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Health Benefits That Can’t Be Beet! Beets-A Super Antioxidant

That’s right I’m talking about those ruby red beets that you have been walking past and ignoring in the produce department. I happen to love the flavor of beets and just recently I learned that beets are a Super Antioxidant! Even more reasons to add this incredible root vegetable into your diet.

Dr Oz recently had a segment on his show talking about the amazing health benefits in beets. The following information came from that show.  Here is a link to the Dr Oz video where he talks about the health benefits of beets.

A Few Health Benefits of Beets

  • Beets help blood flow which helps your brain and your libido.
  • The rich red color comes from cancer fighting antioxidant betalains.
  • Beets reduce inflammation.
  • Good source of Vit C and folic acid
  • Helps athletes have more endurance because of the increased blood flow.
  • Low Calorie and full of good fiber. 1/2 cup beets is 37 calories, 2g fiber, 1g protein, 8g carbs

How To Buy

Choose small firm beets. Red or golden beets are available. Purchase Organic if you can. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. If they come with the greens still attached those can also be cooked and eaten. I haven’t done that yet!

How To Cook

  • Wash and trim both ends. Leave whole, you can leave the peel on and peel beets after they are cooked.
  • Beets are super easy to cook. Just 15 minutes of steaming in a vegetable steamer over boiling water. Done when a fork can be inserted easily.
  • Peel and cube and cook in boiling water like you would potatoes.
  • I learned recently from my friend Linda to place the beets in a microwave safe dish, cover with plastic wrap and in just 13- 15 minutes of microwaving on high your beets are cooked. They are done when a fork can be inserted easily. This is so easy and now my preferred cooking method for beets.
  • Oven roasted beets. Preheat oven to 400, clean beets and wrap in foil, roast for about an hour or until fork tender. Let cool and then peel using the method listed below. Or peel and dice raw beets, toss with oil, salt and pepper and place on a foil lined rimmed baking sheet and oven roast in a preheated 400 degree oven for 30-45 minutes or until fork tender.
  • Let the whole cooked beets cool, run under cool water and rub the peel off. You might want to wear rubber gloves as they are messy and you might will end up with pink hands!
  • Cut into slices, quarters or dice.

What do beets taste like?

They don’t taste like anything else that I know of. Kind of earthy, really sweet, soft and almost buttery. Hubby Tom and I think the fresh ones taste like dessert because of the high sugar content. Canned beets are more mild in flavor and to me taste a little less sweet but that earthy flavor is still there. I prefer fresh beets but I like canned ones too. Trader Joe’s sells already cooked beets in the fresh produce department.

How To Eat Them

  • Cook fresh beets to eat warm as a side dish or have a little dish as dessert. They taste really sweet!
  • Cold leftover beets are perfect in a salad with baby greens, citrus fruits, walnuts, barley or farro. If I don’t have fresh beets I open a can of beets, drain and add some to my salad. Beets pair well with vinegar. Pickled beets are also delicious.
  • Beets are good mixed with oven roasted winter squash like in this salad, Farro, Roasted Squash, and Garbanzo Bean Salad
  • Quarter and freeze fresh beets and then toss a chunk in with your berry smoothies. I love the flavor it adds not to mention the amazing color it gives to the smoothie! I just went looking for my breakfast smoothie with beets recipe on the blog and I found where I talked about it a year ago but I never posted the recipe! I am putting it on my list for a future post. It is one of my favorite summer time breakfasts.

Nutmeg Notes

It is still storming here. This is the wettest March we have had in the past 5 years! A small tree in the preserve next to our house toppled over onto our fence and into the yard. No damage was done since it was small.

Tami

Add Your Thoughts

Have you ever eaten beets? Do you like them?

Was there a food your mom tried to feed to you as a kid that you hated but now as an adult you like?

For me it was green peppers. My mom would stuff them and I liked the stuffing but not the pepper itself. Now I love green peppers! Oh, stuffed peppers sound tempting on a cold windy day like today.


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29 comments

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  1. Biz says:

    I’ve actually never tried fresh beets before – but I’ve had canned beets – and actually made a beet hummus that was really good!

    http://mybizzykitchen.com/2010/04/18/bsi-beets/

    I hated EVERY vegetable growing up – I would only eat cucumbers by the bushel. Um, turns out my mom just overcooked all her vegetables – I didn’t start eating other vegetables until I got married – at age 32!

    Now I feel lost if I don’t have baby spinach, zucchini, and spaghetti squash on hand. :D

    1. Tami says:

      Biz you have peeked my interest in the beet hummus, I will check it out.

      You know I think our mother’s generation did over cook the veggies. I can remember how my mom and Grandmother boiled veggies to the point of being limp!

      I am like you, I have to have tons of fresh veggies on hand. I feel so much better when I eat lots of them!

      Have a great weekend!

  2. Jan says:

    I enjoy beets. Any vegetable that colorful just has to be good for ya. For a root vegetable, the carbs are much lower than potatoes or yams but still higher than carrots, so I have to be careful on my plan. BUT, yummy – I enjoy them just cooked plain.

    1. Tami says:

      You make a good point there about the intense color of beets!

  3. Lori Lynn says:

    I love beets- add just a tiny bit of butter and salt and I’m good to go! I don’t get them fresh all that often, partially b/c they weren’t available where I lived. I can now, and might have to get some now!

  4. Jody - Fit at 53 says:

    I have always loved beets! YUM! Love that they are good for you too. I did not know TJ’s had them in the fresh produce already cooked. Dang, I was there this morn!

    Yes, the weather.. UGH even in southern CA! ;-)

    1. Tami says:

      Sorry you didn’t see this before you went to TJ’s Jody!

      I think the entire State of CA is a soggy mess. I can’t wait for a day of sunshine!

  5. Roz says:

    I LOVE beets!!!! I recently made a crimson quinoa recipe – and grated roasted beets into warm quinoa and added some herbs and balsamic. It was delicious, but also SOOOO pretty!!! I like steaming the beet greens too! Have a great day Tami, thanks for featuring the sad, underappreciated beet on today’s post! (silly..)

    1. Tami says:

      I guess I am going to have to try beet greens! That dish you made with beets sounds wonderful.

      Have a great weekend!

  6. Karen says:

    Funny you should ask. She made us eat canned beets! So I have not had them even once as an adult. Maybe it is time to try the fresh ones. She also made us eat liver. Liver!!! Yuck.

    1. Tami says:

      Oh Karen that is funny that your mom made you eat beets! I actually liked them as a kid.

      I can relate to being a kid and being served liver! I hated it then and still do!

  7. Carol says:

    I love beets and plant a nice long row of them every year. I make borscht, pickle them or oven roast them.Mom used to make a beet relish with horse radish.
    I use the leaves too….blanch them long enough to soften & then make beet leaf rolls with sticky rice, sauteed onions, S&P and some dill & then bake them. They have replaced my favorite cabbage rolls!

    Baked white beans{baked with uncured bacon–side pork} I hated as a kid!They weren’t even close to pork & beans…no sweetness at all. That was a hard time staple and we had them often. But, I do like them now!
    She also made me eat liver for the iron{I was anemic} but I actually loved it & still do!

    1. Tami says:

      Carol the beet leaf rolls sound amazing! I have never had beet greens but I think I need to try them.

      I can’t handle the smell or taste of liver! My mom made us eat it when we were kids and it was always a battle at the dinner table!

  8. Tammy says:

    Blah!!!! I detest the taste of beets! :) I think they taste like dirt, but I always plant them and can them for my sweet husband who adores them!

    And I still remember my mom making us eat liver when I was growing up. We always butchered a cow from my grandparents’ dairy for the meat, and she would fry the liver and make us eat at least a little bit. I would always smother mine with mustard, just to get it down. Double blah!!! :) But I sure do miss my mom…she died 21 years ago when I was 25.

    1. Tami says:

      Tammy I am so sorry you lost your mom at such an early age.
      I can relate to being served liver -hated it then and I hate it now!

      I read on line that many people think beets taste like dirt! We all have such a different sense of taste and I guess that is a good thing.

      Have a wonderful weekend!

  9. Weight Watcher Wannabe says:

    I love me some beets.. And im so happy the little one loves them as well. What ever my mom put in front of me when I was a kid I ate.. LOL Everything from Liver to Turnips to cabbage…

    1. Tami says:

      You were such a good eater as a kid! My daughter was like that as a kid, loved a huge variety of foods that most little ones wouldn’t even touch. Then we had our son who was a picker eater! I was a bit shocked at his resistance to trying different foods. Not until his late teens did he really start to branch out and eat veggies and try new things.

      How great that your little one will eat beets!

  10. Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather says:

    I love beets! I just posted a recipe featuring those ruby beauties this morning. Gunna go check out that Dr Oz video. Have a great night!

    1. Tami says:

      I will have to check out your post! Seems like beets are one of those foods that people either love or hate, no middle ground!

  11. megi says:

    Tami, what a great post about beets. I love beets, pickled, roasted, in salads, pureed to use in cakes instead of apple sauce, I just love them. I love beet leaves too, sauteed with a little onion and garlic, or used in a fritatta or mixed with eggs and cheese to make a gratin.

    1. Tami says:

      I saw a recipe for a beet cake! I thought it sounded intriguing and different. You make the beet leaves sound so delicious, I am going to have to try them!

      Enjoy your weekend. :)

  12. Wendy says:

    I like cooked beets and pickled ones as well. We just don’t seem to have them very often, guess I should start! I hated squash as a kid, it was ‘mushy’. I didn’t like mashed potatoes for the same reason. Potatoes any other way were fine, mom would take some boiled potatoes out for me before she mashed them for the rest of the family. I love both now. Funny everyone is mentioning liver – we were just talking about it the other day. That was another thing I hated as a child – and no, my mom didn’t make me eat it. My DH loves it, so I think I will give it a try as an adult and see if my taste buds have matured enough to like it now.

    1. Tami says:

      You are brave to be willing to try liver! Let me know if you do try it what you think of it.

      You are right out tastes do change as we get older.

  13. Frances says:

    By coincidence, I prepared beetroot for the first time last week. I boiled them then pureed them with some spring onions and chicken stock as a cold soup with a dollop of sour cream and snipped chives on top – quite delicious and so pretty and colourful.
    I read (after I had done it) not to cut off the ends as they bleed into the water, mine were still very red though once boiled.
    Just as a word of caution beetroot tends to turn pee pink temporarily so don’t get alarmed unnecessarily!!!!

    Frances

    1. Tami says:

      Frances you make a great point about the beet color remaining true all the way through the body! LoL! Your cold soup sounds amazing and I bet it was beautiful. I will have to try that. It’s so much fun to experiment with something new and discover that you like it.

      Happy cooking!

  14. Laura Beth says:

    Roasted beets last night for dinner. Delicious! Well, I loved them but my husband was not the biggest fan. I roasted them on 400 with a very little bit of EVOO and rosemary for 1 hour. It was not an entire fail with my husband because I also steamed the beet leaves and then sauteed with a little garlic and oil. He loved them! So now when I buy beets I will eat the beets and he will have the greens. I think its a healthy comprimise!
    Tami, thanks for all your blogging. I love your tips for WWPP – keeps me on track with new and exciting recipes.

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Laura Beth. I am happy to hear that you loved the beets and hubby loved the greens! That is a win, win. The greens sound delicious with the garlic and oil.
      Thank you for coming back and leaving a comment. It makes this all the more fun! I really appreciate the support. :)

  15. renee@mykitchenadventures says:

    never tried the fresh ones…but my neighbor raves about them. I do enjoy the canned ones though. I have never been picky about eating vegetables…even as a kid. I remember I wasn’t a fan of green beans though, and now I AM!

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Renee, I love green beans! You know I was a good eater as a kid too. Loved most things, had just a short list of things I didn’t care for.

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