The latest (and easiest) ways to enjoy the humble beet

Let’s be honest. Beets don’t have the superfood status of, say, spinach or kale. But they’re no slouch in the nutrient department. Each serving (2/3 cup) delivers about 2 grams of fiber, 20 percent of a day’s folate, and a decent dose of potassium and magnesium (5 percent of a day’s worth for each).

To prepare beets yourself, steam them in their skins until they’re tender enough to easily pierce with a paring knife, about 30 minutes. Run under water to cool them enough to handle, then peel.

Or start with pre-cooked beets

In a rush, or not keen on pink hands? Check your grocery store for Love Beets‘ refrigerated pre-cooked seasoned or unseasoned beets.

Our advice: Start with the Mild Vinegar (ingredients: beets and vinegar). One 30-calorie serving (half the container, or 2/3 cup) is enough to perk up any salad…or to snack on straight from the package. Or try the zippy Honey + Ginger (45 calories and about a teaspoon of added sugar). Love Beets even offers Beet Salsa and Honey + Vinegar Golden Beets. Mmm.

Feeling more ambitious? Try their unseasoned Cooked Beets (or Trader Joe’s Baby Beets). Just chop or slice and toss with mixed greens, shredded or grated carrot, and a vinaigrette. Or sprinkle with fresh herbs like chives, parsley, and dill. Or try this recipe.

Beets with Mustard Vinaigrette

Click here for a printer-friendly version of this recipe.

Time: 5 minutes

Serves 4.

1 lb. cooked beets
2 tsp. dijon mustard
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1 Tbs. minced shallots
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. chopped salted pistachios

1. Slice the beets and arrange on a plate.

2. Whisk the mustard, vinegar, shallots, and olive oil together and drizzle over the beets.

3. Sprinkle with the pistachios.

Per serving (1/2 cup):

  • Calories: 140
  • Total fat: 9 g
  • Sat fat: 1.5 g
  • Carbs: 13 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Total sugar: 8 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Sodium: 180 mg
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Enjoy this recipe? Salad Days!—the latest cookbook from Nutrition Action’s Healthy Cook, Kate Sherwood—will help you expand your repertoire with imaginative combinations of greens, vegetables, herbs, whole grains, and proteins. You’ll find healthy variations on classics like Chicken Caesar and Cobb, as well as more adventurous combos like Black Beans & Red Rice with Smoked Paprika Dressing and Sesame Shrimp with Caramelized Shallot Citrus Dressing.

7 Replies to “The latest (and easiest) ways to enjoy the humble beet”

  1. I agree with the comment about eating the beet greens. They are delicious and very nutritious . Tastes like spinach, only better!

  2. Glad two other beet-green enthusiasts have already written what I was planning to add! A fun way to cook them is in a pan with soy sauce (instead of oil). Cook till greens are wilted, squeeze to remove excess soy sauce, then enjoy as a side dish or add to salads, soups, stews, rice/veggie dishes, etc. as a nutritious taste treat. (I’m currently cooking all my greens this way – in low sodium soy sauce. Yum.)

  3. We LOVE Beet Greens!!

    Easy recipe:
    Heat Olive oil in large frying pan.
    Sauté 1 medium/large chopped yellow onion and minced garlic to taste.
    Add sliced mushrooms.
    While these ingredients are cooking, slice and chop beet greens.
    Add to the pan, mix in with other ingredients, and cover.
    (The greens cook down a lot–like spinach, so we usually fill the pan.)
    We add a little water to hasten cooking and create some sauce.
    Finishing touch: Add tamari to taste and possibly more water.
    Serve over brown basmati rice.
    Simple, nutritious, and tasty!!

  4. Massage beet greens with olive oil as you would kale to soften. It makes it easier to eat raw.
    Here’s a recipe for delicious salad I made this week.
    Massage and chop beet greens
    Boil, cool, and peel beets; then cut into small cubes.
    Toss greens and beets with reduced basalmic vinagar spiced with Nutmeg, and a little Cinnamon (Optional: I combined a honey ginger basalmic and regular red basalmic to sweeten it up a little.)
    Top salad with sliced grapes and sprinkle with goat cheese
    Yummy!

  5. I don’t love beets but my husband and one daughter do. They have to be fresh or they taste like dirt, but roast them with olive oil and then splash with balsamic vinegar and they are great. (Precook them as discussed to peel them. I throw them in the freezer at this point too) . This year I will try the greens too.

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