Ok, I know some of you will think beets- yuck, and you won’t read any further but for those who’ve stayed with me, good for you! You’re about to learn the secret to delicious beets and why you should eat them. I remember eating beets as a young child and loving them the way that my stepmom made them. I didn’t know they were good for you, I just knew that I loved them. As I grew up I realized I didn’t like them as well unless they were made like my stepmom made them, so that’s what I’m going to share with you today.
But before I get to that let’s talk about why they’re good for you. First, did you know that beets can help lower your blood pressure? I didn’t know that but here’s the deal. Beets contain naturally occurring nitrates. They turn into nitric oxide in the body which helps to relax and dilate your blood vessels, thereby lowering your blood pressure. This nitrate turning into nitric oxide thing also boosts stamina allowing you to make it through your workouts with more energy. Beets also contain betaine which is a nutrient that helps fight inflammation by protecting cells, proteins and enzymes from the stress of our environment. In addition, the phytonutrients that give beets that intense red color also help ward off cancer! Wow, cool benefit! Beets are also high in vitamin C, fiber,potassium, manganese, B vitamin folate which all boost the immune system. Another great thing is that beets help detoxify and purify your body because they contain betalin pigments which separate toxins from cells and purify your blood and liver.
That’s all very impressive but if you can’t make them in a way that’s delicious neither you nor anyone else will eat them. This is where I come in. I’m going to share my stepmom’s recipe for delicious beets with you right now!
The first thing you do is clean and separate them from their tops as I’ve shown in the above photo. These are beets I purchased from the farmer’s market this past Saturday. As I’ve said in previous posts I am a huge fan of farmer’s markets and the produce that is sold. I’d like to grow my own beets someday but for now I am thankful I can purchase such beautiful, fresh beets from my local farmers!
The next thing you do is put them WHOLE in a pot with enough water to cover about an inch over the top of them and boil them for an hour. Yes, I said an hour, but you’ll have to watch to make sure all the water doesn’t boil away. As you can see from the picture, my water was getting low at that point so after I took the picture I added more water to get it to the one inch over the top of the beet water level.
After they’ve boiled for an hour I keep the beets in the pan, dump out the boiling water, and replace it with cold water, letting the cold water run in the pan for a minute. Let them sit for a few minutes because if not you will burn your fingers, as I did when I was holding the beet in this picture! After a few minutes in the cold water, pull the beet out and peel the tough outer coating off with your fingers. It just slides right off with very little effort. Put them in a bowl as you peel them. Your hands might stain from the deep red color of the beets so make sure to wash your hands with soap as soon as you’re done peeling them, and I always wear an apron just in case the beet juice splashes on me.
I like to cut them up once they’re in the bowl so the butter melts onto them, but if they’re a little cold after their time in the water just put the bowl in the microwave for a minute. Add a good plop of butter (this is essential) and salt and pepper to taste. That’s it! I think they taste is a little like potatoes, only earthier. I like them more than potatoes actually. My significant other doesn’t like beets, but when I made them last night he said that I can even make beets taste good. Awww!
That’s all there is to cooking beets, so try them and make sure to let me know if you liked them! I look forward to hearing from you and remember to continue to live a life of vitality- like Valerie!