Red beets are not rare or exceptional vegetables. But it can be exquisite. Even more than that, beetroot fits perfectly into the concept of haute cuisine: it has an expressive taste, an attractive top appearance, it is healthy and goes well with a huge number of products.
In its raw form, it “works” well in salads of greens and fresh vegetables, it can be both an appetizer and a side dish. It is enough to sprinkle it with raspberry or apple cider vinegar — and it will turn into a gastronomic miracle.
How to grow beets?
In our conditions, beets are rarely sown for seedlings. The seeds are simply soaked for several days and sown in open ground when it warms up to about 10 ° C, as a rule, this is at the end of April — the first half of May. A bed for beets is made 10–15 cm deep, and this is not a whim, but an important detail, because the vegetable needs to form a root crop, which means you need to “hold on to the ground”. It should also be ensured that the soil for planting is not dry: beets are a moisture-loving crop.
What is useful red beets?
Mentions of red beets, and rather flattering ones, are also found in Hippocrates and Paracelsus. The ancient Aesculapius considered this root crop to be a good remedy for anemia, digestive diseases, an excellent prevention for the lymphatic system, and it was also advised to relieve chills. They were not mistaken: modern research confirms that beets are really capable of a lot.
In red root vegetables, in addition to calories, there are also vitamins, fiber, antioxidants … In general terms and briefly: beets contain vitamins A and E, vitamins B and P, as well as copper, magnesium, iodine and folic acid. Great product!
Dietary features of beets
Beets are not too high-calorie vegetable: 42 kcal per 100 g of product. But due to the high content of trace elements and fiber, it is a “regular” in dietary sports nutrition and in the diet for people experiencing increased physical activity.
The glycemic index of raw beets is 30 units, there are only 15 units of sugars in its tops, and the index of boiled beets is 65 units. Therefore, people suffering from diabetic disease should carefully monitor the consumption of this bright vegetable.
Therapeutic and prophylactic properties of beets
Beetroot juice has a high content of bioflavonoids, which improve digestion and normalize metabolism. Due to the high fiber content, beets are also great for detoxifying the body. In folk medicine, beets are also used to treat colitis, intestinal disorders, and constipation.
In addition, beetroot juice copes well with colds.
A significant content of vitamin B9 allows us to recommend the use of beets as an additional prevention of heart disease. Beets are also useful for anemia, beriberi, exhaustion. And here’s another life hack: the day turned out to be exhaustingly difficult, both physical and nervous strength are at the limit — eat a salad with boiled beets. You will be surprised: it really helps.
To whom beets are contraindicated
Beets are famous for their ability to regulate blood pressure, but those who suffer from hypertension should use them with caution.
Red beets should be excluded from the diet for those who have low blood pressure.
It is also contraindicated for those diagnosed with high acidity, kidney disease, osteoporosis.
In diabetes mellitus, the use of beets should be strictly controlled and take into account that during heat treatment the product changes the glycemic index.
The subtleties of cooking and recipes from beets
It happens that boiled beets sometimes have an earthy aftertaste. But this is not a problem: sprinkle it with a drop of wine vinegar — and there will be no trace of an unpleasant aftertaste. And so that it doesn’t even exist, act proactively: add a little lemon juice to the water for boiling beets.
Beets are a non-waste vegetable. Its young tops can be used in the same way as spinach. It is stewed and steamed, and added to fresh salads like greens. Worth a try!
Chicken liver salad with fresh beets
Cooking time: 40 min.
For 4 servings:
- 200 g red beets
- 8 stalks of young onions with bulbs
- 2 oranges
- 2 small onions
- 50 g assorted leafy salads
- 50 g young beet leaves
- 400 g chicken liver
- 3 Art. l. olive oil
- 2 tbsp. l. wine vinegar
- 30 g butter
- salt pepper
Squeeze the juice from 1 orange and strain. Peel the remaining orange, disassemble into slices and, removing the films, cut into slices. For the sauce, whisk orange juice with vinegar and olive oil, add salt and pepper to taste.
Peel, wash and chop green onions. Clean the beets, wash and cut into thin strips.
Peel the onion, chop and fry in a pan in butter over low heat for 3 minutes. Add chicken liver, salt, pepper, increase heat to medium and cook for 6–8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Rinse salads and tops, sort, dry, mix in a bowl with green onions, beets and pour over the sauce. Arrange vegetables with sauce on portioned plates, add orange slices and liver and mix.
Baked beets in a salt “fur coat”
Cooking time: 2 h 30 min.
For 4 servings:
- 4 small beets 100–150 g each
- 500 g coarse table salt
- 700 g flour
- 2 tsp peppercorns
- 1 bunch thyme
- 6 proteins
- butter for serving
Wash and dry the beets. Heat the oven up to 180C. Mix flour with salt in a large bowl, add pepper and chopped thyme, pour in egg whites and use a mixer to knead a homogeneous dough.
Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment. Divide the salt dough into 4 parts, roll each one and cover the prepared beets with salt cakes so that the roots are completely covered with dough. Put the products on a baking sheet at a small distance from each other.
Roast the beets in the oven for 2 hours.
Remove the beets from the oven and let them cool at room temperature for 15 minutes. Transfer the beets to serving plates, break the salt crust. Add a little melted butter to each serving of beets.
Pork belly with beetroot confit and cinnamon
Cooking time: 3 hours
For 4 servings:
- 600 g small red beets
- 4 slices raw smoked pork belly
- 50 ml vegetable oil
- 3 art. l. liquid honey
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon
- salt and pepper to taste
Peel, wash and dry the beets, cut into halves or quarters and fry in a saucepan over low heat for 30 g of butter for 3 minutes. Salt and pepper the beets, add half the ground cinnamon and pour a little water into the saucepan. Cover the saucepan with a sheet of parchment and cook over low heat for 2 hours, adding water as it boils away.
Meanwhile, prepare the meat. Heat the oven up to 130C. Fry pork slices in a pan in a mixture of vegetable and remaining butter for 2 minutes on each side. Sprinkle the meat with a mixture of ground spices and the remaining cinnamon, salt and pepper. Drizzle the meat with honey and let it caramelize on all sides.
Transfer the fried meat to a small baking dish. Deglaze the fat remaining in the pan by pouring 250 ml of cold water. Bring water to a boil, cook for 2 minutes and pour into a mold over meat. Cover the dish with the meat with a sheet of aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 2 hours.
Transfer the beets to the meat dish and bake for another 30 minutes. Serve the dish hot, with the juice formed during baking, as a sauce.
Soft croutons with beetroot syrup
Cooking time: 1 hour
For 6 servings:
- beetroot with 5 beets
- 2 young beets
- 150 g brown sugar
- 2 cm ginger root
- 1 vanilla pod
- 6 slices stale wheat bread
- 400 ml milk
- 1 sachet of vanilla sugar
- 2 eggs
- 20 g butter
- 1 st. l vegetable oil
Rinse the peeled beets and tops, dry and finely chop. Peel and grate the ginger. Put the prepared products in a saucepan, scrape a vanilla pod on them, add sugar, pour in 200 ml of water and bring to a boil. Cook over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring regularly.
Soak bread in milk. In a separate bowl, beat eggs with vanilla sugar. Dip bread slices in egg mixture on both sides.
In a frying pan in a hot mixture of vegetable oil and butter, fry the bread for 5 minutes on each side. Put the finished croutons on a serving dish. Serve warm, drizzled with beetroot syrup.
Young beetroot salad
Cooking time: 20 min.
For 4 servings:
- Leafy haulm from 1 bunch of young beets
- 100 g spinach
- 4 figs
- 2 tbsp. l. roasted sunflower seeds
- 2 tbsp. l. chopped hazelnuts
- 100 g dried or smoked chicken breast
- For sauce: juice of 1 lemon
- 6 Art. l. olive oil
- 1 Art. l. walnut oil
- salt pepper
Rinse the greens and spinach, sort, dry and tear with your hands. Wash the figs and cut into lengthwise slices. Cut the chicken breast into thin strips.
Mix the prepared products in a salad bowl. Add seeds and nuts.
To make the sauce, mix lemon juice with olive oil, add salt and pepper to taste. Mash a few slices of figs and stir into the sauce.
Pour dressing over salad and mix.
Do you love beets?