Beet those Winter Blues

Today’s post comes to us from Food Action Committee volunteer, Tori Hessian…

Well, hello there fellow food friends. I am not sure about the rest of you but I am getting the winter blues. I know we have been lucky weather-wise; however, I am pretty sure -27 once, is once too many. One way to forget that your windows are frozen shut and your toes are numb, is with a nice home cooked meal.

Now, cooking for one (I know there are a few of us left) can be a pain as you try to figure out what you are going to do, however the end result is well worth it. This week I carried out my normal routine of visiting our local market in Halifax to get some vegetables when the best thing happened to me. I was walking by a selection of vegetables, when there they were – BEETS, all red/purple and delicious looking. I decided then and there that I was going to make it through this cold week and ‘beet’ those winter blues.

Roasted, pickled, grated - delicious!

And they are good for you too: Being a nutrition graduate and knowing far too much about beets, I must tell you that beets are a common root vegetable that come in a variety of different varieties including my favorite, candy cane, and are naturally low in calories and fat. Ironically, as it is Heart Month, beets are very good for maintaining cardiovascular health (and not just because they are reddish in color) because they contain betaine which lowers homocystine levels, which lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease. Beets also contain high levels of vitamin C and other vitamins and minerals, so grab a beet and avoid that cold going around.

Storing: Beets, being a root vegetable store very well and trust me, the bag you get from the market for a mere $3.00 is quite large so storage is a plus. You can just keep beets in the plastic bag it comes in and pop it into your fridge. They can last anywhere from 2-3 weeks.  Or, if you’re lucky enough to have a root cellar, you can store then all winter long.

Let’s get cooking: Remember beets can be consumed raw or cooked depending on your preference; however, cutting beets can dye your fingers, so grab a set of gloves or wash your hands soon after. You can toss them in a salad; the candy cane beets are striped red and white so they add a great color as a garnish. I personally like to roast mine in the oven; however, it does take a bit of time, so I also boil them if I am crunched for time. My favorite way to have beets is a family recipe and it is rosemary roasted beets. So if you have a bit of time, try this gem. It makes about 2 servings so you can have some the next day!

Rosemary Roasted Beets
3 small Candy Cane beets (Or any beets)
2-3 teaspoons of olive oil
1-2 rosemary leaves (more or less depending on how much you like rosemary)
1/3 tbsp of butter

1) Preheat oven to 375 and cut your beets into about 1 – ½ inch thickness (Remember your gloves!) and place in a roasting pan lined with foil. Add the rosemary and wrap the foil over, making a pouch. Cook beets for about 35-40 minutes or until tender. All ovens are different so keep check on them!

2) Lower your oven setting to 350. Place the roasted beets on a baking pan and toss them in melted butter and oil. Place uncovered in the oven for about 15 minutes until heated through.

And that is it my friends. I dare you not to eat both servings! I hope you find winter comfort in beets this February and happy local cooking!

Yours in Food,

2 thoughts on “Beet those Winter Blues

  1. MMMmmm, beets. Sounds like a good way to do them. My fav beet dish at the moment is a quick to make beet and carrot slaw. Peel a beet, a carrot, grab a grater and grate. Add a bit of your favourite salad oil, mine is olive and if you happen to have a lime, some lime juice. Top with Omega Crunch, or toasted sesame seeds or go wild and add apple chunks and almonds. Balsamic vinegar is also a happy addition if you don’t have lime. You could put turnip too. Chunks of clementine are nice, hmm, maybe blueberries instead?

    Thanks for the great recipe, will try it the next time I roast some.

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