Tuesday, August 3, 2010

We Got the Beet!

"The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent, not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious." -Tom Robbins

Reader! Long time, no see. A minor tragedy has befallen K and myself: our camera has turned up missing. :( Sad news, and it's provided a bit of setback for NewChefs. My motivation to blog is a bit reduced when I can't show you guys how delicious these meals are. But alas, the kitchen called, and I'm going to make do with pics from Google Images for the time being.

That said...


The beet is a magnificent vegetable that has long gone by the wayside. But why? Perhaps it is because when people think beets, they usually think of those bland, purple discs that you often find on the salad bar. Yet the beet is so much more than that!

I admit, I feel the desire to wax poetic- much like the author Tom Robbins, who managed to idolize the beet through most of his book Jitterbug Perfume. I remember reading his novel and wondering what was with his beet fascination...

Fast forward to today: Tuesday. Not much different than any other day, except for the fact that on Tuesdays, a farmers' market sets up shop just outside of my work building! People: find your local farmers' market. These places are just...wonderful. For less than $10, I bought a TON of fresh, delicious veggies. Could I have been much happier? Probably not. (Veggies make me smile.) But the most off-the-wall buy for me was a bunch of beets.

Beets. Beets. Beets. I remember when I was young, if I was in trouble, my punishment would often be to consume some food that I didn't like. I remember eating bowls of collard greens, glasses of tomato juice, and once...a small glass of beet juice. It's a shame that I was so turned off by these foods as a kid! If only I had known the joys of the beet!

Beets have vitamins A, B, and C. The greens are packed with more vitamins than the root, and actually have more iron than spinach! But let's focus on the root:
  • Beet roots (the red part) are a great source of choline, folic acid, iodine, manganese, organic sodium, potassium, fiber, and good carbs.
  • Beets' iron content, while not that high, is of the finest quality for the body to use in the making of blood.
  • Beets have long been known to have healing effects for ailments such as...anemia, atherosclerosis, blood pressure, cancer, constipation, ulcers, kidney ailments, gout, and even varicose veins...among others.
The detoxifying effects of beets are so strong that people who begin consuming beets for the first time may want to ease into it; the juice can cause a mild dizziness from the removal of the body's toxins- though there is nothing to worry about. (Drinking plenty of water will help flush out those toxins.)

So anywho- enough about beets. On to the recipe!


Seasonal Soups: Beet & Citrus Soup
  • 2 large beets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large green onions
  • 4 c water
  • 1/2 pint heavy cream
  • 1 large orange
  • 2 lemons
  1. Rinse beets, removing dirt (but not outer layer). Cut off greens, leaving about 1 inch to prevent bleeding of the beets. Place beets in a large pot and cover with at least an inch of water. Bring water to a boil; boil beets for 20-60 minutes, or until tender with just a bit of resistance. Larger beets will take a bit longer to soften.
  2. Pour out hot beet water and run cold water over beets to cool them. While running under cold water, rub away the outer layer of the beets. Cut beets into ~1 inch cubes.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Cut up the white and light green parts of the green onions, and saute this for a minute in the olive oil.
  4. Using a blender or food processor (my kingdom for a food processor!), puree the beets in parts. I would advise using a cup of water with a quarter of the beets so that you don't burn out your blender. Place the pureed beets and any unused water in the saucepan with the onions and oil.
  5. Turn up the heat, bringing the mix to a simmer and stirring regularly. Add the cream and juice from the orange and lemons. Continue to simmer ~20 minutes.
  6. Serve hot or cold.
Number of times I managed to use the word beet in this post: 37


  1. what up shawn?

    i gotta holla that beet juice has a high glycemic index, and the dizziness ppl get when detoxing on juice is probably reactive hypoglycemia and not 'detox' related. in fact scientists sometimes use sugary juices to induce reactive hypoglycemia during studies.

    idk why i wrote this,



  2. Hey Doug-

    Thanks for setting the record straight! So upon some further reading (for those not familiar with this glycemic index lingo):

    "Carbohydrates that break down quickly during digestion and release glucose [sugar] rapidly into the bloodstream have a high GI [glycemic index]." -Wikipedia: "Glycemic Index"

    So you're saying that beet juice releases a lot of sugar into our blood, which causes our body to produce a lot of insulin, and then...undershoot our normal blood glucose levels? Very interesting!

    Always glad to hear back from readers,