You may be someone who sees beets — that colorful, round veggie — while in line at the salad bar and skips over them. Try them! Add beets to your meal for more color, flavor, and nutrients. At home, try out the different ways you can prepare them. Winter is a prime time for beets, and the good news is, they’re versatile. Many people like to fry, pickle, steam, juice, boil or cook them in the pressure cooker. Take your pick!
History the Beet
The beetroot is a taproot, meaning the part we eat is the largest, most central, and most dominant root from which other roots sprout laterally. Beets were first cultivated for human consumption in Germany and Italy in the 1500s and selectively bred over time to take on the bulbous shape we now recognize.
The beet’s popularity grew in Northern and Eastern Europe because it grew so well through harsh winters. Interestingly, the typical blood-red color was only selected and bred for in the mid-18th century.
Beets boast an impressive nutritional profile. These colorful veggies are low in calories, yet high in vitamins and minerals. Health benefits include regulating blood pressure, improving athletic performance, and fighting inflammation.
Beets have nitrates, which helps to increase blood flow to the brain. While no studies have directly tested the effects of beets on weight, it’s likely that adding beets to your diet can aid in weight loss.
A Range of Varieties
While blood-red beets are common, there is a wide variety of beets with different characteristics.
There is Cylindra, grown for its long, cylindrical shape; Touchstone Gold, with small yellow roots; Green Top Bunching, with bright red roots and superior greens; Golden, known for their buttery yellow color and sweeter, mild flavor; and Chioggia, an Italian heirloom with striped red and white interior.
Try this simple beet recipe to add beets to your next meal. Bon appetit!
Beet and Kale Winter Salad
- 1beet large beet
- 2Tbspextra-virgin olive oil,
- 2tspextra-virgin olive oil,
- 1 1/2Tbspapple cider vinegar
- salt and pepper
- 4cupschopped kale
- 3Tbspcrumbled goat cheese
- 2Tbspchopped walnuts
- 2Tbsppomegranate arils
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay out the beet noodles. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Massage the oil into the beet noodles. Roast for 6-8 minutes or longer, if you want a softer noodle.
- Prepare the kale. In a large mixing bowl, add the remaining olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper. Whisk together. Add in the kale and using your hands or tongs, massage the kale for 30 seconds to 1 minute to soften up.
- Once the beet noodles are done roasting, build your bowls. Divide the kale into two bowls. Top with the beet noodles, goat cheese, walnuts, and pomegranates. Enjoy!