I went to a healthy cooking class a few years ago and discovered that I really like beets. Not the pickled ones in a can, but beets that have been boiled or roasted. There are many ways to cook with beets and some of my favorites include making beet humus, using beet leaves in my protein drink, juicing beets and the easiest – boiling beets for a beet salad. During the cooking class, the instructor showed us how to boil beets until soft, remove the skin, cut them up, and add spinach leaves and goat cheese. That’s it. Simple, pretty and delicious.
It doesn’t seem like beets could be so fun, but I find them quite entertaining. The first time my young teenagers saw beets boiling in a pot on the stove, they asked, “What is that?” When I looked to see what they were asking about, I noticed the long root tail of a beet sticking out of the pot. The first thing I thought to jokingly say was, “It’s the stray cat.” Each of them knew I was joking and knew it was silly fun. Then, they were even more intrigued to find out what was really in the pot.
Beets are slippery when removing the skin after being boiled. Besides, my hands turning red (which is kinda fun) I almost always DROP. A. BEET. The first time I said that out loud it was just a literal comment that turned super funny. Years later, my teenagers still find it funny. Even if they don’t want to laugh, they laugh. “Mom is dropping a beet in the kitchen!”
Okay, seriously… beets are filled with super nutrients and have many health benefits. They have high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. They are high in a unique fiber and are a good source for folate and betaine. Beet greens are a good source of lutein, an antioxidant that protects the eyes from age-related issues. Research indicates that beets produce nitric acid, which can help increase blood flow in the body and in your brain. MRIs done on seniors after ingesting beets had more blood flow to the white matter of their frontal lobes. More research shows that beet juice mixed with apple juice can make certain activities like walking for exercise less exhausting for seniors. Runners use it for athletic performance. Prepare beet greens as you would other greens by boiling or stir-frying. Once you remove the leaves from the beet, I’ve found that they only last a few days in the refrigerator. Better go on and use them.
One last entertaining and useful bit of beet information is that beets may help you go to the bathroom, but don’t be worried if your stool or urine is pinkish or red in color. That happens when eating beets.
Here is a picture of the beet that I grew! One beet. I was so proud. It was delicious and I didn’t drop it.
Try beets, you might love them. If you already like beets, please share your favorite way to prepare them.