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The All Mighty and Humble Root Vegetable: Golden Beets

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Since the time of Ancient Rome, people have known the health benefits of eating beets. A discovered Assyrian text from around 800 BC describes seeing beets being grown in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the wonders of the ancient world. Roasted, baked, pickled, and juiced, the power of the mighty beet root spans through time and all over the globe as a nutrient-powered food.

Beets are the second largest source of sugar next to cane sugar making whole beets a good natural source for sweetness and a good way to boost your energy. Beet roots come in a wide range of colors and sizes, such as Red, White, Golden or Yellow, Chioggia (striped), and Baby beets. All of these types of beets have differing tastes and levels of sweetness. Everyone’s palate is unique, so taste away and then choose your favorite to enjoy!

Let us focus now on what Golden beets are and the health benefits this beet provides. Golden beets can vary in sweetness; they tend to be a bit sweeter and taste a little less earthy and more mellow in intensity than Red beets. Thanks to its beautiful yellow color, roasted Golden beets can brighten up any food dish and look marvelous in all kinds of salads. This humble root vegetable is a welcomed contributor to our plates as we continue to eat the colors of the rainbow each and every day.

Golden or yellow beets are heart healthy, excellent kidney and body cleansers, high in powerful antioxidants, lowers blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, treats anemia and fatigue, and more. They decrease the risk of heart disease and helps in the prevention of various cancers, and are also good for eyes and skin.

Good news – all types of beets are high in many vitamins and minerals. While Golden beets contain good amounts of fiber, iron, potassium, and folic acid, many orange and yellow color fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrients including such vitamins and minerals as vitamin C, vitamin A, beta-carotene, potassium, lycopene, flavonoids, and zeaxanthin. Along with vitamins, fiber, and phytonutrients, there is also an abundance of antioxidants in orange color foods. Eat up!

So, how do you clean and prepare Golden beets? The health benefits alone is reason enough to love the Golden beet, but Golden ones are much easier and cleaner to peel and slice than Red beets. You can go ahead and use a peeler or knife to peel them without fussing over purplish-red droplets or smears of juice getting everywhere and staining your hands. Red beet juice is used to permanently dye fabrics and other materials, so your hands will stain temporarily.

From dips and crisped to main dishes and juicing, beets can be prepared in several different tasty ways. You can even make a dessert with beets!

Roasting beets – Start with the freshest and firmest organic Golden beet roots, or any color beets, you can find. Cut off the green tops and save for another cooking use. Rinse dirt and debris off the roots by rubbing with your hands under cool water. Remove any skin that looks too tough to eat, but leave on as much of the skin as possible to keep essential nutrients (to avoid pesticides, peel entirely if the beets are not organic). Leave whole, drizzle with olive oil, wrap in aluminum foil, and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for up to 1 hour. Check beets as they cook for when they are ready, whether you like them cruncher or softer. After the beets cool down enough for you to touch them, slice or dice them into salads like this Kale and Golden Beet Salad  or grill beets to make this delicious Grilled Beet Salad with Almonds and Dried Cranberries.

Juicing beets – Adding a beet to your morning juice is an excellent way to cleanse your body of toxin build-up. Beet juice is a wonderful tonic for the liver and works as a purifier for the blood. If you are new to juicing beets, start slowly by adding one small beet to your juice or half of a large one. You can even clean and juice the greens. Good fruit and vegetables to combine with Golden beets in a juice are carrots, lemons, cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, pears, ginger, and mint. Mix and match to create a new favorite fresh juice.

Feel free to share your favorite Golden beet recipes with us in the comment section below!

Image Source: Robert Couse-Baker/Flickr

 



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