By Deb Kemps

In today’s hurried times it is hard to find food products that are healthy, delicious and easy to prepare. I know I do not have the time to comb the grocery store looking for the latest and greatest in food products. Something that has truly made a difference for my grocery shopping choices is my Publix “personal shoppers.” Do you have your own Publix personal shoppers? I have several in my local store: Betty, Lynn and so many others. Wherever you shop, get to know your grocers. 

So, as the story goes, Kim in the Publix produce department (one of my shoppers) turned me on to a great new product: “Straight from The Root: 100% Organic” vegetables prepared in the French style of sous vide. This low-heat cooking method allows the vegetables to maintain their integrity in nutrients, texture and, most importantly, flavor. The folks at Straight from The Root produce a variety of vegetables that are fully-cooked, non-GMO, preservative-free, and you can warm them in their own BPA-free bag. They currently offer beets, carrots, potatoes, butternut squash and sweet potatoes. I have tried them all and they don’t disappoint. A convenient, healthy and delicious option. The beets are my favorite; they taste so fresh. I enjoy them as a snack direct from the package or as an addition to my salads. I provided a quick and easy recipe below for a beet salad and a recipe for a refreshing beet cocktail. I hope you have a chance to try them while the folks at your grocery store do the shopping for you. 

Warm Beet & Goat Cheese Salad

1 package of “Straight from The Root” beets, chopped

Arugula lettuce

Candied pecans or walnuts

Dried cranberries  

Crumbled goat cheese 

My favorite is Raspberry vinaigrette dressing 

Warm the beets 

Combine all remaining ingredients and add warm beets. Salt and pepper to taste. 

Beet Mule

2 ounces vodka

1 ounce fresh lemon juice

¾ ounce beet ginger syrup (combine simple syrup with pureed beets and pureed ginger root to taste) 

2 ounces tonic water

Mix all ingredients and pour over ice.  Garnish with mint.