March to the beet of the drum

June 27th, 2015 1:16 am

First Posted: 4/16/2013

When you were young, did your mother make you eat beets? Or did you eat them willingly? If she did, your mom was and/or is a smart lady to introduce you to this wonderful vegetable filled with lots of nutrients and little calories.

Beets are an excellent source of folate, along with potassium, vitamin C and fiber. They are low in calories and, as most vegetables, are fat and cholesterol free. One cup of cooked beets are only 31 calories and eight and one-half grams of carbohydrates.

Many people today are roasting beets along with carrots, parsnips and potatoes. It’s an easy way to prepare them. If you don’t like to peel them and get your fingers pink, try scrubbing with the skins on, then wrapping them in foil, just as you would a baked potato.

The pink color gives us the natural photochemical. Beet greens (leaves) are very nutritious and delicious, too. They are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and copper.

Trying new vegetables at home can be a challenge but, in the long run, worth it. New vegetables add color, interest and nutrition to the meals.

The American Institute for Cancer Research suggests using beets in the common dessert, red velvet cake. Instead of red food coloring, use canned beets.

A beet adds moisture and reduces some of the oil and gives the red color naturally.

Although this recipe adds an extra step of making a beet puree, you might want to experiment and use this puree as you would other fruit purees in muffins and or breads.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

1 cup canned beets, drained (see note)

1/2 cup reduced-fat buttermilk, divided

1/2 tsp. white vinegar

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

3/4 cup plus

2 Tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour

6 Tbsp. unsweetened natural cocoa

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/3 cup canola oil, chilled

3/4 cup sugar

1 large egg, cold

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Drop paper liners into cavities of a 12-cavity regular size muffin pan.

Drain and coarsely chop beets.

Place beets in blender, add 1/4 cup buttermilk and whirl until beets are finely chopped. Add remaining buttermilk, vinegar and vanilla and whirl to a puree, making sure no lumps of beet remain.

Set beet mixture aside.

In small bowl, combine flour, 6 tablespoons of cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and set aside. In medium bowl, combine cold oil and sugar.

With hand mixer on medium speed, mix until sugar is evenly moistened. Add cold egg and beat at high speed until mixture resembles mayonnaise and sugar is almost completely dissolved, 90 seconds. Add beet mixture and beat until combined.

Sift dry ingredients into bowl and mix, either on low speed or by hand until combined with wet ingredients.

Divide batter evenly among lined muffin cups, filling them about two-thirds full. Bake cupcakes for 28-30 minutes.

Edited, sourceAmerican Institute for Cancer Research