Beets and I are in the midst of an intense love affair.
I think about them when I don’t have them, I haunt the beet section of Whole Foods to pick out new beets or the most perfect specimens to take home. I crave them and I am just as happy carving up some roasted beets to eat alone or adding them to a salad.
Beets are definitely listed a Food the Loves Me Back – the health benefits are amazing!
Here are just a few reasons that you should love beets too:
- Beets very low in calories (provide only 45 kcal/100 g), and contain zero cholesterol and only a small amount of fat. Its nutrition benefits come particularly from fiber, vitamins, minerals, and unique plant derived anti-oxidants. (Nutrition and You)
- Raw beets are an excellent source of folates. They contain about 109 µg/100 g of this vitamin (Provides 27% of RDA). Be warned, extensive cooking may significantly deplete the folate level. (Nutrition and You)
- Beets are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains. Betanin and vulgaxanthin are the two best-studied betalains from beets, and both have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. Although you can see these betalain pigments in other foods (like the stems of chard or rhubarb), the concentration of betalains in the peel and flesh of beets gives you an unexpectedly great opportunity for these health benefits. (Whole Foods)
Beets can be Beets can be steamed, boiled, pickled, roasted, or eaten raw but my go-to prep method is to roast the beets with Fennel Pollen. The aromatic addition of the Fennel Pollen enhances beet’s natural sweetness and induces addictive cravings. Before you pop them into the oven to roast, I dress them with EVOO and liberal amounts of Fennel Pollen.
My son goes bananas for the Beet and Fennel Soup that I make – it is now requested weekly and so easy to make a big batch. Anytime that you use beet for soups – you can always use kefir or yogurt to add a creamy flavor.
My Beet and Ginger dip is another hit – make your own pita chips!
Recommended Pairings with Beets: goat cheese, tangy cheeses like blue cheese and gorgonzola, arugula and spicy greens, chervil, cilantro, curry, eggs (in any form!), endive, fennel, flaky fish, scallops, leeks, citrus (lemon, blood oranges, grapefruit), mustard (try beets with a honey mustard glaze!), pasta, potatoes, quinoa, radishes, salmon, scallions, soups, tarragon, yogurt, nuts (like hazelnuts and walnuts).
Beets are not just for at home! Chefs are using these gorgeous orbs in flavorful offerings – here are a few of my recent picks:
Talk to me about beets – how do you like to prepare them? What Root Vegetable has inspired a love affair for you?
Join us on Wednesday for the #HGEATS Digging in the Dirt – Root Vegetables Twitter Chat!
More Beet Recipes: