What’s not to love about beets? Easy to grow in the garden and nutritious to boot, these earthy beauties taste amazing cooked or roasted, pickled or raw. Better yet, they can be eaten from root to stem, making them incredibly versatile!
Why they are good for you
Beets are high in antioxidants and are natural cleansers. They contain betaine, which helps the liver flush out harmful toxins. They’re also high in fiber, which boosts the production of detoxifying enzymes in the liver.
Don’t ditch the greens! Those dark leaves are more nutritious than the root and are quite tasty. Use them as a substitute for kale, arugula, or any other green.
Just the other day I used the beet greens in a “green” hummus recipe that called for arugula.
Speaking Of Hummus…
While I typically love my beets roasted with other root vegetables, it’s not a dish I was craving on a hot summer day.
So after a nice beet harvest in my backyard, I decided to use them differently; with guests coming over, I wanted to make a veggie and cracker platter with a healthy dip to go with it.
I found a recipe for roasted beet white bean hummus, courtesy of Clean Slate: Reset Your Health, Detox Your Body, and Feel Your Best, an excellent cookbook from the editors of Martha Stewart Living.
The result is a beautiful-looking, deep purple dip that you can feel good about eating. The addition of the roasted beets is not at all overpowering; they give the hummus a slightly earthy taste, which is delicious.
Roasted Beet White Bean Hummus
Roasting the beets gives them a deeper flavor than boiling does, so it’s best to go that route.
- Preheat the over to 425°F and place one large beet or a few small ones on a parchment-lined baking pan.
- Roast until beets are tender; about 35-40 minutes. Rub off the skin.
- Chop beet, then puree with 1 cup of white beans or chickpeas, drained and rinsed, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 garlic clove, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to three days!
Beet Green Salad
Cut down on food waste by putting the entire vegetable to use. There are no excuses when it comes to beets! The greens are better for you than the root, so be sure to incorporate them into your meals, whether it be in a stirfry, a homemade vegetable broth, or in a salad.
The following recipe is courtesy of the same abovementioned cookbook, and it part of a detoxifying action plan. The salad originally calls for arugula, but I switched that out for beet greens.
If beet greens are too bitter for you, either let them marinate for a little while in the salad dressing before eating or mix them up with any other kind of lettuce.
Beet and Avocado Salad with Sunflower Seeds
First, make the beet slaw. In a bowl, combine the following:
- 2 beets, peeled and grated or thinly sliced
- 4 celery stalks, thinly sliced
- 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
- 2 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced
Next, make the salad:
- 3 cups of beet greens, baby arugula, baby spinach, or other lettuce green
- ¼ cup of extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup of fresh lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
- 1.5 avocadoes, peeled and diced
- 3 tablespoons of raw hulled sunflower seeds, toasted
For each serving, toss 2 cups of beet slaw with 1 cup of salad. Enjoy!