By Shalini Kolluri
I love beets. They look great, they add a natural sweetness to any salad and they are packed with awesome nutrients.
Before I get into the scientific facts that make beetroot one of the most nutritious vegetables there is, here is a fun fact – Beets are nature’s Viagra! The ancient Romans used it as an aphrodisiac. Beets contain a high amount of boron which aids in the production of sex hormones. Besides, the nitrates in the beets increase the blood supply to your genitals which in turn increases your sexual appetite.
This mechanism of action is very similar to that of a Viagra. The nitrates are converted into nitric oxide which expand your blood vessels so you can enjoy more oxygen, nutrients and energy. Did you know that 70 ml of fresh beet juice can lower your resting blood pressure by 2%?!
The sugars in the beet are smart carbs. A cup of cooked beet has only 60 calories and loads of fiber. Not only is it sweet, it is also very similar to chocolate. It contains very high levels of tryptophan that helps combat depression and creates a sense of well-being similar to chocolate! Pregnant women can also benefit largely from this wonder root as it is rich in folic acid and iron content.
I hope I’ve managed to convince you that beet isn’t a special occasion dish and that it should make an appearance on your plate almost every day.
Though I love my beets in salad, I also like preparing them the Indian way. Its earthy sweetness and rich color makes cooking them as well as eating them an absolute treat. Hope you enjoy eating this version of beetroot. Let me know if you like it.
1 beet (big), peeled and grated
½ tablespoon turmeric
1 small red onion, minced
1 tablespoon grated coconut
1 tablespoon olive oil
5-6 curry leaves
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon red chili powder
2 teaspoons coriander powder
Salt to taste
In a skillet, heat the oil on medium.
When the oil is sizzling, add in the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Wait till the curry leaves look slightly fried before adding in the minced onion.
When the onion turns golden brown, add in the grated beet and turmeric.
Mix the ingredients in the skillet and add a few drops of water to ensure that the beets do not stick to the pan. Cover with a lid and keep stirring every few minutes.
Cook on medium for 15-20 minutes till tender.
Turn off the heat and add salt, cumin powder, coriander powder, grated coconut and the red chili powder. Mix thoroughly. Serve with rice or Indian flat bread (roti).