Maple Glazed Beets Using the Solar Flare Parabolic Solar Cooker
The wild beet, the ancestor of the beet with which we are familiar today, is thought to have originated in prehistoric times in North Africa and grew wild along Asian and European seashores. In these earlier times, people exclusively ate the beet greens and not the roots. The ancient Romans were one of the first civilizations to cultivate beets to use their roots as food. The tribes that invaded Rome were responsible for spreading beets throughout northern Europe where they were first used for animal fodder and later for human consumption, becoming more popular in the 16th century.
Beets’ value grew in the 19th century when it was discovered that they were a concentrated source of sugar, and the first sugar factory was built in Poland. When access to sugar cane was restricted by the British, Napoleon decreed that the beet be used as the primary source of sugar, catalyzing its popularity. Around this time, beets were also first brought to the United States, where they now flourish. Today the leading commercial producers of beets include the United States, the Russian Federation, France, Poland, France and Germany.
How to select: Look for firm, smooth skins, with crisp, bright leaves if attached.
How to store: Remove greens from the beet if attached (because they will continue to leach moisture from the root), leaving 1 inch stem to prevent color and nutrient loss when cooking. Then store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Cook Time: 1 hr 15 min