By Chef Lauren Cox, Closer to Your Food

If it wasn’t for their luscious telltale color, beets would be a culinary chameleon. Their versatility is endless when it comes to cooking. The best part is that they also happen to be amazing for you. For vascular health and performance, many people are turning to beets because of their nitrates which convert into nitric oxide in the body. This can be helpful for not only athletic performance, but for lowering blood pressure.

The dark pigments in beets (which give them their color) is largely responsible for helping the body excrete toxins that are bound to other molecules. This is why they are also considered an excellent detox food. Not to be overlooked are the beet greens as well. The beet greens actually are more nutrient-dense than the root itself and contain more iron than spinach.

When it comes to cooking, people can be easily intimidated by beets, but don’t be! They are quite easy to use raw or cooked and can also be a very simple crop to grow in your home garden. Here are a few of my favorite simple ways to use beets:

Shaved Raw

Simply peel the skin off the beet with a paring knife or peeler and grate them on a medium sized cheese grater. Toss the grated beet into your favorite green salad or eat them by themselves with some herbs, lemon juice, olive oil sea salt and pepper.

Roasted

Heat your oven to 425 degrees. Wash the beets and cut the tops and ends off. Place them on a thin layer of Kosher salt in a baking dish. Cover with an oven-safe top or tin foil and bake about 30 minutes (depends on how big they are), until fork tender. When the beets cool slightly, it is very easy to just peel the skin off with a paper towel. Fresh roasted beets are amazing themselves, but you can use them roasted in smoothies, baking, side dishes, hummus and dips.

The Greens

You can use the beet greens in any way you would use greens like chard or kale. They are fabulous juiced or added into smoothies, or you can throw them into hot dishes and soups. Just be sure to wash them well and cut off any woody stems.

 


lauren

Closer to Your Food is a wellness blog focused on eating and cooking for health and sustainability with recipes and lifestyle tips formulated around a plant-based diet and home-grown local foods. Chef Lauren Cox holds a B.A. from the le Cordon Bleu in Culinary Management with over 8 years of fine dining experience in private dining, catering and Michelan star restaurants.

 

 


*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.