Friday, June 19, 2009

Beta Vulgaris

I think beets are sadly underrated. How often do they show up at parties or are part of regular meals? When was the last time you had a nice bowl of borscht or nibbled on a beet and apple salad? (I thought so.) Is it the color? The preparation involved? The possible staining? Or, let's get real here, does beeturia turn you off? Whatever the case is, please don't discriminate against this potent produce before you've given it a chance.

Here are some interesting tidbits about this lovable root:

* Beets are loaded with vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and C. The greens have a higher content of iron compared to spinach. They are also an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, sodium and iron. (Juicing for Health)

* Approximately 100 pounds of sugar beets are needed to produce five pounds of sugar. (

* It is a natural cleanser which removes toxins from the body and nourishes the bloodstream. (Organic Facts)

* Beet powder is used as a coloring agent for many foods. Some frozen pizzas use beet powder to color the tomato sauce. (

* Modern beets are derived from wild sea beets that originated around the coasts of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. (Eat This!)

* Since Roman times, beetroot juice has been considered an aphrodisiac. The juice is a rich source of boron, which plays an important role in the production of human sex hormones. (Wikipedia)
Vegan Borscht


1/4 green cabbage
2-3 potatoes
1 yellow onion
1 carrot
1/2 bell pepper
1 beet (med sized)
3-4 cloves garlic to taste
1 tablespoon tomato paste, or 1 can diced tomatoes, or 1 can tomato sauce
Braggs Liquid Aminos to taste, and or sea salt to taste
Other spices to taste (E.g. Mrs. Dash's Garlic and Herb)
Olive oil to sauté veggies (adjust the amount to your needs and taste)
Fresh parsley, dill, green onions, optional
Non-dairy sour cream, or eggless mayonnaise (optional)

In a big pot bring water to boil and add your spices including crushed or diced garlic. Then add shredded cabbage. When cabbage starts to boil add peeled and cut up potatoes and let them cook. Cut onions and peppers, shred carrots and beets. In a separate pan heat up olive oil and sauté the veggies until almost done, add canned tomatoes( or sauce) simmer for a little bit, then add all this to the pot with boiling cabbage and potatoes. Let cook for about 25-20 min. Enjoy - hot or cold!

(Traditionally Borscht is eaten with sour cream. Tofutti Sour Supreme is a nice alternative.)

Preparation time: 45-60 mins.

(Recipe courtesy of VegWeb)

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