This root of intense color and nutritional power is much more versatile than you think and you can use it raw: in salads, soups, pâtés, fermented, sweets, drinks…
The beet is a fruit with a lot of presence and character. It is the sweet of the earth. It’s so special shape, the intensity of its color and its great energy and nutritional contribution make it an essential food in our seasonal cuisine.
In this article I invite you to discover raw beets. It is very curious because in Spain, and in many other countries, beets usually arrive packaged and cooked. This is how many people know it, although it may be raw in season. The plant is not known to have edible leaves and neither is it known to be eaten uncooked.
When beets enter our bodies it is as if it reminds us how intense we can be in life.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF BEETS
There are many varieties of beets: white, yellow, orange, and striped. Each one has its qualities, and even its leaves are also a great food, both in mini bud and in large leaf.
Here we will focus on the red or purple variety, with which we are most familiar, and which can be round or elongated.
- Antioxidant red. Its color is due to the presence of the antioxidant pigment called betanin, so intense that it is capable of staining our urine or feces.
- Protective effect. Beetroot, an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, is a natural ally to preserve sight and cardiovascular health. It is rich in mineral salts, vitamins and trace elements.
- It also acts against fatigue, lack of appetite and anemia, thanks to micronutrients that revitalize red blood cells and rebalance iron levels in the blood.
Beets are rich in iron and folic acid.
RAW BEETS IN THE KITCHEN: FILL YOUR RECIPES BRIGHT RED
The beet, being sweet, gives a lot of play in countless recipes. And it fills them with color! Here I propose that you incorporate it raw, to take advantage of all its nutritional and flavor power.
- Raw beets in salads. Add it grated like a carrot. It goes well with apple, green leaves, capers, ginger, cumin, coriander.
- Beet juice: a pleasure to discover. It is a very good way to incorporate its energy directly into our veins as if it were blood. If the beet juice alone is very powerful for you, dilute it with water, or combine it with carrot, apple, orange, turmeric, ginger juice. You can also try this delicious combination of beet, carrot, cucumber and celery.
- Beetroot pate: an original and very healthy starter. Mash the grated beets with activated sunflower seeds, lemon, tamari and cumin. It is to die for. Here is the detailed recipe. Stay with the technique, because instead of pipes, they can be cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds. You can also add any other seasoning. Pates are ideal for spreading or filling.
- Beetroot soups or gazpachos. Another option to take beets in liquid form and very simple: grind the beets with something liquid and whatever you want, for example the same ingredients as the gazpacho. Or with apple, avocado and other vegetables, as in this live beet and apple soup.
- Dried beetroot to chop. You can prepare it sliced or grated, alone or garnished, to make crispy chips. Another idea is to pre-season these chips with whatever you want to get a new flavor.
- Beet powder for seasoning. You can also grind it and transform it into powder. This beet powder can be used later as a condiment or as another ingredient, and you can even color whatever you want or decorate your dishes.
- Beets, a natural coloring. A little beetroot colors any recipe. Try it on falafels, vegetable cheeses, burgers, pizza dough’s.
- Ferments seasoned with beets. You can make sauerkraut, pickles or a second fermentation of kefir or kombucha with it. Enjoy a bubbly ferment to toast.
- Beet desserts. Thanks to its sweetness, we can also incorporate it into our pastry. For example, mash it with dried coconut, dates, and lemon zest. You process everything and you will have a moldable consistency with which to make fresh truffles, or the base of a cake to which you can later put a rich and classic cashew cream.