Today I am throwing it back to a great post + recipe by my original student guest blogger Leigh who is a current dietitian-in-training at Ryerson. I am very proud of how far she has come this past year and appreciate all the great work she has done for my site and social media.
Enjoy her awesome article about Beets, including an epic recipe at the end.
Fun Facts About Beets!
By Leigh Merotto
I am excited to bring another ‘everyday superfood’ to the table – beets! Beets are one of my favourite foods as they provide colour and sweetness to any dish. There are multiple varieties of beets, not just the standard red or purple beets we are most familiar with.
There are golden beets, as well as candy-striped beets, which resemble a pretty white and pink ‘candy cane’ in their interior. ‘Cylindra beets’ are another type, which look more like a carrot than a beet. Sugar beets, which resemble a white turnip, are more common to our food supply than you would think, they are responsible for 20% of the world’s sugar production.
Like other vegetables, beets boast a diverse nutrient profile. The key nutrients that beets contain are fibre, iron, folate, and potassium. Some Canadian`s fall short in their fibre and potassium intakes, so incorporating beets is a great solution to this problem. Beets also contain a compound known as betaine, which may contribute to the health of your arteries.
Contrary to common misconception, beets are not ‘high’ in sugar. There is approximately 1.5 teaspoons (6 grams) of naturally occurring sugars in a ½ cup serving of cooked beets.
Oh, and one more super cool thing about beets is that the juice of the beet root happens to be high in a compound known as Nitrate, which is known to improve endurance in cardiovascular events of extended duration.
PS: Beets are available locally grown ( Ontario) almost year round!
How to Prepare Beets Easily with Roasting
Beets can be eaten cooked or raw. If you prefer your beets cooked, try out these directions for easy roasted beets, which can be sliced and added to salads, sandwiches, or enjoyed on their own.
Wash and cut beets into quarter sized pieces. Place in a baking dish. Lightly drizzle with olive oil, and roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour at 400 F, or until beets are tender.
Or perhaps you’re feeling a little more adventurous? Try out this unconventional coleslaw recipe, incorporating raw beets and ginger to add a real superfood punch!
Beet Coleslaw with Agave-Ginger Dressing
¼ tsp finely grated ginger root
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 tablespoon red wine or balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon agave ( Non-vegans can use honey here)
½ teaspoon salt
2 medium beets, washed and peeled
2 medium carrots, washed and peeled
½ head of green cabbage, finely sliced
1 green apple, finely sliced
¼ red onion, finely sliced
¼ cup roasted sesame seeds
In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. Using a cheese or vegetable grater, grate beets and carrots. Add carrots and beets to a medium sized mixing bowl with cabbage, apple, onion and sunflower seeds. Add dressing and mix all ingredients together.
Tip – this recipe tastes better after a few hours or a day, allowing the flavours to mingle together. Making it ahead of time is a great option, simply cover and refrigerate until serving. Enjoy!