Baby Gold Beets
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|Food Buzz: History of Beets|
|Food Fable: Beets|
Baby Gold beets are harvested young for their edible roots, stems and leaves. 10-12 inch green leafy stems ascend from the Gold beet's rough deep orange, bulbous root. Beets have the highest sugar content of any vegetable and Gold beets are the standard of sweetness. Their flavor is smooth and creamy with just a hint of earthiness. The flesh of the baby Gold beet is bright yellow and unlike Red beets, its coloring does not bleed, though it retains its color when cooked. Beet greens have a similar semi-bitter flavor to swiss chard. Gold beets can be harvested at any time during their growing cycle. If left to mature the roots can reach up to an average of three inches in diameter.
Baby Gold beets are available from McGrath farms late fall through spring.
The Gold beet, Beta vulgaris, is a root vegetable and member of the Chenopodiaceae family. There are several varieties of Gold beets, however not all Gold beet varieties produce the same quality beet. The "Touchstone Gold" is one of the choice varieties of beets that is produced on a commercial-level scale. Baby Gold beets are cultivated as a table beet, though they do contain betaxanthin pigments which could serve as food coloring.
Gold beets are a great source of the phytonutrients called betalains. Betalains have both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which can create detoxifying effects. Betalians are not heat-stable, though, so longer cooking times can decrease their presence in beets.
Baby Gold beets should be steamed or roasted to bring out their beast flavor and texture. Their smaller size will shorten required cooking time. The skin is easily peeled once cooked. Gold beets can be used to replace Red beets in any given beet recipe. Gold beets pair well with citrus, especially tangerines and lemons, butter lettuce, parsley, chives, tarragon, cumin, bacon, buttermilk, creme fraiche, smoked fish, cheeses such as chèvre and gorgonzola, walnuts, hazelnuts and wine vinegars such as champagne and red wine. Gold beets are a great salad and soup beet and they can be preserved by pickling them with the use of a basic pickling recipe. Beet greens can be used for salads or as a pot herb.
Recipes that include Baby Gold Beets. One is easiest, three is harder.