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Just Beet It! How Chefs Work with the Red Roots

The Nutritional Wizard

Nutrition and diet experts everywhere say "eat a rainbow" every meal. Well, if you're tired of off-season apples and tomatoes this winter, you might give beets another chance. According to The George Mateljan Foundation, "These colorful root vegetables contain powerful nutrient compounds that help protect against heart disease, birth defects and certain cancers, especially colon cancer."

The Culinary Art of Efficiency

Though we usually just think of beets as the red, bulbous root, the rest of the plant is also packed with vitamins and minerals, and using them can stretch your dollar to the limit. Beet greens have a bitter, interesting taste similar to chard (and can be prepared the same way), and the stalks can be steamed and used in salads.

The Unexpected Beet

If you still think of beets and imagine a mason jar of pickled red goo, read this list of ideas and think again:
  • red beet chocolate cake
  • beet nut bread
  • beet relish
  • beet souffle
  • beet dip
  • beet burgers

And my favorite, raw beet salad--made of grated raw beets (get those rubber gloves on) flax oil and lemon juice (add gorgonzola cheese if you dare). There are a lot of ways to study the culinary arts, in school and beyond. Always keep an eye out for food like the beet--the little underdog that packs a punch.

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