For too long have beets been held back by their reputation as an uninspiring vegetable, when in fact they are as flavourful and versatile as they are beautiful. Beets have an enticing natural sweetness and a deep, earthy flavour that make them well-suited for a number of recipes. They are also chock full of health-boosting nutrients that make them a welcome addition to any diet. Not to mention they instantly liven up any dish with their vibrant colour.
Beets are true powerhouses of nutrition. They have a several health benefits and are packed with vitamins and minerals our bodies crave.
Beets are great for your heart and circulation. They are loaded with iron, which increases red blood cell production, potassium, which regulates blood pressure, and energy-boosting nitrates, which facilitate blood circulation and lower blood pressure. Beets are also rich in betalain, an antioxidant which gives beets their signature crimson colour and detoxifies carcinogens in the body. Betaine, an amino acid found in beets, has been found to improve liver function. Beets also contain fibre, vitamin C, vitamin B folate, and manganese, all of which play important roles in the body.
Beets are one of the most versatile root vegetables. They can be prepared in a multitude of ways, including boiled, steamed, roasted, juiced, pureed, pickled, or even eaten raw. They have a wonderfully sweet and subtle flavour that pairs well with almost anything - tangy sauces, soft cheeses, fresh greens, and, of course, chicken.
Buying fresh beets is the best way to get the most bang for your buck. Compared to their canned cousins, fresh beets offer a deeper, more aromatic flavour and likely come with the greens still attached! And don’t throw out those greens - they are edible, tasty, and full of vitamins. They can be steamed, boiled, sautéed, or eaten raw. Use them as a replacement for spinach, Swiss chard, or kale.
Tip: Be mindful when handling beets because their pigment can easily stain clothing. Aprons are a lifesaver here!
There are tons of ways to incorporate beets into a meal, whether it’s as a simple side or the dish’s headliner. If you’re looking for beets to make their debut in your diet, here are a few choice recipes to get you started.
This sweet, vibrant soup is packed with healthy goodness and flavour, and will surely fend off any looming cold.
These Italian fried rice balls are a delicious crowd pleaser and a great way to use up any leftover risotto. Serve as an appetizer or with a soup or salad for a complete meal.
This easy recipe is low-carb and low-fat, and uses beetroots and beet greens alike.
This deliciously sweet soup is packed with nutrients and beautiful colour. In this recipe, cranberries and brown sugar are added to give this traditional European soup an extra kick of flavour and sweetness.
Raw, grated beets take centre stage by adding earthy flavour and a satisfying crunch to this tangy salad. Cabbage, spinach, and sliced chicken breast turn this salad into a filling main dish.
Beets and avocados come together in this take on the traditional Mexican tostada. Their subtle flavours play off each other and are given an extra kick with red onion and jalapeno.