You Can’t Beat Beets!
I have bad memories of the lunch ladies in grade school “making” us eat our warm, mushy canned beets. But now as a Nutritional Therapist, I realize there is so much more to beets! In the last year, I’ve come to appreciate beets in many forms – raw and shredded in a salad, pickled on a sandwich, roasted and eaten cold, as a fermented beverage called kvass, and sauteed beet greens and garlic with my eggs for breakfast. (Honestly, sooo delicious!)
I grew beets in my garden this year – traditional red beets, golden beets, and white Chiogga beets, which, when sliced, look like a bulls-eye. I harvested a whole sink full of beets the other day so I’ve been looking for more inspiration for how to use them in my diet. I’ve shared additional recipes with you at the end of this post.
Aside from being beautiful, beets are very healthy! These colorful root vegetables contain powerful nutrient compounds that help protect against inflammation, heart disease, birth defects and certain cancers, especially colon cancer. Additional benefits include:
- Beet juice is known for its blood-building and detoxifying properties.
- Beets contain many important minerals such as phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, calcium, iron, copper, zinc, manganese and potassium.
- Beets are full of fiber, vitamins A and C, folic acid, niacin (vitamin B3) and biotin (vitamin B7). Beets are great for pregnant women because they can lower the risk of spina bifida and other neural tube disorders.
- Beets are also good for the liver! They contains a chemical compound called betaine which stimulates the liver and protects liver and bile ducts. If you are a person who thinks about exposure to toxins and wants to give your body as much detox support as possible, beets are a food that belong in your diet.
Are you ready to give beets another try?
Recipe: Roasted Beets and Goat Cheese Salad
- 2 large organic red beets
- 2 tbsp organic olive oil
- 1 cup of arugula (or other greens like spinach, mustard greens) chopped.
- 2-6 tbsp crumbled goat cheese
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp orange juice, preferably fresh-squeezed (optional)
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Chop off the greens (if any), scrub the hairs and dirt off the beet skin, and remove any spots by scraping with the edge of a parring knife. (You do not have to peel the beets unless you’d prefer.)
- Cut beets into fairly large chunks and toss them in olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Put the beets on the baking tray or oven-safe dish and roast. Roasting takes anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hr – depends on your oven. You know they are ready when you can stick a knife in and there is little resistance.
- Take the beets out of the oven and let cool for approximately 20 minutes so you can handle them.
- Next, cut the beets into smaller pieces (1/2 to 3/4 inch cubes). Put them in a bowl and add the arugula and goat cheese. Toss.
- Then add the balsamic vinegar, orange juice and more olive oil. Add sea salt and pepper to taste.
Number of servings (yield): 2
Earlier this week I came across this beautiful Shaved Beet and Radish Salad with Pomegranate Seeds that you must try! I’m taking it to a potluck meeting tonight.
Do you have a favorite way you like your beets? Do you have a recipe to share?
(Sorry! I almost forgot this warning for you. When you eat red beets, you can track your digestive transit time because your stool color may be very red and this might freak you out thinking you have intestinal bleeding or something. Not to worry! Your urine may also look pink . . . . It’s just the beets doing their magic of detoxifying you!)