calcium and magnesium and they are delicious to boot. The beet root contains folate, fiber, potassium and vitamin c. Beet roots also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits as well as detoxification benefits. Try beets and live a little. How about live a little longer and stronger.
What You'll Need:
Gloria's Beets -
- 1 1/2 TBL olive oil divided
- 4 Medium sized fresh beets
- 1/4 c goat cheese
- Head of roasted garlic (reserve two of the roasted cloves for the greens)
- Kosher salt, pepper
For The Greens -
- The greens you reserved from the beets
- 2 of the reserved roasted garlic
- 1 TBL butter or 1 TBL olive oil
- Salt, pepper
How To Make It:
- Beets! Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take the garlic and chop the top off exposing tops of all the individual cloves. Set in foil and cover top of garlic with a tsp of olive oil and seal the foil tight. Then set the garlic foilpack on a baking sheet and set aside
- Remove the greens from beet root leaving about an inch of the stems from the greens remaining attached and leave the tail attached completely. Set the greens aside.
- Rinse the beets well, removing any dirt and leave the skin intact.
- Place the beets in a pot and fill with water to cover an inch above the beets.
- Bring to a boil over high heat. Once it reaches a boil cover the pot and turn down to medium and cook about 30 minutes or until fork tender.
- When you set your timer for 30 minutes for boiling you will be placing your baking sheet with garlic into the preheated oven. Roasting and boiling will finish at the same time.
- After 30 minutes take your garlic out removing from foil and let cool for a few minutes
- Remove beets from pan and place them in a bowl of ice water for just a minute. You can use your fingers to easily peel away the skin. The tail and rest of stem will come off as well. You may want to remove skin under running water in the sink because the beet juice will stain.
- Pop out some of the garlic cloves, start with a few and add more if you like but remember to reserve 2 for the greens. Mash the desired amount or carefully slice and set aside for a moment.
- Now slice the beets anyway you like. You can drizzle a little olive oil over them and season them to your liking. Add the desired garlic and sprinkle goat cheese over the top.
- The Greens! Pull greens up and away from the stem. Rinse thoroughly under cold water and drain on a paper towel.
- Ball them up and slice vertically until you have it all chopped and set aside.
- Heat a saute pan to medium heat. Add butter or olive oil and when butter begins to bubble and sizzle toss in the greens with salt and pepper to your liking and stir for a couple of minutes and then mix in the roasted garlic. Cook another minute more and you are done.
- You can place the greens on a dish then place the beets on top if you like. Or have the greens on the side.
Notes: It is highly important to keep the root and part of the stem intact on the beets while cooking. These key elements keep the color from leaking during the cooking process and prevent the nutrients and juices from escaping. There are so many things you can add to this recipe to make it your own wonderful delicious way. You can add bacon to the greens. You can add any fresh herbs or experiment with different spices. It's important to use young beets which are small to medium in size because the flavor is better and the nutrients are much richer. Although beets are offered year round; their prime season is June to October. Buying during season gives better flavor, richer nutrients and lower cost! Now you know!