Seasonal Eating: Beets
When it comes to sexy vegetables, you can’t beat the beet. Used as an aphrodisiac by the Romans, this hard and rugged vegetable turns soft and mellow when cooked, and positively sensual when liquefied. What is it that, exactly, that makes the beet sexy?
- Boron. Beetroot has a high boron content, and since boron works in conjunction with the sex hormones, this might be the first clue.
- Betaine.The second clue comes from beetroot’s betaine content. Betaine is a substance that has the ability to relax the mind. As a mood enhancer, this makes sense.
- Trytophan. Then there is also trytophan. Trytophan is that substance found in turkey and chocolate that makes you feel relaxed and ready for bed.
Then again it could be the deep red color, the robust earthy aroma, the high sugar content, or the fact that it’s shaped like a heart and a root all at the same time. Heck, even the name beet is a nice reference to the heart. Whatever the reason, the end result is a natural answer to the little blue pill!
Beetroot is considered a superfood. Superfoods are foods that provide such an abundance of disease-fighting phytochemicals that they not only taste good, but are incredibly good for you. Phytochemicals have been shown to reduce the risk of certain forms of cancer, help strengthen the immune system, and fight some autoimmune disease by reducing inflammation in the body. The beet has many other vegetables “beat” when it comes to both deliciousness and nutritional value. It is also used as a liver detoxifying drink—beet juice, apple juice and a pinch or two of Ginseng does the trick—and can be boiled, fried, roasted, grilled or sautéed.
Beet Bowl Entrée
For a dish that's both delicious and aesthetically pleasing, try this simple beet recipe.
Ingredients: 8 slices bacon, cut into 1 inch chunks, 4 small to medium beets, whole, 12 fresh spinach leaves, 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped, 3 Tbs. butter, 2 Granny Smith apples diced, 2 Fuji apples, diced, 1/2 cup pine nuts, Olive oil (drizzle), Sea salt
Fry the bacon and set aside.
Boil the beets in salty water until they soften. Peel the beets and cut off the top and the bottom. Use a melon-baller to scoop out the flesh of the beet to create several beet bowls.
Meanwhile, mince the garlic into a pot. Add the spinach leaves. Steam the pot until the leaves are tender but not falling apart. Add butter and mix until coated.
Chop the apples. Mix the apples with the bacon. Add the nuts.
Arrange 4 spinach leaves on each of 4 plates (or chop the spinach and add it to the apple mix). Place 1 beet atop each and fill with the apple-bacon mixture.
Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.