Beets are one of the first things we harvested from the garden this year and they are much bigger than last year. I’m not sure if that is because of the type, the location, or all of the rain we have been getting, but they are growing great.
We canned beets last year and will be again in a few days. What we didn’t do last year, that we tried recently, was cooking and eating beets with a meal. I know of other folks that really like them this way, but we hadn’t ever tried it until now.
How did we cook them? Easy. Trim the roots and stems, and boil gently for 15 minutes. Drain off the water, slide off the skin, slice or dice to desired size, add butter, salt and pepper. We fixed two large beets which was too much for one meal. While I was removing the skins and slicing them, I thought they had cooled too much, so I put them back on the stove on low to reheat and evenly distribute the butter.
|Our first beets, squash & onions of the year. Canned beans from 2013.|
I was very skeptical. I’m not a big beet eater at all. Until we canned beets last summer, I didn’t eat them. Frank did, but not me. Now, I will eat our beets with a salad or something, but not just eat them. I was very surprised with these simply cooked beets. Guess what? They were good! I expected them to be a little bitter and tough because they were so big. So I was prepared to not like them. Instead, we both liked them. Great! Now we have added another item to our diets that are healthy and that we can grow and preserve.
So, what is the nutritional value of beets? Here is a list of nutrients.
- Vitamins A & C
- A small amount of protien
Beets contain nutritional qualities that are good to have on hand, whether fresh, canned or pickled. They can add to your health in a variety of ways now, or in a survival situation. I think one of the benefits of beets is how early in the season they will produce food. You can eat the greens, which are also very nutritious, fresh or cooked long before the root reaches an edible size. Beets can withstand a light frost and produce better in the cooler temperatures of spring or fall, so you can also grow more than one crop a year. We are going to try canning this spring crop, then growing a fall keeper that will be edible for humans and livestock. We just have to figure out the best way to store them.
According to Mercola.com, beets have a number of health benefits.
- lower blood pressure (beet juice)
- boost stamina (beet juice)
- fight inflammation
- anti cancer properties
- rich in valuable nutrients and fiber
- detoxification support
The links above provide some interesting information about beets that I didn’t know. It’s good reading about what we are eating.
There are many different levels of learning about any given subject. It’s kind of like peeling an onion, there are many different layers. I think I may just write about them next, or it might be squash, or peas.
Until next time – Fern