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Knowing Your Veggies: Beets

Beets have always had a bad rap, with children going ewww as soon as they hear that beets will be used. Perhaps because this funny looking crimson bulb is not the prettiest of vegetables, or perhaps its simply because it is a vegetable. After all, those who reject beets without even tasting them probably don’t even have a clue as to what this root vegetable looks like. Despite the long standing bad reputation, this veggie is actually pretty delicious, and is in fact gaining popularity.

Beets are very flexible and can be prepared a good number of ways. The reason why beets are very versatile as an ingredient is because of its high sugar content. Compared to other veggies, beets are very sweet and are really tasty even when eaten raw. Because of this, beets are really great for salads, especially cold salads. Beets can also be blended with other raw veggies and fruits to make healthy juices. When cooked, beets get soft and lose their crunch, becoming quite silky or buttery, though they maintain their sweetness. Beets can be prepared as soup, used to make dip, roasted, stuffed, baked, and even made into a cake. If you don’t believe that a beet cake can be delish, just watch the old Top Chef Just Desserts episode where contestant Zac got immunity for making a steamed beet cake.

Aside from being quite tasty, beets are also very nutritious. They are great for pregnant and nursing moms, being very high in folic acid and calcium. Beets also contains Vitamins A, B1, B2, and C, iron, potassium, and an anti-oxidant called betacyanin. Aside from these vitamins, beets are also known for helping maintain good blood pressure, lover detoxification, and its anti-cancer properties. Weight watchers should also consider using more beets in their diet since it is a low calorie veggie, despite its sweet taste, and also helps in digestion due to its high fiber content.

Photo courtesy of: Chow

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