Beets are one of my favorite crops to grow, in part because I love that I can use (and I actually love the taste of) all parts of them: the greens and the roots. They are a low-maintenance crop, and they allow for great versatility in the kitchen.
Health Benefits of Beets
According to the website The World’s healthiest foods, beets are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains. Betanin and vulgaxanthin are the two best-studied betalains from beets, and both have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxification support.
Beets are a good source of folate, manganese, fiber, potassium and vitamin C, among other minerals and vitamins.
Cooking with Beets
Here are some of my favorite ways to eat beets, plus links to some wonderful beet recipes:
- Baby beet greens make a nice addition to salads
- Sautéed beet greens can be tossed with a bit of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, cumin and garlic for a simple, delicious side dish
- Add finely grated raw beets to green salads, pasta salads and grain-based salads
- Roast beets in the oven by themselves or with other root vegetables
- Try this recipe for Baked Beets in Béchamel Sauce
- Make some beautiful jars of pickled beets and store this crop in your pantry to enjoy even when they’re out of season
- Check out this recipe for Simple Beet and Balsamic Salad
You can direct sow beet seed right in the garden, and in many climates you can plant a spring crop and a fall crop. Loosen soil and dig in a bit of compost before you plant. After seedlings emerge, mulch around plants with an organic mulch such as loose hay.
For much more about growing this crop, including variety recommendations, see these resources:
Check out more articles about growing and cooking with nutritious foods:
- All About Artichokes
- Enjoy Healthy, Tasty Asparagus
- An Easy, Yummy Way to Prepare Nutritious Quinoa
- Growing and Cooking with Super-Nutritious Sweet Potatoes
Photo from Fotolia