I grew up in a large family. My grandmother, in her frugality,, never wasted anything, storing end of season vegetables like beets and squash in her root cellar. Although, I was fond of my grandmother and respected her values, I was NOT fond of the taste of beets.
My husband also came from a large family of gardeners and beet lovers. When we were first married, I added a stipulation that he could grow a row of beets in our garden, as long as I wasn’t expected to eat them.
The past few years, with the rising cost of groceries and the return to home cooked meals being in style, I decided to experiment with beets and create some recipes that were less “beet-y” tasting, hoping to acquire a taste for them. I also did some research on beets and their nutritional value and was amazed at what I learned and thought I would share my findings and some recipe ideas with you.
Super-Food with Super Powers
Beets are at the top of the super- food list for a reason; they are one of the best blood purifiers and liver cleansers. Beets have a rich red color and red veins run through beet leaves. The antioxidants in beets help lower your blood pressure and oxidate the LDL cholesterol which protects your arteries thus reducing the risk of heart disease. They contain nitric acid to help open up blood vessels and increase blood flow to the heart and brain. They also contain betaine and tryptophan which helps with depression and anxiety. Beets are considered the “good sugar” for diabetics. They can help stabilize blood sugar levels…because unlike other sugars, they convert into sugar very slowly.
Beets are Beet-iful
Don’t blush now….Beets contain high amounts of boron, which is directly related to the production of human sex hormones and possibly causes brides to blush. They contain folic acid and iron and are great for pregnant mothers in preventing spina bifida, anemia and fatigue.
Still not blushing? By smearing a small amount of beet juice to your cheeks, beets can make them blush. This concept is not lost on cosmetic companies. Several have turned beets into a powder, seeking a natural way to colorize their products rather than using artificial dyes.
Just Beat It, Just Beet It….are you starting to hear it
After completing my research and learning about beets’ beneficial properties, I began to roll up my sleeves and begin my experimentation process.
Here are some beet tips to get you started (see above photo):
o Beet juice with beet pulp (greens, vegetables, fruits)
o Shredded beet, carrot, pomegranate salad with pomegranate and raspberry dressing with twist of lime, a sprinkle of sugar and cinnamon
o Add beet greens to Garden salad along with kale, spinach, lettuce and vegetables
o Beet Green, Spinach, kale, egg, dill pie with filo dough or pie crust
o Beet, potato, carrot, onion, olive oil home fried potatoes
o Red Velvet Beet Cake – add a cup of shredded beets to cake mix
o Roast Beets with garlic and butter
o Strained Beet juice – a glass before meals or when you need a pick me up
I never thought I would come around to enjoying beets and find so many ways to fit them into my daily meal plan. I guess you could say…I am now “beeting to a different drum” I hope you too will “give beets a chance” in your home.
If you would like to share some beet ideas or comments, please forward them to: