Many people are a little intimidated by beets. Back in the day, our moms and grandmas pickled beets; that was all we knew about this root veggie. They were a little intimidating, sitting in the jar with onion and purple juice floating around them. But, today it’s worth the effort to appreciate and consume this vibrant veggie packed with vitamins, nitrates, fiber and antioxidants. And don’t worry – there are other ways to prepare beets than just pickling them.
Beets are good for the gut and are filled with fiber to keep your digestive tract running smoothly. Just 1 cup of beets packs about 15% of the fiber you need daily.
The vibrant color of beets is also good for the body. The pigments in beets, betalains, are significant sources of antioxidants that can help maintain healthy cells throughout the body and reduce inflammation.
Beets also contain nitrates which help dilate blood vessels to reduce blood pressure and increase blood flow. And remember not to discard the greens of the beets. Beet greens are also powerful sources of vitamin A, which promotes healthy eyes and a strong immune system.
Cleveland Clinic has an informative article that discusses the health benefits of beets.
You’re probably wondering what to do with beets once you buy them. WebMD gives us some good ideas:
Canned or frozen beets are still highly nutritious if beetroot isn’t in season. Beetroot powder is also popular as a nutritional supplement.
Beets are often roasted, as their natural sugars create a tasty caramelization when baked at high heat. They can also be eaten raw. Grate them on a salad, or fan the slices on a cheese plate for a pop of intense color.
Here are some more creative ways to enjoy beetroot:
- Add roasted beets to gazpacho to rev up the color and flavor.
- Grate raw beets and carrots and serve with a vinaigrette.
- Juice a small beet and add to fresh apple or orange juice.
- Serve roasted beets with a mint yogurt sauce.
- Microwave beets in a bowl with a bit of water for 10 minutes.
- Roast them with sweet potatoes and add to couscous.
- Brighten up minestrone soup with diced beets.
Enjoy this recipe for Roasted Beet Wedges.
Roasted Beet Wedges
- 1 lb fresh peeled beets cut into wedges
- 4 tsp olive oil
- ½ tsp salt or to taste
- 3-5 fresh rosemary sprigs
- Preheat oven to 400°F and line a large 1" deep baking pan with heavy duty foil.
- Arrange beets on foil and top with rosemary sprigs. Fold foil around beets and seal tightly.
- Bake until tender, about 1 hour. Open foil carefully to allow steam to escape. Discard rosemary sprigs and serve hot.
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