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Beets

A beet sliced in half.
A beet sliced in half. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
The February “Harvest of the Month” newsletter of the Network for a Healthy California focuses on beets in general and Ocean Air Farms in Fort Dick in particular.

“We are thrilled to be purchasing our beets this month from Ocean Air Farms and hope to continue supporting their farm in the future,” said  Deborah Kravitz, nutrition program coordinator for the Del Norte Unified School District.

Here is some information about beets from the newsletter, followed by a recipe passed along by Kravitz from chef Jenny Huston.

Facts about beets

A half-cup of beets is a good source of folate, which  helps make healthy red blood cells and may lower a woman’s risk of having a child with certain birth defects.

Beets also have riboflavin (also known as vitamin B2), which works with other B-vitamins to help your body grow and release energy from the carbohydrates you eat.

Serving ideas

• Steam beets and slip off the skins. Sprinkle lightly with seasonings and enjoy.

• Combine fresh sliced or canned beets with sliced tomatoes and onions for a delicious, healthy salad.

• Sauté beet greens with chopped onion and garlic for a healthy side dish.

• Did you know you can also eat the green leaves on beets? Take off the greens two inches from the root and store in a separate plastic bag. Cook greens within two days.

• You can keep beets in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Shopping tips

• Look for smooth, hard, and round beets that do not have cuts or bruises. 

• For canned beets, choose low sodium or no salt added varieties.

Recipe for Roasted Red and Gold Beets

(Yield: 10  ¾-cup servings)

1½ lb. medium golden beets, without tops

1½ lb. medium red beets, without tops

¼ tsp. kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2-4 tbs. white wine vinegar

White wine vinaigrette

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 tbs. dijon mustard

¼ white wine vinegar

1/3 cup olive oil

Kosher salt, to taste

Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Trim the beets top and root, place the red beets and gold beets cut side down in separate 4-inch-deep hotel pans with ½ inch of water. Cover with a lid and then again tightly with aluminum foil to ensure that the beets steam, for about 45 min. to 1¼ hours, depending on the size of the beets, until tender.

2) When the beets are tender, remove them from the oven and let them cool until they can be handled.

3) Place all the salad dressing ingredients, except the oil, in a medium-size mixing bowl, and mix well with a wire whisk. Slowly drizzle the oil into the dressing mixture, while constantly whisking. Adjust the vinegar, salt and pepper.

4) When the beets are cooled, but still warm, gently slip beets between your hands and the skins will slip off. Cut the beets in quarters, and cut into bite-size pieces. Beet skins are edible, therefore the beets do not need to be completely peeled.

5) Place the red beets in one bowl and the yellow beets in another bowl, and drizzle with white wine vinegar, toss to coat evenly, and then lightly dress with the vinaigrette. Toss and serve.

Recipe by Jenny Huston, farmtotableservices.com.

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