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Benefits of Eating Vegetables: Spotlight on Beets

Benefits of Eating Vegetables: Spotlight on Beets

The humble beet has come a long way. It's not just a sweet side dish from out of a can anymore. Beets are nutritionally dense, loaded with fibre and just plain delicious! Including beets in your diet can be as easy as scrubbing one off and tossing it in your morning smoothie. Prepared right beets can be a sophisticated side dish as well! And don't toss those greens! The nutritional value of beet greens shouldn't be discounted! They are loaded with vitamins and make a tasty addition to any meal! We'll give you the low down on the nutritional value of this versatile vegetable, and then offer some tasty suggestions for how to prepare it!

Beets themselves are the root of the plant. They come in a rainbow of colours from deep red and purple, to golden yellow and orange. Italian beets are a beautiful striped red and white when sliced. Beets are a great source of dietary fiber and vitamin C, as well as iron, magnesium, folate, potassium, and manganese. Beets are delicious cooked, losing a bit of their earthy taste, but try them raw to get the most nutritional value from them. Smaller beets are more tender and taste sweeter than big ones raw. Thinly slice them on a salad or cut them into matchsticks on a crudities plate for snacking.

When you're preparing your beets, cut the greens off near the base and put them in a jar of water until you're ready to use them. They should last a few days like this without much wilting. The beet greens are nutrition packed and shouldn't be wasted! They are a terrific source of iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and much more. They are also a great source of fibre! Use the baby leaves in a salad, or put a few clean stems in your smoothie to pack a powerful punch, but try them cooked as well to go along with your main course.

If you're still not convinced, buy a couple of bunches of beets try out these two recipes tonight.

Roasted Beets with Chevré (serves 4-6)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel 6-8 beets. Cut into 1-2" pieces. Toss in grape seed or olive oil with sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. spread on a baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes or until tender. Toss in a bowl with 4 oz crumbled fresh goat cheese and serve hot.

Sautéed Beet Greens with Balsamic
Prepare your two bunches of beet greens by thoroughly washing to remove any dirt or grit. Remove stems and ribs, finely dice and set aside. Roughly chop the leaves leaving any washing water on them. Mince two cloves of garlic.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan on medium. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 20 seconds. Add the diced stems and sauté for two minutes. Add the leaves. Stir until wilted down, about one minute. Drizzle two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and one teaspoon of agave nectar into the pan and stir. Add a splash of water and lid the pan to cook for another five minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Keep lidded and on low heat until ready to serve and enjoy. We hope you are inspired to make beets a regular addition to your table.

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