Bring on the Beets!!
Photo by Jenny Favret
Recently Food Network asked followers on Facebook and Twitter to name the vegetable they disliked the MOST. It turns out that a whole lot of people are “against beets”. This rather odd looking vegetable DOES seem a bit overwhelming. What are we even supposed to do with it?!!
Before giving up on beets here are some things to consider:
It’s like getting two for one! Not only can we eat the tasty root of the beet plant but we also get to enjoy the colorful attached greens.
The beet itself is rich in fiber and important nutrients like folate and potassium. In addition, that beautiful “purple-ish” color comes from a pigment known as betalain which helps to fight inflammation in the body.
The beet greens are ALSO loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals and plant compounds that help reduce inflammation.
While certainly not a “low carb” veggie, beets have roughly half of the amount of carbohydrate found in potatoes.
This tasty vegetarian alternative to burgers gets its protein from the cheese.
2 medium fresh beets or one large beet (washed with greens removed)
Extra virgin olive oil
6 whole grain slider buns
6 slices of provolone, Swiss (or favorite cheese)
Lettuce or baby spinach
Sliced onion (cut into rings)
Salt and pepper to taste
Place beet(s) into a small pot of boiling water.
Lower temperature. Cover with a tight fitting lid. Continue simmering until tender (around 40 minutes, but longer for larger beets). Add more water as needed.
Chill the beets by running under cold water or by draining and adding ice to the pot.
Peel the beets by wrapping in a paper towel and then rubbing the surface gently.
Cut each beet into 3 thick slices (or 6 slices if using one large beet).
Cover bottom of skillet with olive oil and heat over medium temperature.
Add beet slices and cook until lightly browned (on both sides).
Season with salt and pepper.
Serve on whole grain mini buns with cheese, lettuce / baby spinach, onion and mustard.
Fresh Beet Salad
This colorful chilled salad is a delicious addition to any summer meal!
2 medium fresh beets, cooked, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks
2 teaspoons of red or white vinegar
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of finely minced onion
2 sprigs of freshly snipped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Add all ingredients to medium bowl and stir until well blended.
Cover and place in fridge to chill for at least two hours.
Fun Fact about Beets:
Don’t panic if your pee looks pink after eating fresh beets! This is called “beeturia”. Roughly 10% of people notice pink pee (or even pink-tinged poop) after eating beets. The pigment that is responsible for giving beets their beautiful purple-red hue often shows up in our pee and poop. Not to worry! It usually works its way out of our system within a day or so.
Written by Jenny Favret, MS,RD,LDN Nutritionist, Duke Pediatrics Healthy Lifestyles Program