Beets: Mother Knew Best
It is funny how the foods we loath as children become the very comforts we crave most as adults. I used to engage in a battle of silent wits with my mother every time beets were served. The contest began as it often did with her putting them in front of me and me promising I’d starve before I ate them. But, as my dinner of dreaded root vegetables waited for me at the breakfast table, I soon yielded and looked forward to peanut butter and jelly for lunch and the “one day” when I wouldn't’t have to eat what my mother was cooking.
Today I crave anything my mother used to cook and as beets are one of my favorite foods they are also popular with our Bistro clientele. A root vegetable that has an extended shelf life if stored properly, a beet harvested at the end of the summer can be served almost year round. And, as the American dining community is hip to what my mother already knew, the “Beet and Goat Cheese Salad” topped Bon Appetite’s list of trendy menu items for 2013.
More than just hip restaurant fair, beets are host to a long list of nutrients. They are an excellent source of iron for vegetarians not wanting to eat beef and high in antioxidants which help support your immune system as well as protect against the harmful free radicals that cause cancer. Beets help protect against heart disease, are rich in vitamins A and C and contain folic acid which aid in the production of new cells. Naturally sweet, beets are high in carbohydrates providing a quick source of energy without the guilt of a candy bar.
Beets can be eaten steamed, canned, raw, or roasted, but I think they are best when treated like a baked potato. When we cook beets in the 212 Bistro we toss them in just a little extra virgin olive oil and wrap them individually in foil, just like a baked potato. We feature four kinds of Malek Farms beets in our “Beet and Apple Salad” served with Almonds and Mixed Greens on Quinoa. So, make your mother proud when you eat your beets and come see us soon in the Bistro, because we want to cook for you!