8 Healthy Ways to Serve Beets

1
Health Benefits of Eating Beets

Bowl of beetroot soup garnished with beetroot sprouts on dark wood
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Beets are loaded with important nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, and folate. In fact, one cup of beets has 31 milligrams magnesium, 440 milligrams potassium, and 148 milligrams of folate. They're also a good source of vitamin C and calcium, plus eating beets helps fill you up with fiber without adding many calories. One cup of cooked beets has only 60 calories.

The beautiful red coloring is also a source of antioxidants that may have health benefits. 

Beets may seem boring, but they're not. These lovely red roots are tasty, slightly sweet and easy to prepare. Scroll down and feast your eyes on some of my favorite ways to serve beets.

2
A Simple Beet Side Dish

Diced beetroot
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You'll find beets in any grocery store, both in the fresh produce section and the canned vegetable aisle. Choose beets that are firm with leaves that don't look wilted. When you get home, cut the leaves off, but leave about two inches of stems.

  1. Boil some water and add the beets.
  2. Cook the beets until they're tender—about 30 to 45 minutes.
  3. Drain the beets and under cold water and remove the skins (they'll slip right off).
  4. Slice off the tops and tips and cut the beets into cubes. 
  5. Top cooked beets with crumbled feta cheese or toss with a lite honey mustard dressing. 

If you prefer, you can roast your beets in a 400-degree Fahrenheit oven for about 45 minutes to an hour, until they can be pierced easily with a sharp knife.

Fresh beets taste the best, but canned beets are more convenient (and less messy). All you have to do is open the can, heat up the beets and maybe add a sprig of mint, or your favorite herb. 

3
Beets in a Salad

Plate of beetroot salad with rocket and walnuts
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Beets add flavor and a deep rich red color to a healthy green salad. Thinly slice a beet with a mandolin slicer and combine the slices with arugula or mixed greens, a few slices of apples or pears, nuts, and tangy cheese. Top with a light dressing or your favorite vinaigrette. 

Raw beets are nice and crunchy, but if you prefer a softer texture, cut cold beets into cubes and add to any salad. Finish with a light dressing or vinaigrette and you have a delicious salad. 

4
Beets in a Smoothie or Beet Juice

High Angle View Of Beetroot Smoothie In Drinking Glass On Table
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Beets are perfect ingredients for smoothies because they add texture and good nutrition to any smoothie without ruining any fruit flavor. They work best with berries, cherries, and pomegranate because the rich red hue makes a beautiful and vibrant smoothie. 

But, if you're not into smoothies, you can enjoy beet juice, either alone or blended with other fruit juices, and get the same great nutrition.

5
Beet Pickles

beetroot preserve
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Pickled beets have a sweet and tangy flavor and can be served with a sandwich at lunch time, as an appetizer before dinner, or (my favorite) breakfast along with eggs and smoked salmon. Beet pickles are easy to make at home and they last a long time. You can also find them in many grocery stores and specialty stores.

6
Beets on a Pizza

Mini pizza with beetroot, rucola and pine nuts
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I love pizza, but it's usually high in calories and not so good for you, so I'm always on the lookout for healthier versions. One way to make a pizza healthier is to cut back on the cheese and add lots of veggies. You may already like peppers, onions, spinach, and broccoli, so go ahead and give beets a try. You might not find beets as toppings at your favorite pizza shop, but you can add beets to any homemade pizza.  

7
Beet Soup

Borscht
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Beet soup is hearty, healthy, and delicious, and it's not too difficult to prepare at home. Roast or boil three beets, remove the skins and cut into pieces. Place the beets into a medium sized saucepan and add one cup of beef or vegetable stock. Add three cloves of garlic, a bay leaf, and half a teaspoon of dried thyme. Bring to a boil and simmer for ten minutes.

Remove the soup from the heat, and allow it to cool for a couple of minutes. Then puree your soup in a blender. Add a little salt and pepper, and a bit of fresh cream. Serve with fresh warm bread.

8
Beets Combined with Potatoes

Salad of beetroot and potato
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Make a simple beet and potato salad by combining cold cooked baby beets and cold cooked baby potatoes with a little olive oil, chives, salt, and pepper. Or you can add cold cooked beets to your favorite potato salad recipe.

Start with any tasty potato salad recipe (look for lighter versions to save on calories). Cut out half the regular potatoes and replace with the same amount of cooked baby beets or beet cubes. Then proceed as directed.

Another delicious way to enjoy beets and potatoes together is to roast them. Use your favorite recipe for roasted potatoes and add a few chunks of peeled beets.

9
Eat the Beet Greens

Beet Greens
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More than likely, when you buy fresh beets they'll still have their big beautiful leaves attached. Don't throw them away—the greens are even more nutritious than the roots. One cup of cooked beet greens has 4 grams fiber, 36 milligrams vitamin C, over 11,000 International Units of vitamin A, and almost 700 micrograms vitamin K. There's also 160 milligrams calcium and 98 milligrams magnesium. That's an amazing nutritional profile, right there.

Beet greens can be cooked and served just like other greens such as spinach, kale, and Swiss chard. But, be sure to wash them very thoroughly to get any dirt that might be on the leaves. Nothing ruins a yummy mouthful of beet greens quicker than crunching on grit.

10
Try Golden Beets

Golden beets and fresh cheese
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 If you're really lucky you may be able to find some golden beets at the grocery store or farmers market. They're just as delicious as red beets and their golden color is so rich.

Use golden beets in any regular beet recipe, or make a simple salad with gold beet slices, mozzarella cheese with a little balsamic vinegar and chopped basil. 

Sources:

United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28. "Basic Report: 11087, Beet greens, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt." Accessed May 30, 2016. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2868.

United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28. "Basic Report: 11080, Beets, raw." Accessed May 30, 2016. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2863.

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