For the Love of Beets

Beets are a staple in my house. Whether we have them as a pickled side dish, in a juice, on a sandwich, or in a salad, it is a favorite in my home. Kids love them, too.

Beets provide some impressive health benefits. They are low in calories, and a great source of nutrients, including fiber, folate and vitamin C. Beets also contain nitrates and pigments that may help lower blood pressure and improve athletic performance.

Beets are a very grounding, earthy food. Beets are delicious and versatile, fitting well into a healthy and balanced diet. They also may also support weight loss! They are a wonderful, nutrient packed, power-punch addition to any meal.

Beetroot is a delicious and versatile vegetable that is easy to add to your diet. Choose beets that are heavy for their size.

These are some very simple ways to add them into your diet:

  1. Beetroot salad: Grated beets make a flavorful and colorful addition to coleslaw.

  2. Beetroot dip: Beets blended with Greek yogurt make a delicious and healthy dip.

  3. Beetroot juice: Fresh beetroot juice is best, as store-bought juice can be high in added sugars and may only contain a small amount of beets.

  4. Beetroot leaves: Beet leaves can be cooked and enjoyed like spinach, so don't throw them out.

Though they’re sweet enough to use in dessert (like a sensational naturally dyed red velvet cake), earthy beets are fantastic in savory dishes, especially when they involve a nice hit of tangy vinegar or goat cheese. Here are 15 ways to use them that go beyond adding them to a salad.

  1. Crushed. For beets that are crispy on the outside and super tender within, steam them whole, then mash them until flattened and sear them in butter and olive oil.

  2. Pickled. With eggs, or without pickled beets are the ultimate healthy snack.

  3. Sandwiches. Slice rounds of cooked beets and sandwich them on slider rolls with goat cheese or horseradish crème fraîche. Or use them in a vegetarian Reuben.

  4. Salt-roasted. To create perfectly seasoned, incredibly flavorful beets, bury them in salt and then roast.

  5. Risotto. Stain the creamy rice dish magenta by adding shredded beets soon before serving.

  6. Tomato soup. Make a lighter soup that nods to borscht by combining beets and tomatoes and pureeing with stock.

  7. Latkes. Shred beets along with potatoes to make a (slightly) healthier version of the fried savory pancake.

  8. Soy-braised. Braise beets in a soy sauce and vinegar-seasoned stock to serve as an incredibly flavorful side dish.

  9. Gnocchi. Puree beets to use in these deliciously earthy dumplings.

  10. "Tartare." Shave cooked red beets and top them with classic beef tartare ingredients, like capers and onions.

  11. Slaw. Shred beets and serve them raw in a citrus dressing.

  12. Kebabs. Skewer cooked beets and finish them off on the grill so they get nice and smoky.

  13. Dip. For a lower-calorie hummus, use cooked beets in place of chickpeas. Or puree beets with sour cream and onion and serve with crunchy white vegetables.

  14. Salsa. Broil cooked beets until charred, then chop and toss with garlic, chilies and cilantro; serve with tortilla chips.

  15. Red velvet cake. Dye this classic cocoa cake naturally by adding beet puree.

Our household favorite is couscous, with beets, cucumber, feta and greek dressing for a cold salad.

As for me, I love beets anytime, anyway! No matter which way you prepare them, they are a great addition for a super healthy kick to any meal! Have you had your beets today?

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