The Commons, Enid, Oklahoma
My choice on a vegetable is going to be Harvard Beets.
There are many ways to prepare this item. I prefer to use fresh beets from a local vendor. The colors and freshness of this vegetable are beautiful and the aroma is absolutely amazing.
Beets are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains. Betanin and vulgaxanthin are the two best-studied betalains from beets and both have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxification support. The detox support provided by betalains includes support of some especially important Phase 2 detox steps involving glutathione. Although you can see these betalain pigments in other foods (like the stems of chard or rhubarb), the concentration of betalains in the peel and flesh of beets gives you an unexpectedly great opportunity for these health benefits. Unlike some other food pigments, betalains undergo very steady loss from food as the length of cooking time is increased. One recent study has shown the red betalain pigments in beets to be far less heat stable than red anthocyanin pigments in red cabbage. The difference between 15 minutes of steaming versus 25 minutes of steaming, or 60 minutes of roasting versus 90 minutes of roasting can be significant in terms of betalain damage. For these reasons, we recommend that you keep beet steaming times to 15 minutes or less, and roasting times under an hour.