Beets are unique in that their phytonutrients, called betalains, have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification properties and are concentrated in the peel and flesh. According to the World’s Healthiest Foods, “In recent lab studies on human tumor cells, betanin pigments from beets have been shown to lessen tumor cell growth through a number of mechanisms, including inhibition of pro-inflammatory enzymes (specifically, cyclooxygenase enzymes).”
However, it’s important to note that adding heat to beets will cause their betelain level to decrease, so try to cook them with the least amount of heat and time, so you can maintain the phytonutrient. Better yet, eat them raw as much as possible!
1. Make beet noodles
Hop on the trend of veggie noodles and use a spiralizer tool to create noodle-like pieces from carrots and beets for this Carrot Beet Angel Hair Pasta with Spicy Pine Nut and Pistachio Pesto.
2. Grill them
Stick beet slices right on the grill, and use them in a tasty salad. Try Grilled Beet Salad with Almonds and Dried Cranberries.
3. Bake into chips
Kale chips are very popular, but they’re not the only vegetable that can be eaten in chip-form. Try tossing sliced beets with olive oil and salt, then bake them into Beet Chips.
4. Sautée them
Sautee winter beet greens in olive oil with spices and other vegetables for a hot, tasty meal. Try this Sautéed Beet Red Greens recipe.
5. Make a salad
6. Blend into a pate
If you’re not keen on eating large chunks of beets, blend them into a spreadable, flavorful pate instead. Try Beet Fennel and Lime Vegan Pate, which is perfect for sharing.
7. Make into veggie burger patties
Beets are great bases to create firm veggie patties that won’t fall apart when you’re cooking or eating them. You can roast the beets first before making burgers, but a quicker way is just to peel them, then grate or shred, and mix with what additional veggies or spices you prefer. Try these Roasted Beet Burger Patties.
8. Hide them in sweets
To get the kids to eat more vegetables, try hiding beets inside a delicious chocolate cupcake. Try these Beet-Root Chocolate Frosted Cupcakes.
9. Make a smoothie
Blending a fruit and veggie smoothie is a great way to get a fruity taste with the added nutrient benefits of beets. Try Love Potion (Red Beet, Pear, Orange, Apple Smoothie) and Witches Brew Smoothie.
10. Stuff them in ravioli
For a delicious dish that also looks gorgeous, try Golden Beet Ravioli with Sundried Tomato and Italian Herb Filling.
Health-wise, beets are low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and they contain several vitamins and nutrients such as Vitamin C, iron, magnesium, fiber, folate, potassium, and manganese. One cup of raw beets contains 11 percent of your recommended daily value of vitamin C, 6 percent of iron, and 15 percent of dietary fiber. Trying any of the above recipes is a good way to get in those nutrients.
Lead image source: Quinoa and Beet Salad with Hazelnuts