Nearly every single person turns their nose up at me when I begin my Pro-Beet speech. (Yes, I have a speech.) I suspect the reaction comes from the fact that they’ve probably experienced beets from a can or cooked poorly or when they were six years old, and the memory still haunts them.
I believe this to be true because everyone that I get to agree to try beets now, everyone people, loves them. I will admit that I even fell in love with beets by accident. I got a shipment of golden beets with my veggie coop order one month and I roasted them alongside some other root vegetables. Every time I took a bite, I’d wonder what this amazing thing I was putting in my mouth was. Turnip? Rutabaga? I couldn’t remember.
When I finally figured out they were beets I was hooked. Here’s the best thing, not only are beets delicious, they are incredibly healthy. I mean, the list of benefits is nearly infinite.
They are blood purifiers and detoxifiers. So they’re great for cleaning out your liver, gallbladder, intestines and kidneys, which would explain their popularity in cleanse programs. Beets contain a ton of nutrients that help boost your immunity like B3, B5, folate and Vitamin C to name a few. Don’t count them out for calcium, and beta-carotene as well as Betacyanin (that makes them red) which has anti-oxidant and anti-viral properties.
Beets are great for stimulating the circulatory system and speeding your metabolism. Who doesn’t want that? And of course, they’re full of iron, of which we all, women especially, often need more. There is also manganese, which is needed to form interferon, a powerful anti-viral (think cancer and auto-immune disease figher). There have been studies as well that suggest beet juice may combat the affects of nitrates,the chemical preservatives in deli meats and bacon that are known carcinogens. So, if you just can’t give up your bacon, eat it with some beets.
Beets are naturally sweet because of their high sugar content. However, they are also chock full of fiber, which means the sugar is absorbed slowly by your body so they are not a risky carbohydrate. In fact, I found multiple diabetic websites and message boards that recommend them.
So, now that you’ve run out to buy a bunch of beets, what do you do with them. First, buy the whole plant and then come home and wash and save the greens. They’re not only edible, they taste great and are packed with fiber among other nutrients. You can serve the greens with the beets as a salad or saute them with a bit of olive oil and salt and serve on their own. Even my kids eat beet greens!
As for the beets, I’ll share my new favorite recipe below, but they can also be roasted and sliced on salads, as a side dish or even grated into pancakes and muffins for the more reluctant eater.
No matter how you eat them, be prepared for what will happens later in the day. I will not be too graphic about your bathroom, but I will warn you not to think you have a urinary tract infection or some horrible disease of the intestinal tract. A little beet juice goes a long way, if you know what I mean. <giggle>
Try some beets this weekend. Your body and taste buds will thank you.