Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

Insider's Viewpoint: Expert Supermarket Advice: Rich & Earthy … Roasted Beets. Karen Buch, Weis Markets, Inc. Fruits And Veggies More Matters.org

All my life I’ve had the opportunity to eat fresh produce grown in my family’s home garden. Beets pulled from the Pennsylvania soil are at the top my list of favorite vegetables. I simply leave them in the ground through late summer and autumn, picking them as I’m ready to use them. If you do the same, make sure to pick them before the ground freezes!

Beets have a rich earthy flavor that’s easy to enhance through roasting, boiling or pickling. They’re also a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains which may provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory support to the body.

Beets are available for sale in grocery stores year round. Look for traditional, deep purple bulbs, beautiful golden yellow or pink-and-white striated varieties with fresh, green leafy tops. You can even steam and eat the beet greens as a source of beta-carotene, vitamin C and iron. When cooking the beet bulbs, roasting is the easiest way.

How to Roast Beets
Simply preheat your oven to 425° F. Cut the greens away from the beets, leaving about ¼” of stem. Scrub the bulbs and place in a baking dish with ¼” of water. Cover tightly. Place in the oven and roast small beets for 30 to 40 minutes, medium beets for 40 to 45 minutes, and large beets for 50 to 60 minutes until tender when pierced with a knife. Cool and then slice off the ends and slip off the skins.

Serving Suggestions

  • Slice roasted beets to serve as a simple side dish.
  • Serve roasted beets over an arugula or spinach salad topped with a lite vinaigrette, goat cheese crumbles and walnuts.
  • Traditional Pennsylvania Dutch Pickled Beets: Measure equal parts of white vinegar and sugar and simmer in a sauce pan until the sugar dissolves. Cool. Add sliced, cooked beets and beet juice to the vinegar mixture along with peeled, hard-cooked eggs. The whites of the eggs will turn purple within 24 hours! Serve chilled.

Karen Buch, RD, LDN
Corporate Dietitian
Weis Markets, Inc.

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