BEETS! This is the first year I’ve tried beets and I’m in love. Look at this color! Put a little smidgen in your smoothie and bam, neon pink.
Shave a little off with your veggie peeler and it looks awesome on a salad.
Get out cho’ mandolin and kabloom! beet chips!
And I haven’t tried Green Kitchen’s Beet Burger, but you should go there if for no other reason to look at the beautiful pictures. For serious- want that picture of the beets on my wall.
Now the beet is a coy root vegetable because it doesn’t like heat. If you can serve beets raw, steamed, or lightly roasted (I hear paired with rosemary is delicious) you will get more nutritional bang for your buck. Beets contain a host of complex vitamins that serve as both as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory molecules. And for some people, the betalains in beets are useful for detoxifying the body because they esentially “hook-up” with unwanted toxic substances so you can pee them out. .. speaking of pee (whata segway!) for some, beets cause a change in urine color- so don’t freak out if you pee red after consuming beets.
According to whfoods.com, research on beets could lead to insight on the vegetable’s possibile curitave properties.
“It’s important to note two other areas of potential health benefits associated with beets: anti-cancer benefits and fiber-related benefits. The combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory molecules in beets makes this food a highly-likely candidate for risk reduction of many cancer types. Lab studies on human tumor cells have confirmed this possibility for colon, stomach, nerve, lung, breast, prostate and testicular cancers. Eventually, we expect to see large-scale human studies that show the risk-reducing effect of dietary beet intake for many of these cancer types.
“Beet fiber has also been a nutrient of increasing interest in health research. While many people tend to lump all food fiber into one single category called “dietary fiber,” there is evidence to suggest that all dietary fiber is not the same. Beet fiber (along with carrot fiber) are two specific types of food fiber that may provide special health benefits, particularly with respect to health of our digestive tract (including prevention of colon cancer) and our cardiovascular system. Some beet fiber benefits may be due to the pectin polysaccharides that significantly contribute to the total fiber content.”
Plus, beets are double win for your wallet because you can eat the leaves too. Beet greens are similar to collard greens and are unsurprizingly chock full of vitamins and minerals as well as carotenoids such as beta-carotene and lutein/zeaxanthin, which are great for your eyes and may prevent macular degeneration.
A tip for keeping beets fresher longer is slicing the stems off at the base of the root and storing them seperately. Don’t wash either until just before you use them. I store the leaves the same way I do fresh herbs: make a fresh cut for the stems, place in a glass with a little bit of water, and place the produce bag over top. This will keep both the leaves and the beet root fresher longer as the leaves will suck moisture away from the root. But beet leaves don’t last long, so cook em up quickly.
There a million ways to prepare greens, but here’s a quick dinner option.
Garlic Greens topped with Egg.
I promise it was tastier than it looked!
extra virgin olive oil
assortment of sturdy greens (whatever is available: Spinach, Beet Leaves, Mustard Greens, Calaloo, Collards, Kale, etc.)
Over medium low heat warm up a tablespoon or so of extra virgin olive oil in a big pan. Add minced garlic, spinach, and roughly chopped beet greens to the pan and using silicon tongs (ok, you don’t have to use silicon tongs, but I’m telling you to get a pair of these- I use mine every day.) turn the veggies til everything gets a good toss in the oil. Cover and allow to wilt, turning the veggies frequently. In the meantime, fry an egg. If you have some toast too, even better.
Plate the wilted greens and sprinkle a few pine nuts on top and take a veggie peeler and shave a few pieces of parmesan over the warm greens. Place egg to your liking on top.
This quick and easy salad pairs great with some grilled bacon and basalmic dressing, though it would stand up well sans bacon or with a different dressing.
The inspiration for this salad came from smitten kitchen. Deb grills her bacon on the open flame, and I bet that would be amazing- but I have a cast iron grill pan and way less paitence. I highly reccomend thick cut bacon and this method, it somehow makes it smokey and of course the grill marks are awesome.
I find arugula a little strong and peppery to eat on it’s own so I made this salad with
1/3 Baby Arugula &
Raw beet shavings
shredded red cabbage to your liking
This recipe is too fun to deprive you of it, though it is not the healthiest way to prepare beets. Is requires cooking the beets beyond the reccomended time and due to the mandolin cut, exposes the veggie to lots of oxygen, which apparently beets aren’t huge fans of. I don’t know the details, I just know beets loose some of their nutritional muster in this method. Still, it’s a fun way to add some beets to your diet.
1 large or two small beets: slice thinly on mandolin. You could use a veggie peeler too, but be careful not to cut yourself.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic salt (or more if you like)
1 teaspoon siracha sauce (or you can skip the siracha and add a pinch of cinnamon- adds more complex flavor, but not weird tasting.)
preheat oven to 350.
prep a cookie sheet by lining with aluminim foil and placing a cookie cooling rack on top.
mix all the ingredients together, coating each beet slice. Arrange in single layer on cooling rack. With salt, beets will expunge a good deal of their moisture- so in the pictures it looks like they are really coated in a large amount of oil, but it is mostly their own juice.
Bake for about 20 minutes. Keep a close eye on them as it doesn’t take long to go from still chewy to burnt.
Adapted from reboot with joe
This is too crowded. I learned my lesson- for evenly baked chips with less burned bits, leave room to breath!
Additionally, you should line your cookie sheet to avoid uneccessary scrubbing.