Are beets healthy?
With their deep, ruby color and natural sweetness, it’s surprising that the humble beet doesn’t get more attention! The rich colors are a good indication that the beet is chock full of nutrients. But which is more nutritious, the beet greens or the beet roots?
Well, the answer to that is actually a toss up because there are many health benefits of beets, including the beet roots and the beet leaves.
What are the health benefits of beets?
- They’re low in calories and high in fiber
- Beets are rich in the phytochemical betaine, which works to lower harmful homocysteine levels and protect blood vessels.
- Beets, especially the beet greens, are an excellent source of folate.
- There’s lots of vitamin C in the beet greens, and some in the beet roots too.
- The beet root is rich in B-complex vitamins and minerals such as iron, magnesium, copper, and manganese.
- And the beet greens are an excellent source of carotenoids, including beta-carotene, and healthy flavonoids.
How to store beets:
When purchasing beets at the market, choose fresh, bright, firm-textured beets, avoiding those that look soft. Smaller beets tend to be sweeter. If you choose beets with the greens attached, cut them off and store them separately in the refrigerator where the beet greens will last a few days and the beets will last a couple of weeks. Wash both just before using.
How to cook fresh beets:
The beet greens can be used in salads, just like lettuce, or steamed and served with a little butter and spices. The beets can be steamed or boiled, but my favorite way to cook beets is to make roasted beets, which you can enjoy hot or use to make roasted beet salads.
How to make roasted beets:
- 4 large beets, peeled and cut into ¾” chunks
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- ½ tsp. dried thyme
- ½ tsp. salt, or to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, if desired.
- In a medium bowl, toss the beets in the olive oil.
- Spread beets onto prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with thyme and salt.
- Roast about 15 minutes, or until tender.
Serve them in a pretty dish and there you have it, A Nutritious Dish…in a matter of minutes!