Jul 082011

My favorite vegetable is the beet. You get the most for your money. For starters a beet seed packet is loaded with seeds. No staring down into the depths of the packet looking for it. When you order beet seed you get your money’s worth.

The best thing is you eat the whole plant—tops and bottoms. I think the tops are better than its cousin the chard. Beets are great boiled until tender or sliced and roasted. They also make great juice. Our favorite way to eat them is pickled.

I planted about 120 sq. ft. of beets. I planted them closer together than recommended because…because I am greedy for the beet. When they were about 2-3 inches high I carefully hand thinned them and used the little leaves for salad. Today was the second thinning as some of the beets are two inches in diameter. I picked many of those plus anything that was too close to a neighbor. Got six quarts of beets and three grocery bags of greens.

Canning beets is pretty simple once you get a canning routine down. I had trouble finding my recipe so made one up and will give it a taste before using it again. But there’s vinegar, sweetener, salt, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and ginger power.

You have to cook the beets, peel them, cook up some spiced vinegar, heat water in your canning pot, wash your jars, warm up some lids, slice the beets, etc. etc. It actually goes pretty fast.

But the beet tops are tedious. Blanch them, unfold them on towels, dry them off and pack them in Ziplock bags.

It takes awhile but you end up with what will be fast food in the winter.

Why take pills? Eat lots of beets and beet greens:

“Red Beet is unique for its high levels of anti-carcinogens and its very high carotenoid content. Red beets are high in carbohydrates and low in fat and it is an excellent source of folic acid. It is loaded with antioxidant that helps the body against heart disease, certain cancer especially colon cancer and even birth defects. Betacyanin is the pigment that gives beets their red color; this pigment is absorbed into the blood corpuscles and can increase the oxygen-carrying ability of the blood by up to 400 per cent. Don’t throw away the green leafy tops as they can be cooked like spinach and are also rich in beta-carotene, folic acid, chlorophyll, potassium, vitamin C, and iron.

Health Benefits of Red Beets:

  • Beet root is a traditional treatment used for leukemia. Beet root contain an amino acid betaine which has an anti cancer properties. Red beet therapy, consisting of consumption of approximately two pounds of raw, mashed beets daily, has been favorably reported for cases of leukemia and tumors (includes cancer). Research also shows that beet juice can help inhibit the development of colon and stomach cancer.
  • It is believed that red beets when used eaten regularly may help against certain oxidative stress-related disorders.
  • The fiber in red beets help reduced serum cholesterol by 30 to 40%.
  • Beets can help in normalizing blood pressure.
  • Beets helps to keep the elasticity of arteries, when consumed regularly it can help prevent varicose veins.
  • The iron content of red beets, though not high but is of the finest quality that makes it a powerful cleanser and builder of blood. This is the reason why beets is very effective in treating many ailments caused by toxic environment and surrounding.
  • Beet root is recommended for pregnant women because it contain folic acid that can help lower the risk of spina bifida and other neural tube defects in newborn infants.
  • Beet juice helps stimulate the function of liver cells and protect the liver and bile ducts.
  • Beet juice is highly alkaline which makes it effective in the treatment of acidosis.
  • Drinking beets regularly can help relieve constipation.
  • Beet juice and carrot juice when combined is excellent in the healing gout, kidney and gall bladder problem.
  • Red beets can also help in the following problems; Headaches, toothaches, dysentery, lumbago, skin problems, menstrual problems, etc.”

  5 Responses to “Beets!”

  1. I love pickled beets, too. When I’ve opened a jar and removed some of the beets, I put in peeled hard-boiled eggs down into the pickling juice. Leave them a few hours or overnight and you get the most beautiful and tasty pickled eggs imaginable. See photo here on my blog: http://whatcomlocavore.com/easy-refrigerator-pickles

  2. Mmmm, I am salivating. Pickled beets, canned beets, roasted beets, they all taste delicious! Especially with the added satisfaction of growing and harvesting your own. Enjoy!

  3. Today I made a sauce of chopped potatoes,onions, garlic, carrots, and finely chopped beet leaves + one bottle of Trader Joe’s Red Curry sauce ( thinned with 1/2 cup water) simmered over low heat for 20 minutes. Served over a bed of Jasmine rice. Very good dish.

  4. Are you going vegetarian? Or, did you leave out the rest of the menu!

  5. You have outed me. Yes, there was chicken in the dish too — but it was free range and led a very happy life.

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