Have you all seen any other vegetable that is not only nutritious and good for your health, but is also used in various and innovative types of cuisines? It also looks pretty to boot with its amazing violet colour. Yes, indeed I am talking about Beetroot or better known as the ‘beets’ in North America.
Per 100gm of raw beets contain
2.8gm Dietary fibre
Not to forget 0.8mg iron 23mg Magnesium and 325mg Potassium and so on. (*info from Wikipedia)
Story behind Beetroot
Many embrace it for its colour and taste while others like me would prefer to steer clear of it. However, love it or hate it, one cannot ignore it and not just for its beautiful colour. Famous for its power to support overall health and vitality of body, this food is believed to have been passed to us for generations.
Well, according to some Beet folklore and cultures, falling in love was connoted to a couple eating from the same beetroot. After all the Greek Goddess Aphrodite also credits the beets for her enhanced beauty and aphrodisiac powers, according to Greek Mythology. Interesting, wouldn’t you say? Now for love, do I see a scramble to include more of beetroot into your dietary menu?
Uses and Benefits of Beetroot
Also, from the middle ages, this food is said to have medicinal values. The health conditions for which beetroot is known to be used as a remedy from early days include digestion, skin health, circulation, detoxification and so on. If you go by common belief raw beet juice or raw beets also help to remove garlic breath. Haven’t tried it yet, have any of you?
You can either have it raw, alone or combined with other veggies, roasted, boiled, as a salad, a curry, steamed, pickled. The preparations are multifold. However, how many know that the Celt women of the early ages, wanted to take on the romantic impression from the beets and so used the beetroot powder as a rogue or lipstick, adding colour to their cheeks or lips?
What else is it used for?
Another interesting use that I have found for Beetroot is that it is used as an alternative to food colour. You would all remember the infamous red velvet cake I am sure, known not just for the delicious taste but also for the vibrant colour that it gives off. While many do know that food colour is used here, what they probably would not is that the authentic red velvet initially used the beetroots to get the colour. Well, I will not go in-depth into the preparation for red velvet using beets, I wanted to mention it here to let you know of its unique uses. Some even say they use it to give colour to hard-boiled egg preparation. If you are a wine connoisseur, you may have also heard of how beets make great wines. To top it all, beetroot juice is good health drink.
All that stories aside, when you go back to history you see that people customarily used to consider only the beet greens as edible and would leave out the roots for medicinal uses. It was just some centuries later that it came to be regarded as a vegetable for the dietary staple. Years later in 1747, a Chemist from Berlin, known as Andreas Sigismund Marggraf, also found out a way to extract sucrose from beetroot.
Other uses beets are more common for includes to enhance the colour and flavour of tomato sauces, pastes and so on. Beetroots are also available in red, white and golden hues.