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Beets Just Can't be Beat

By Alana Sugar, October 24, 2011  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Alana Sugar
A few years ago I read about a Russian woman who lived to the ripe old age of 117! I had to wonder what she ate. Could her diet have included plenty of beets? After all, beets are a favorite in Russian cuisine, and they are known to contain many important health benefits. Beets date back as far as the second millennium BC where they were likely cultivated along the Mediterranean. They eventually spread to Babylonia, China and Europe. In 19th century Germany, they became commercially important due to the discovery that sucrose (sugar) could be extracted from them. Beets have a sweet, earthy flavor. They are delicious steamed, roasted, boiled, pickled, or grated raw into salads. They complement many dishes, including fruit. While available year round, beets reach their peak from June through October. When purchasing fresh beets, you will easily find the common purple variety, however, many stores do carry golden beets as well another pink and white variety called Chioggia. When available, make sure to buy the entire plant -— the root and greens. The leafy beet greens are full of good nutrition and are easy to cook. Add them to a soup or sauté them with onions and garlic in olive oil or butter. These beet and beet green ideas and recipes are meant to inspire you, but remember that purple beets will turn your recipe reddish in color and can stain hands and clothes, so proceed with an apron and a bit of caution. Got a favorite beet recipe that can’t be beat? I would love to know!
Category: Food & Recipes, Produce




Cami says ...
I love, love, love beets!!
10/24/2011 1:45:36 PM CDT
Sue Braden says ...
A quick old time favorite is Red Flannel Hash. Grandma made it from canned hash. She sauteed the hash in butter. Then added well drained diced beets to the hash when it was crispy and well cooked. She just cooked a few more minutes to heat the beets. I prefer to use my own beef and potato hash!
10/24/2011 1:52:23 PM CDT
Barbara Schuster says ...
My mother-in-law is Russian and makes a tasty salad with beets called "Red Salad." It calls for: Beets and carrots peeled, cooked and cubed Red onion, chopped into small pieces Red potatoes, cooked and chopped Dill,Balsamic Vinegar, and olive oil She just tosses all together for a family favorite.
10/24/2011 2:58:55 PM CDT
Janis P says ...
I add beets to my home canned tomato juice. It adds depth to the flavor and color is richer.
10/24/2011 4:12:06 PM CDT
Georgia says ...
One of my faves. I love juicing them - carrots, beets, green apples, and ginger is yummy, simple and very healthy.
10/24/2011 6:49:51 PM CDT
Alda Nordfjord says ...
I love to juice Beets, here is a perfect morning juice. 1 beat medium size 3 carrots 2 cm. ginger 2 organic appels 1 lemmon just the juice water as you like. great way to start the day, happy and healthy. enjoy Alda
10/25/2011 1:13:18 PM CDT
Mari says ...
Wash and dry the beets. Depending on the size either use whole or slice in half so that the sizes are even. Rub with olive , salt and if you want fresh ground pepper, roast in a 375 oven til soft. Remove from oven and cool. The skin will just come easily off. You can now dice into a green salad, put together with fresh oranges and a little orange juice (nutmeg, cinnamon), make small slices and toss with some cabbage, cranberries and a raspberry dressing. Yum. Keep going, beets are delicious.
10/31/2011 6:56:08 AM CDT
Margie Scott says ...
Your Whole Foods store at Fashion Island in Newport Beach is awesome! I live in Arizona and would love to be able to make the (in the delicatessen) Golden Beet Fennel Salad at home. The salad is different than the ones on your website. Pretty please, would you share the recipe.
12/04/2014 2:52:07 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@MARGIE - So happy you are enjoying the store! It sounds like this dish was created by one of our awesome in-house chefs. I would call the Newport Beach store directly at 949.999.8572 to find out if they have a recipe to share!
12/05/2014 11:33:09 AM CST
mlarsen says ...
If you love beets but are tired of them in the standard 2 ways (steamed and pickled) see a new cookbook I've seen called Meet My Beet. Beets in breads, desserts, snacks, etc. etc. Looks very fun.
06/26/2015 2:19:28 PM CDT