ingredient spotlight: beets
Our Heart "Beets" for you!
Our hearts start to flutter when we hear the word beet. Well, maybe not our hearts, but definitely our stomachs! Beets are an incredibly interesting ingredient, and if you thought all they were good for was boiling, then you're in for a surprise. Read on to get all the details on this mighty plant.
Let's not beet around the bush
First things first... let's clear up a common misconception or mispractice when it comes to beets. You know when you bring home a bundle and they still have the stem and leaves attached? The last place you should be putting those leafy greens is in the trash!
Those leafy greens are absolutely delicious and packed full of nutrients. While there are many things you can do with beet greens, we've whipped up a killer "Roasted Beets and Sauteed Beet Green" recipe that you can check out here.
Can't Beet It
Beets have a long history both in the kitchen and in medicine. Up until the 16th century, beet greens were consumed while the root was only used medicinally. The Ancient Romans and Greeks had a particular affinity for the plant, going as far as to develop agricultural methods to extend its growing season. Eating the root became common around the 1550's when either the Italians or the Germans first started cultivating beets to have larger, more edible roots which quickly spread in popularity. You can now find beets used in cuisine around the world
Medicinally, beets were used to treat many of the same afflictions that it is used to treat today, specifically, cardiovascular and inflammation related issues. This is interesting, as much of the research on the nutritional and medical significance of beets done today is often related to these two issues. These guys were on to something!
But, there's another type of food that comes from beets that tend to surprise people. 20% of the world's sugar is actually produced from beets (specifically from the appropriately named sugar beet), and 55% of the sugar that the United States produces. Why beets? Well, all beets have a large sugar content, but sugar beets were selectively bred to increase their sugar content to about 20%. Because beets require 1/4 less water than the other big sugar-producing plant, sugarcane, in water-deprived regions like the middle east, beets can help produce more of the sweet stuff while preserving water!
Beets on our menu
Beet's make several appearances on our menu, and as it's February, we're obligated to mention our Love Hornet energizing monster shot. Obviously, this guy is packed full of beets, but we warm it up with a little bit of ginger and jalapeño, and cayenne. We then finish it off with a little lemon and peppermint oil for acid and balance.
Also, just in case you might not have heard, WE GOT THE BEET! We're talking about one of our all-time favorite juices here. Along with a healthy dose of beet, this juice is also packing some carrot and apple. We jazz it up with just the right amount of lemon and Ginger.