- Season: it is grown all year round, depending on the season it comes from one area or another.
- Benefits: rich in folates, fiber, B vitamins , potassium, iodine and sodium.
- Ideal in: raw and cooked to give a touch of flavor and especially color to our dishes, vinaigrettes, salads, desserts and smoothies.
Fiber and folates
The major component of beets is water, for this reason, despite being rich in
sugars when compared to other vegetables, its caloric content is not high as it provides about 30 Kcal per 100 g. It contains between 6 and 10 g of carbohydrates, mostly sugars, its protein content is very low and almost zero in fat. It provides us with about 3 g of fiber per 100 g and in terms of micronutrients, folates (B9) and other vitamins of group B stand out, such as B1, B2, B3 and B6, as well as iodine, sodium and potassium. On the contrary, it is one of the vegetables with the least provitamin A and vitamin C.
Sweet and colorful
Although as a classification it is part of greens and vegetables , almost certainly when we think of vegetables, beets are not the first thing that comes to mind. It is an atypical vegetable, much sweeter than the rest, with an exotic color. Its peculiar characteristics make it especially interesting to give variety to recipes, both in flavor and in color and texture. In addition, on a nutritional level it contains more sugar than other vegetables, but let’s not be alarmed or confused with sugar beet, which is another variety. The beet that we consume as a vegetable has a little more sugar than a carrot, that is, between 6 and 7g per 100g of food.
How to take it
Beets can be eaten cooked or raw, it can be part of salads, stews or be a good accompaniment. Due to its attractive color, it will also be very attractive in creams and as part of sauces. One of its uses is to make variants of gazpacho. We have to bear in mind that what we cook with beets will turn its color, so we already know what to do if we crave pink macaroni. It is also used to make exotic drinks, colorful desserts, and daring skewers. In addition, its leaves can be consumed, as happens in some Italian recipe.
- The most common way of consuming beet is as a cooked vegetable but it can also be consumed raw, it is also used for the extraction of sugar and to obtain the red dye E-162 “Red beet” or Betanine.
Who is it good for and who is not?
It is recommended for:
- Children: because of its flavor and especially its colorful color, it is a vegetable that gives us a game to prepare varied and fun dishes for children. And it is a good way to eat vegetables.
- Pregnant women: due to its high folate content, beets are interesting in the gestation phase since the requirements of this vitamin are increased by the role it plays in the development of the new being.
- In constipation: the beet is rich in fibers that will contribute to the improvement of the intestinal transit and with it the evacuation.
- To control calories and fat: despite being one of the vegetables with the highest sugar content, its main component is water and its fat content is practically zero, so it can be interesting to give variety and showiness to the diet in these cases.
It is not suitable in case of:
- Kidney problems with potassium restriction: as most vegetables contain significant amounts of potassium, therefore we will have to limit their consumption if it is necessary to restrict the potassium content of the diet.
- Sodium control: its content is much lower than that of foods really rich in sodium such as cheeses, but it is true that it contains much more sodium than most vegetables, reaching almost the level of meat and fish
Buying and conservation advice
We must choose fleshy, round, smooth and firm specimens. Normally it is bought in bunches that we must observe that they present green leaves since that will indicate their youth, if we want to use the leaves we will also check that they are tender. If we only use the root we will look for firm beets, without spots or bumps. Elongated beets with scaly skin must be disregarded as they are more fibrous specimens and their flavor may be too strong.
- Beetroot is the root of the Beta vulgaris or common beet plant . Sugar beet is a variety of common beet that has been selected for years to achieve a higher percentage of sugar in its composition and greater agricultural capacity.
QUINOA SAUTÉ WITH PUMPKIN, BEETROOT AND GOAT CHEESE
- Quinoa or semolina
- Goat cheese
- Optional: pomegranate and mint
- Dressings to taste: oil, vinegar, orange, honey, pepper …
Boil the quinoa or, failing that, semolina, bulgur or some small grain pasta. Once the pumpkin and beets are cleaned and chopped, we sauté them in the pan with a drizzle of oil. Once everything is cooked, serve the quinoa base and mix it with the sautéed sauce, then sprinkle the pine nuts and goat cheese shavings, preferably soft paste, over the preparation. If we want to give it a fresher touch, we can serve it cold or warm and we can add grains of pomegranate and very finely cut mint. And finally, pray to taste. One option is with an orange and honey vinaigrette, for example.