FUN FOOD FACTS
Beets have been around for ages, literally. They were originally used for their medicinal properties that included lowering fever, treating skin conditions, and helping digestive problems. Beets were also used for their aphrodisiac properties.
DISCOVER: Heath Savvy Tips!
Beets are available year round but peak season is June to October. Beets can be found fresh, canned, or pickled but I find fresh beets are superior for taste and texture. There are several varieties of beets including red, yellow/golden, Chioggia (candy-striped) and Cylindra.
Beets are a good source of vitamins A and C, iron, and magnesium, and a very good source of fiber, potassium, and manganese. Beets also contain 25 – 40% of daily folic acid so a great addition for mom-to-be’s to help prevent neural tube defects in the developing baby.
Red beets contain betalin, which gives them their characteristic red colour. It is excreted in urine so don’t be alarmed if washroom visits look pink! Betalin is currently being studied for their effect lowering pressure and cholesterol.
What else: the whole beet plant is edible. The leaves have a taste between spinach and Swiss chard and are very tasty; however, beet greens are naturally salty so be sure to use extra salt sparingly.
CREATE: Flavour Compliments
Beets are earthy and sweet and balance well with salty and sour notes.
Try these flavours with beets:
– Citrus: lemon, orange, and tangerine
– Vinegar: balsamic, champagne, red-wine, and sherry
– Cheeses: ricotta salata, parmesan, goat, and Roquefort
– Other flavours: most herbs, olive and walnut oils, mustard, and shallots
PLATE: The SCC Twist!
The SCC twist for the dish was an International flare: Israeli (pearl) couscous. Use with red beets to make a vibrant, delicious risotto!
This dish pairs well with a drier Reisling or a Müller-Thurgau, which bring out the sweetness of the beets. Thanks to Malt & Vine, Redmond for the suggestion!