One of the most beautiful things about eating produce in season is discovering how nature is so well in tune with the human body. In the months when we are most susceptible to depression and lethargy due to lack of exposure to sunlight and often times less physical movement, the winter season brings lots of Vitamin D-rich seafood and loads of tuberous (root) vegetables packed with B Vitamins. B Vitamins are natural antidepressants and its important to get lots of them in while we can.
Beets contain lots of B vitamins such as niacin, (B-3), pantothenic acid (B-5) and pyridoxine (B-6) and are more delicious than swallowing a pill, not to mention their impressive mineral and other vitamin contents. Beet greens have a nice salty flavor when eaten raw, whereas the stalks taste very similar to the beetroots when cooked. Beetroots are wonderful when they are pickled and sweetened, or just boiled and eaten on their own. I like to boil the beets and drink the water that they boil in, which transforms into a sweet red tea full of wonderful nutrients. I never ate beets growing up and my only experience of them was on Easter morning because my mom used to make pickled hard boiled eggs in beet juice. (Don’t knock it till you try it). I began eating them this winter and now I love them both for their taste as well as for the energy they give me. I am just hitting the tip of the iceberg as far as beets are concerned and I’ve seen so many fascinating recipes –including many desserts–where they are featured. I’ll be getting my full share of beets while I wait for warmer weather.
If you still need an extra dose of happiness to shake the winter blues, try playing the Graceland album really loudly. Works for me at least.