Curry Murray loves beets and asked Nutmeg specifically for an article on beets.
So here are some of the facts right from Wikipedia:
The beet (Beta vulgaris) is a plant in the amaranth family. It is best known in its numerous cultivated varieties, the most well known of which is probably the red root vegetable known as the beetroot or garden beet. However, other cultivated varieties include the leaf vegetables chard and spinach beet, as well as the root vegetables sugar beet, which is important in the production of table sugar, and mangelwurzel, which is a fodder crop.
The beet has a long history of cultivation stretching back to the second millennium BC. The plant was probably domesticated somewhere along the Mediterranean, whence it was later spread to Babylonia by the 8th century BC and as far east as China by 850 AD. Available evidence, such as that provided by Aristotle and Theophrastus suggests that the leafy varieties of the beet were grown primarily for most of its history, though these lost much of their popularity much later following the introduction of spinach. The beet became highly commercially important in 19th century Europe following the development of the sugar beet in Germany and the discovery that sucrose could be extracted from them, providing an alternative to tropical sugar cane. It remains a widely cultivated commercial crop for producing table sugar.
Beets are good for you too:
- The roots and leaves of the beet have been used in folk medicine to treat a wide variety of ailments.
- The Romans used beetroot as a treatment for fevers and constipation, amongst other ailments. They also considered it an aphrodisiac.
- Beet juice can help lower blood pressure.
- Beets have been used as a treatment for cancer in Europe for several centuries.
They are easy to cook, you can simply wrap them in tin foil and bake in the oven until tender, the outer-skin will peel off very easily at that point.
Nutmeg loves beets in salad with either a soft goat cheese or something salty like a feta. The other classic use for beets is in Borscht (beet and cabbage) soup, Nutmeg is on the hunt for a good recipe.
So do you love Beets? Let us know.