Product Roundup: Red-Hot Roots
Once an underdog of the produce aisle, the blood-red beet has made a name for itself, thanks to its versatility and designation by some as a superfood.
Several companies have made use of its vivid coloring for startling effect, while others are taking advantage of its flavor profile, at once sweet and savory. The result: a vibrant mix of offerings, from vinegar to ravioli to relish.
Blue Hill - Beet Yogurt. Creating a stir with its savory yogurt concept, the famed Blue Hill produces a line starring parsnips, tomatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash, with produce grown throughout the Northeast. Made with 100 percent grass-fed whole cow’s milk, the 6-ounce yogurts made their debut in 2013. The beet version, which took home sofi gold last year, features roasted beets, honey, raspberry vinegar, beet juice concentrate, sea salt, and live active cultures. Renowned chef Dan Barber and his team at Blue Hill Restaurant in New York City and Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, N.Y., are behind the inventive line, with plans underway to expand their reach. bluehillyogurt.com
FoodMatch - Divina Red Beets in Mediterranean Marinade. Available in 6.1-pound cans for foodservice, these Greek beets are marinated in onion, oil, red wine vinegar, sea salt, pickled garlic, sugar, lemon peel, oregano, and black pepper. With a 24-month shelf life, they make an ideal component in a tomato, feta, and cilantro salad or a fennel and red onion salad, and even served solo as an antipasto. Divina, which works with small Mediterranean farms to source its ingredients, also produces olives, dolmas, and other antipasti, including gigandes (beans) and roasted red and yellow tomatoes. foodmatch.com
Happy Family - Happy Tot Blueberry, Pear, & Beet Pouches. In its line of organic fruit and vegetable mixes geared toward toddlers, Happy Family pairs beets with pear and blueberry purees, plus chia seeds and vitamin D. With 800 milligrams of omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin C, and 4 grams of fiber, it’s just one of several products in this healthful line. And it’s not the only beet-forward product. Happy Family offers such snacks as blueberry and beet rice cakes; fruit and veggie crisps in banana, beet, and blueberry; and Greek yogurt in a variety of produce blends. happyfamilybrands.com
La Pasta - Butternut Squash, Red Beet & Goat Cheese Ravioli. Tinged a sunny yellow using egg and turmeric, these ravioli squares are made with durum wheat and semolina. Inside, they feature a colorful mixture of diced butternut squash and red beet, cheeses (goat, parmesan, mozzarella, and ricotta), chives, sage, brown sugar, nutmeg, sea salt, and black pepper. Its creators say the ravioli’s distinctive pink coloring—the fresh beet filling bleeding through—was a happy accident. The 9-ounce packages, which garnered a 2014 sofi Award win in the Outstanding Pasta, Rice, or Grain category, keep for 45 days refrigerated. Other ravioli varieties in the company’s retail line include asparagus and gruyere, exotic mushroom, goat cheese and basil, and more. lapastainc.com
Lifeway Foods - Veggie Kefir in Savory Beet. Blending a full serving of vegetables into its high-protein kefir, the company’s new bottled 8-ounce smoothies are available in three varieties: savory beet, cucumber, and tomato. Ingredients in the savory beet version of the drinkable yogurt include pasteurized cultured lowfat milk, nonfat milk, beet juice, vitamins, and 12 probiotic cultures. With no added sugar or salt, this healthful beverage boasts 130 calories, 2 grams of fat, and 11 grams of protein. Lifeway Foods, founded by Russian immigrant Michael Smolyansky in 1986, produces an extensive line of kefir products for children and adults, plus cheese and lassi. lifeway.net
Natural Sins - Crispy Beetroot Thins. For this healthful, vegan snack, originally developed by a gourmet food shop in Costa Rica, Natural Sins cuts beets into trim, 1-millimeter-thick slices, sprinkles them with a bit of cane sugar, and bakes them to crispy—not foamy, gummy, or sticky, their creators proudly declare—perfection. Rich in fiber, each 1-ounce bag of thins has 100 calories and no fat, preservatives, sodium, gluten, dye, or GMOs. The company’s line also includes thins in mango, apple, pineapple, coconut, and orange varieties, all made with just fruit and cane sugar. naturalsinsonline.com
Numi Tea - Savory Tea in Beet Cabbage. This teamaker made waves with its seemingly new category of brew: savory teas. Combining organic, non-GMO verified vegetables, herbs, spices, and decaffeinated tea, the company’s line of savory flavors was inspired by international cuisines. Introduced in 2013, the tea bags (12 to a box) are described as not quite tea, not quite soup—and enjoyable as both. Vibrant crimson Beet Cabbage features mustard seed, coriander, apple, and decaffeinated black tea. Other products in the line include broccoli cilantro, carrot curry, fennel spice, spinach chive, and tomato mint. numitea.com
Plum Organics - Plum Vida Cherry Berry Beet Ginger. Snack pouches originated with young foodies in mind, but they caught on in the grown-up world. Plum Organics took note and created this line of organic, non-GMO fruit and vegetable pouches geared toward adults. One serving of its berry beet ginger variety contains half a cup of produce—a blend of organic pear, cherry, and raspberry purees plus beet and lemon juice concentrates—and 3 grams of fiber, with just 80 calories. Ground ginger gives it a refined finish. The BPA-free, 5-ounce pouches are shelf-stable and resealable for convenient snacking. plumorganics.com
Sid Wainer & Son - Domaine de Provence Beet Pearls. To make these bright red Beet Pearls, drops of beet juice are encapsulated in thick alginate shells. They burst in the mouth when bitten into, making the tiny flavor bombs an elegant accent in cocktails and sparkling wine, sprinkled on desserts or salads, or incorporated into sushi and other dishes. Launching in 2015, the pearls are packaged in 1.75-ounce jars and will be available for retail and foodservice. Other flavors in Sid Wainer & Son’s molecular gastronomy–inspired line include: soy, cassis, passion fruit, caramel, pink grapefruit, mango, truffle, and fig. sidwainer.com
Sinto Gourmet - Plenty Roots Kimchi. Launching at the 2015 Winter Fancy Food Show, this kimchi recipe features a colorful melange of veggies, including red beet, carrot, daikon, turnip, rutabaga, and yellow onion, with hints of ginger. Orange peel and apple juice enhance the sweetness of the roots. Crunchy, earthy, and tangy, this pickled vegetable medley joins Sinto’s existing line of kimchi products, in spicy red Napa cabbage, mild white Napa cabbage, and spicy radish. The founder, whose grandmother taught her how to make the classic Korean dish, worked as a fine-dining line cook and event chef before starting her company. sintogourmet.com
Stonyfield - YoTot Organic Whole Milk Yogurt in Strawberry-Beet-Berry. Extending its offerings to younger foodies, Stonyfield has introduced this new yogurt line featuring whole-milk yogurt with fruits and vegetables. Each 3.7-ounce pouch, available in the dairy aisle, contains purees of strawberry, beets, and raspberry along with black currant and carrot juice concentrates, fish oil, vitamin D3, and live active cultures. Pear spinach mango is the other flavor in the line; both products are gluten-free, organic, and kosher, with no artificial ingredients. Stonyfield also offers a line of omega 3–enhanced fruit and veggie yogurts in single-serve cartons. stonyfield.com
Wozz! Kitchen Creations - Indian Spiced Beetroot Relish and Spiced Beet Finishing Vinegar. This condiment and sauce company creates globally inspired flavor profiles with enticing results. The relish combines fresh grated beets, curry paste, and red wine, slow-cooked to build flavor. It pairs well with goat and blue cheeses, steak, burgers, and more. The finishing vinegar was a 2014 sofi Awards finalist for Outstanding Vinegar. Made with fresh beets doused in cider vinegar, red wine, cane sugar, bay leaf, cumin, and orange peel, it’s slightly thick due to two slow-infusion stages, preceding the final aging. Intended for dressing and seasoning, the vinegar (along with the relish) is gluten-free and vegan-friendly. wozzkitchencreations.com
Dina Cheney is the “Taste Test” columnist for Every Day with Rachael Ray, plus the author of several cookbooks, including Meatless All Day and the forthcoming Mug Meals and
The New Milks.
MOST READ ARTICLES