One of the reasons I really love the autumn is all the wonderful root vegetables that become available then. So while the rest of the world sings the praises of squash and cauliflower this time of year, I love a dish of nice roasted autumn root veggies to make my meal complete. One of the overlooked varieties is the humble autumn beet. Famed for its ability to make ruby red soup, beets come in a variety of colors and all of them are tasty. Even better, don’t toss out those greens because they can also add some wonderful flavor to everything from salad to pizza. Here are a few pointers on how to get the most from this season’s crop of autumn beets.
Beets are Nutritious
Before we get into how to prepare them, you just might want to know that beets are full of great nutrition. They are an amazing source of folate and manganese, both important elements that support healthy bone and brain development. This makes them very important to pregnant women. In addition, autumn beets will supply plenty of Vitamin C, magnesium and potassium. These three are all important as we go into the cold grey days of winter. No wonder these root veggies are such a staple of many northern diets.
Preparing Your Autumn Beets
You can have beets either cooked or raw, and it is generally a good idea to peel them before preparation. Most people think of beets as something you eat cooked, but they are actually quite tasty raw as well. Just slice them up thinly or grate them to add a crunchy slightly sweet taste to your favorite salad. Your kids won’t even notice them as they tend to taste a great deal like carrots when prepared this way.
If you do plan to cook your beets, roasting them with other autumn or winter root vegetables makes them a great addition to just about any meal. In addition you can also slice them up thinly and roast them in the oven for a tasty treat for the kids. You will find it tastes a lot like potato chips but is much healthier than anything they will ever buy in a bag. Don’t forget to explore borscht, the classic beet soup. You can grab the recipe here and know that it can be a meal in itself on a cold winter night.
Don’t Forget Your Beet Greens
While the beet itself is tasty and good for you, don’t toss those greens at the top! Believe it or not beet greens are a highly prized addition to salads and can be cooked in the same way you would cook spinach. My kids actually love them on their pizza as they add a slight tart flavor to a pizza rich in feta. As if that wasn’t enough, you can blanch them and toss them into pasta to make a great side dish. They go well in the pasta with a bit of feta or parmesan cheese, some walnuts and a citrus based sauce. So this autumn when you are shopping at the local grocery or farmers market, don’t forget the autumn beets. Whether they are golden or ruby red, they are a great addition to your fall dinner table.