Beets are completely underrepresented but are one of the most nutrient dense veggies out there, not to mention how beautiful and versatile they are!
Why they are good for you
Beets are rich in fiber, potassium and folate. The deep red pigment in beets, betalin, is considered to be detoxifying to our bodies and play a role in reducing inflammation associated with heart disease. Betalin has also been researched in protecting against development of cancerous cells. While traditionally known for their dark color, they also come in a beautiful gold and white hue.
How to eat them
It’s time to fight your fear of beets and challenge yourself to incorporate them into your diet. Here are 10 easy ways to use beets (and their greens)!
- 1. Roast them
Drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper over beets and wrap in aluminum. Roast in the oven for ~45 minutes, or until cooked through.Because of their naturally high starch content, roasting will concentrate their sugars and makes them sweet and crisp!
- 2. Juice them
Just add to a juicer with other nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables such as kale, spinach, apple, lemon and ginger for a satisfying and detoxifying beverage.
- 3. Blend in smoothies
Don’t have a juicer? Don’t fret, beets taste just as good blended into a smoothie! Add raw shredded beets to frozen berries, banana, spinach and Greek yogurt for a delicious breakfast option.
- 4. Steam them
Steaming beets is the best way to maximize their nutritional value since it preserves their important phytochemicals. Steam for 15 minutes or until you can easily insert a fork. Once steamed, toss with olive oil, fresh lemon juice and herbs.
- 5. Sauté the beet greens
We can’t let those nutrient dense beet greens go to waste! They are very similar in taste to Swiss chard and can be sautéed with extra virgin olive oil and garlic for a yummy side dish.
- 6. Grate them
Grated raw beets add a beautiful color and flavor to a variety of dishes. Consider adding to salad, or try making a beetroot tzatziki, with raw grated beet, garlic, red wine vinegar, Greek yogurt and olive oil- yum!
- 7. Use in baked goods
Beets have a smoky, earthy sweetness that taste fabulous in desserts! Get creative with healthy treats!
- 8. Pickle them
Pickle your beets to preserve and boost their nutritional content.
- 9. Use in salads
Add to grain or green salads. Toss with farro, roasted butternut squash and arugula for a hearty treat.
- 10. Make beetroot chips
Slice beets with a mandolin and roast in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until crisp.
What are your favorite ways to use beets?
By: Danielle Rosenfeld, MS, RD, LDN