just beet it
Food. That very word elicits a certain sense of exhilaration and enthusiasm in my soul. I love food. I love everything about it. From the planning to the execution and then to the ever so beloved task of consuming, I love it. A healthy, conscious way of life is very important to me. Choosing food that nourishes both body and spirit is essential to my over all well-being and happiness. I know for a fact that a slice of chocolate cake has the power to change your life for the better. I believe that when we saturate our food with love, acceptance, and gratitude it will nourish our bodies on a level so raw and so spiritual that it has the ability to heal our bodies from the inside out. Mealtime should be a spiritual and reverent experience with laughter and love being the main ingredients. Along with loving our food experience, being aware of where our food comes from is so critical as well. In America, we have grown accustomed to eating food like products. We have health food sections and our organic food is so expensive it’s no wonder folks feel overwhelmed with the idea of eating healthy. Simple and raw have been replaced with GMO’s and chemicals. We now live in a world where we fear getting cancer when we bite into a piece of fruit. Becoming aware and mindful of the food you put you into your body and where you procure said sustenance can radically change your health and experience with food. Nestled in the heart of every city is a farmer. One who toils day and night to provide beautiful food for others. My family’s favorite day of the week is Saturday. We wake up early and head down to our local farmer’s market. My daughter plays with the other children while my husband and I shop for our week. Supporting our local farmers has become so important to my husband and I. Becoming familiar with the food I put into my body has inspired me to cook more and try new things. Which brings me to my reason for this post. Beets. Up until a few years ago the only experience I had with beets came from a can and the only description as to what they were was provided by my father who emphatically despised them. Beets have become sort of an underdog in the vegetable kingdom. They are only remembered for leaving you with a metal and bitter aftertaste in your mouth. But they are so much more than that. They are sweet and earthy. When I consume beets I feel as though Mother Earth is whispering all of her secrets into my ear. Beets remind me how connected I am to the Earth. Beets ground me. My most favorite way to use beets is to pickle them. Who doesn’t love anything pickled? Pickling beets showcases these underdogs in a whole new light. So without further adieu, I will share with you a wonderful recipe for these humble gems from Alton Brown.
Yields: 2 (1-quart mason jars)
Roasted beets, recipe follows
1 large red onion
1 cup tarragon wine vinegar (I just used white wine vinegar)
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
6 medium beets, cleaned with 1 inch stem remaining
2 large shallots, peeled
2 sprigs rosemary
2 teaspoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl toss all the of the ingredients (from the roasted beets ingredient list). Place into a foil pouch (I placed the pouch on a cookie sheet) and roast in the oven for 40 minutes.
When they are cool enough to handle, remove the skin from the Roasted Beets and slice thinly. Arrange in 1-quart jars alternating layers with the onion. In a small pot boil the rest of the ingredients and pour over the beets. Tightly lid the jars and place in the refrigerator for 3 to 7 days before serving.
I found this recipe on the Food Network’s website. If you feel nervous about trying these earthy treats I hope you give them a chance. And more importantly I hope my words have sparked in you the inventiveness to be creative in the kitchen and to remember that love is the most essential ingredient to infuse into your dish. You can obtain the most magnificent ingredients, but without love they are just that. Love is the sacred salt needed to create lasting memories and health. Bon Appetit!