Go beet-crazy this summer with salad recipe

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Guest columnist

I enjoy eating beets. Pickled beets and Harvard beets were part of our family meals when I was growing up.
I know that many children won’t even try them. However, the adults in the family might like this colorful, delicious salad.  
Beets are in season from June to November. They are good sources of fiber, folate, calcium and vitamin C, and they are low in fat. One cup of cooked beets contains about 50 calories and 2 grams of fiber.
If you are buying beets, choose those that are round, firm, rich in color and smooth over most of the surface. Wilted or decayed tops may indicate spoilage. Store beets for one to two weeks in the refrigerator. Cooked beets will keep about a week when refrigerated.
To prepare beets, first rinse under running water to remove traces of dirt. Leave the skin, tail and an inch of the stem attached. This will help retain the beet juice when cooking. The skin will be easier to remove after cooking.
Beets can be baked in 1/4 inch of water, covered, for 40 minutes at 375 degrees. Or, beets can be steamed for 25 minutes for small beets or 40 minutes for larger beets.
The recipe below has a spicy taste and adds beautiful color to your meal.
I’m interested in knowing if you like it, so call the Extension Office at 502-839-7271 to vote yes or no on the recipe or visit the website at uky.edu/Anderson.

Summer Beet Salad
6 medium size beets (or use 3 cans of sliced beets, drained well)
1 small red onion, sliced or diced (I preferred 1/4 cup diced red onion)
1/2 cucumber, sliced
5 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream or plain yogurt
2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise or salad dressing
1 tablespoon balsamic or red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish
2 tablespoons dried dill weed OR 3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Scrub and remove tops from beets.Boil beets in water for about 45 minutes or until tender. Drain hot water form pot and refill with cold water. When beets are cool enough to handle, peel, slice thinly and place in a salad bowl.
Add onion and cucumber to sliced beets.
In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Pour over vegetables and toss to combine. Refrigerate 2 hours or overnight. Serve chilled.
Nutritional analysis: 90 calories, 3.5 g fat, 3 g protein, 1 g fiber, 13 g carbohydrate, 250 mg sodium, 10 mg cholesterol.    

Joan Martin is the Anderson County Extension agent for Family and Consumer Science. She can be reached via e-mail at joan.martin@uky.edu.