Beets are a vegetable that you either love or hate and I've met lots of haters. Growing up we only had them pickled. I actually didn't know you could eat them any other way until I was well into being a grown up. As I started being more health conscious, I realized the deep red color means lots of nutrients! Getting this purple color is hard….red cabbage, red onions, dark purple grapes, eggplant skin. Not that many options. So beets are a great way to go. The chemical that gives beets their distinct red color lowers a metabolite in the blood that causes plaque buildup in the arteries, and leads to cardiovascular disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease. They have B vitamins, potassium, iron, manganese, copper, magnesium, a little vitamin C. (There are other colors of beets and their nutrient content will vary a bit.) You can read more about beets here. Beets also are a good source of fiber. If you eat beets, the fiber and color stay in the GI system. You will see it again once it is all digested! Don't be alarmed. Dr. Oz says if you want to know how fast your GI transit is, just eat beets and look for the pink!
Most of the time, cooks cut off the beets and throw away the greens. What a shame! The beet greens are also full of nutrients, are easy to cook, and have a mild taste. Not bitter like many greens. Beet greens have vitamins A, B, and C, potassium, manganese, magnesium, potassium, copper, calcium, phosphorous and zinc. They have vitamin K which has been shown to work with calcium to prevent osteoporosis. Beet greens have more iron than spinach! You can read more here. So when you buy beets, get the bunches with the greens and eat them! You can put them into salad, saute them, or add them soups.
Beets have a nice earthy taste, and take well to many flavor combinations. They are excellent with oranges and are often served with blue cheese. I chose to cook the greens and add them in to roasted beets. I tossed it all with a vinaigrette made with Dijon mustard and a little honey, and then topped it with creamy goat cheese. If you don't like goat cheese you can use feta or blue cheese. I put in a little flax oil because it is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, but you can leave it out if you don't have it. I'm just trying to add a bit wherever I can. By the way, beets can stain your hands. To prevent some mess, don't peel them. You can eat the peel and it adds fiber. Use a fork or tongs to handle the cooked beets while you cut them. I hope you like them!
On a happy note, I think I have comments finally! I used the third party solution and I think it is set up correctly. I won't know until we try it, so if you have something to say, leave me a comment and we'll give it a go! Woo hooo.. okay maybe I shouldn't celebrate until I know it works! :)
Beets and Beet Greens with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Ingredients (2-3 servings)
- 1 bunch of beets with greens attached (3 medium beets with their leaves)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp flax oil
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp honey
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- salt and pepper
- 1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
Instructionscook the beets
Preheat oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees. Wash the beets and cut off the stems. Set aside stems and greens. Trim the stem and root ends, and any brown or gnarly spots. You can leave the peel on. Wrap each individually in aluminum foil. Place on a sheet tray and cook until tender when pierced with a knife, about 45 minutes. Large beets may take an hour or longer.cook greens
While beets cook, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Pull the leaves off of the stems and discard the stems. Wash them well. Blanch the greens in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Put into a colander and drain well. When cool, press any excess water our of the greens. Chop them into bite sized pieces.Make vinaigrette and finish dish
While beets cook and greens cool, in a medium size bowl, add all the dressing ingredients and whisk until well combined. Season with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. When beets are tender, remove them from the oven. Carefully unwrap and let cool briefly. Using tongs or a fork to hold the beets, carefully slice each one and then cut each slice into cubes. (You don't need to peel them.) Put the cubes in the bowl with the vinaigrette. Add the greens and then mix everything together. Season with a little more salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the goat cheese. Serve warm.
You can also serve this cold, just add the goat cheese right before serving or it will turn pink. You can make this vegan by leaving off the cheese and using agave nectar for the honey.