Foods by Color: Beets

Beet imageI know that beets are one of those love them or hate them type of vegetable, what camp do you fall in? I usually LOVE them.  I especially loved them when I was pregnant with Adelaide; literally I couldn’t get enough of them and ate them plain, in smoothies, salads and pizzas.  And hopefully this isn’t TMI, (if it is consider yourself forewarned), after I went on my pregnancy beet binge I forgot about it and then totally freaked out when my pee was bright red.  I thought something must be wrong with my pregnancy and went into panic mode until my ever wise sister Jessica reminded me of my recent diet.  So in case you also decide to go into a beet eating binge after reading some of the amazing health benefits of beets and looking at the  beet recipe round-up below, don’t freak out when your pee turns red!

Health Benefits

Betacyanin is he compound in beets that makes them red and is also thought to be a potent cancer fighter (which you cannot say about red dyes on the market, maybe we should all start using beet juice instead of RED40!) According to yoga nutritional therapy, women may benefit from eating beets because they help replenish iron lost during menstruation.  Beets contain betaine and folate which work together to reduce levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that can be harmful to blood vessels and may contribute to heart disease, stroke and dementia.  Beets also deliver good doses of potassium, magnesium, and a little vitamin C.  beet leaves are even more nutritious than the roots and are great sources of calcium, iron, vitamin A and vitamin C.

Selection and Storage

Select beets that are firm with smooth skin and no soft spots.  It is best if the stems and leaves are still attached, green and fresh. To store beets, place in a produce bag and keep in the coldest part of your refrigerator for up to two weeks.  You can store them with the greens attached, but if you decide to store them separately snip off the greens about an inch above the root.

Cooking Tip

My favorite way to eat beets is roasted and here is a great tutorial from A Food Centric Life on how to roast beets.

Beet Recipe Round-Up

14 Delicious Beet Recipes on Rainbow Delicious.jpg

roasted beet, pear and walnut saladRoasted Beet, Pear and Walnut Salad from Love and Lemons

{also featured in the Fall Week 6 Meal Plan}

triple ginger beet smoothieTriple Ginger and Beet Smoothie from Eat Good 4 Life

tomato beet saladTomato Beet Salad from Martha Stewart

{also featured in the Winter Week 5 Meal Plan}

beet green and mushroom frittata from fig and honeyBeet Green and Mushroom Frittata from Fig and Honey

roasted beet salad with crispy goat cheeseRoasted Beet Salad with Crispy Goat Cheese from Tartine and Apron Strings

{also featured in the Winter Week 4 Meal Plan}

baby greens with goat cheese and beetsBaby Greens with Goat Cheese and Beets from Skinny Taste

beet arugula goat cheese grilled cheeseBeet, Arugula and Goat Cheese Grilled Cheese from BS in the Kitchen

glazed beet carrot salad from sprouted kitchenGlazed Beet Carrot Salad from Sprouted Kitchen

beet bourguignonBeet Bourguignon from Green Kitchen Stories

beet salad with peas and scallionsBeet Salad with Peas and Scallions from Love and Lemons

roasted beet and peach saladRoasted Beet and Peach Salad from Meals.com

beet orange feta saladBeet, Orange and Feta Salad from Pretty Plain Janes

beet and feta tabboulehBeet and Feta Tabbouleh from Inquiring Chef

whole wheat winter pizza with arugula pesto and beetsWhole Wheat Winter Pizza with Beets and Arugula pPesto from Garlic Girl

Eat more Beets!

{Sources: 150 Healthiesst Foods on Earth by Jonny Bowden & Cooking Light Photo Source: Jessica Rose Art on Etsy }

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