Top vegetables of April, beetroot and its leaves

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Robert Maurer

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Beetroot is very rich in water and contains a good quantity of mineral salts, especially potassium; it also provides dietary fiber, vitamins, especially of group B, proteins and sugars.

It has refreshing and remineralizing qualities and a mild anti-inflammatory power for the benefit of the digestive system. It is a concentrate of health and promotes the formation of red blood cells.

Beetroot is rich in anthocyanins, antioxidant substances that are especially friendly to the heart and blood microcirculation.

It is often found already cooked, vacuum packed, in the supermarket; of course, however, it is advisable to buy it fresh which, in addition to being richer in nutrients, is also tastier. Its season starts now, but we will find it all spring.


How to choose red beetroot

Not everyone knows which of the beetroot leaves are also excellent which, however, they must be very fresh. It is therefore advisable to buy products that are not deprived of the leaves, naturally paying attention to their appearance; they must appear firm and green and not limp and withered.

The leaves must be cooked immediately, possibly on the day of purchase, while the beets can be stored in a cool and dry place for a few days.


How to cook beetroot

Beetroot can be boiled with or without the peel. After boiling it, it can be cut into slices and simply seasoned with garlic, parsley, salt and extra virgin olive oil. It is excellent paired with boiled potatoes.

It can also be eaten raw, for example in the form of centrifuged. In this way, maximum benefit will be obtained and all its nutritional qualities will be safeguarded.


Read also Red beetroot for gastritis >>


How to cook beet leaves: the recipes

Beet leaves they can be treated more or less like spinach. They are excellent especially lightly seared or sautéed in a pan.


Boiled beetroot leaves

After washing them thoroughly under running water, cook them for about a quarter of an hour in a little salted water. Drain well and season with extra virgin olive oil and a clove of garlic.


Stir-fried beetroot leaves

Wash the beetroot leaves thoroughly under running water and let them dry. Then sauté them in a pan with a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and a clove of garlic.

After a couple of minutes remove the garlic, cover and cook over low heat for about a quarter of an hour; if necessary add a little water. When cooked, season with salt.

To make one spicy version, add a sprinkling of dry chili or a few pieces of fresh chili.

For a sweet version, add a handful of pine nuts previously stir-fried and a handful of raisin soaked in a glass of water to which you have added a teaspoon of Benevento liqueur.

Boiled or sautéed beetroot leaves lend themselves to being an excellent filling for savory pies and focaccias.


Learn more about beets and other April vegetables



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