Beetroot are sprouting forth from our garden at great speed – we are getting a decent crop every few weeks. They're reasonably priced at markets and greengrocers at this time of year too. This can only mean one thing – it’s beetroot season. This is cause for great celebration and here are five reasons why:
- Beets are so versatile. Boiled, baked or simply grated, they are lovely as a side vegetable, a salad or a pickle. The stalks and leaves are edible too. Simply discard the discoloured/wilted stalks and leaves. Wash those that remain, and boil or steam. The taste and texture resembles spinach.
- Beets are dead easy to cook. My favourite method is to wash them, trim them of their stalks, wrap individual beets in foil and bake. This takes around an hour for medium-sized beets. They are done when ypu can easily pass a skewer through them. When they have cooled, peel the skin (wear gloves if you don't want to stain your fingers), trim the woody ends and prepare as you wish. If boiling, add a dash of vinegar or lemon and avoid using salt - thus helping to retain colour.
- Beets are oh-so-good for you. They’re low in saturated fat and cholesterol. They’re a good source of Vitamin C, Iron, Magnesium, Folate, Potassium, Manganese and dietary fibre. And they have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Really, just looking at them makes you feel healthy.
- Beets give you psychedelic pinky/red urine. This is known as beeturia. Why this is cause for celebration is that you will be delighted to know it’s not hematuria, blood in the urine.
- Beets taste amazing. Once cooked, I usually marinate mine in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and finely chopped garlic for a few hours before sprinkling with some feta to serve. Along with crusty bread and good company (preferably simulatenously) what more could you want from life? Go forth and celebrate.