Beetroot: A “ruby” in our taste – Kalamata Papadimitriou

Beetroot: A “ruby” in our taste

Beetroot, the famous and generous vegetable! With its deep, earthy flavour, its crisp, fleshy root and its bright and vivid colour!

It is the vegetable that has been characterized as the blessing of nature, the Titan of Healthy Eating, Miraculous, a Super-medicine, and in our times a Superfood.

Its latin name is Beta vulgaris and it belongs to the same family as the spinach, the chard and the sugar beet. The domestication of the plant is considered to have taken place in the 2nd millennium BC in the Mediterranean region

Historical sources say that in antiquity beetroots were considered a particularly nutritious vegetable; people used to cook their leaves with honey and wine. They first appeared in the hanging gardens of Babylon, while the ancient Greeks offered them to the temple of Delphi in honour of Apollo, so they may win the god’s favour. Other sources point out that the goddess Aphrodite loved the beetroot very much because it helped her maintain her wellness and beauty.

Food of great nutritional value, rich in vitamin C, B1, B2, B6, B12 in carbohydrates, nitrates, magnesium, iron, potassium, sodium, phosphorus and other ingredients, the beetroot is capable of “upgrading” not only the “poorest” in vitamins winter nutrition but mainly with its intense, protective and healing action, it can protect our body, acting as a strong shield against several diseases.

Beetroot is easy to cultivate because it does not require special techniques or knowledge; if you belong to those who make their own vegetable garden you can plant them even in pots with excellent results, especially if they are co-cultivated with cabbage, cauliflower , broccoli, lettuce, onion and / or garlic as they belong to the vegetables that enjoy company!

Since the beets can also be eaten raw, the smaller they are, the tenderer they will be; if you choose to boil them, it should not take more than 15 minutes because it is in their nature to lose their antioxidant effect at high temperatures

A vegetable with impressive possibilities and dozens of uses in recipes for all hours of the day since you can comfortably add it to juices, salads, tarts, creams, dips, sauces, dressings, pickles, spoon sweets and jams … not to mention its use as a natural dye for your Easter eggs.

Now that they are in season, those who want something quick can start their morning with a Smoothie. It is also a great way to convince our family and especially to encourage children who avoid eating vegetables, to love them through their innumerable colourful and tasty versions.

A clever tip in the category “fast food made healthy and tasty”, could be nothing else but a perfect winter snack! Try beetroot chips roasted in the oven on grease proof paper! They can be eaten plain, but a mustard and honey sauce is their perfect accompaniment.

For those who opt for “pleasure on the plate”, a marvelous but also gourmet proposal is a “Salad with Beetroot, Caramelized Bacon, Yogurt, Honey Mustard and Balsamic Vinegar”. See the recipe of Chef Vangelis Driskas here