Beetroot: color-intensive and vitamin-rich tuber
The autumn is here. And as the days get shorter and the temperatures drop, our need for vitamins and minerals increases. Just the right time for root vegetables. This also includes the beetroot, although what we eat is not the thickened root of the plant. Beetroot is a two-year herbaceous plant.
In the first year, it stores vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals in one bulb. She actually needs this in the second year to form a stalk with an inflorescence. However, the human being intervenes who harvests the tasty tuber in the first year. What we know as classic spherical beetroot is botanically the thickened section between the root neck and cotyledons, the so-called cotyledons.
Beetroot is a real treasure, especially in the cool season: due to the high content of vitamin B, potassium, iron and especially folic acid, it is very healthy and can also be prepared in a variety of ways: raw, steamed, boiled or fried, as a side dish, main course, dessert or as juice.
But be careful: due to the color intensity, it is best to wear gloves when peeling. The leaves are also suitable for eating. Another plus is that it can be obtained from local cultivation and therefore has no long transport routes behind it. In stores, beetroot is often pickled in a spicy vinegar broth or pre-cooked and vacuum-sealed in plastic film. From September to March, the fresh tuber is available in well-stocked supermarkets, vegetable shops, at weekly markets and in some farm shops. Fresh beetroot can be recognized by a firm, smooth and intact skin. It can be stored in the vegetable compartment of the fridge for a good two weeks.
By the way: The intense color of the crisp, juicy meat with the aromatic taste is based in particular on the high concentration of the dye betanine. This is also used as a natural food coloring (E162), but it is not very heat-resistant. When larger amounts are consumed, the red dye can turn urine and stool red. However, this is harmless. If you have problems with kidney stones, you should be careful because the oxalic acid it contains can lead to stone formation in the kidneys.
Apart from that, the beetroot is mainly attributed to positive properties: its ingredients protect the heart and blood vessels and thus against high blood pressure and other vascular diseases. In addition to varieties with purple pulp, there are now also white, yellow, orange-yellow or red and white striped varieties. Heike Stommel, respectively