Beets never made it to my grocery list. Not when I had my first apartment and shopping was an olympic sport. Not even when I grew up and my palate had become what I considered sophisticated. Beets were on the no-go list along with asparagus and the brussels sprout. Beets did not inspire. It didn’t help that they looked like dusty purple rocks in the produce section.
The list of veggies that I avoided was long. There was a time when chickpeas and butternut squash were on that list. I wish I knew when I began avoiding beets. They were definitely not on our dining table growing up. I used to have a job that required us to go to a lot of fancy galas. For some reason, a beet salad was almost always a first course. I guess I should thank those folks for offering up such a powerful little veggie even if the rest of the meal wasn’t so awesome. Lol.
A plant-based lifestyle meant revisiting vegetables that I had been ignoring. My standard list of acceptable vegetables included broccoli, snow peas, peppers and corn. I know that there are over 1000 vegetables curated for us to consume but for a long time, I was eating the same ones over and over.
Beets Are Packed With Nutrients
Beets are the nickname we give to them but they are officially called beetroots. They come right out of the ground and are related to spinach, chard and qunioa. All great additions to a plant-based plate. When it comes to superpowers, they have the goods. They offer powerful antioxidants and essential nutrients like B-vitamins, magnesium, manganese, iron, copper and potassium. Research has shown that beets can lower blood pressure and are great for the heart, brain and kidneys.
And did you know that you can eat the greens at the top of the beet? Don’t cut them off and throw them away. They work great in traditional salads and you can sautee them and eat them solo or add them to soup.
Red or Golden: You Can’t Lose
I did wonder if one beet was better than the other. The good news is that you can’t lose with either one. They both have incredible nutritional value. If you are ready to add these mighty veggies to your plate, let’s do it!
Roasted Red Beets
If this is a first for you, I would start with roasting some red beets. I use my vegetable peeler to clean them up and slice them. Bake them for 25 minutes at 350. They cook nicely with a drizzle of olive oil. Drizzle a bit of balsamic glaze or balsamic vinegar on them when they are done for extra flavor. Check out this recipe for Sweet Potato and Golden Beet salad. I love to make this one in the spring and summer. The colors just say sunshine!
LA Dunn is a plant-based advocate from the Bronx who has recently decided to plant a garden. Fingers crossed that the plants survive! If you have twenty minutes, listen to an episode of the Black Girls Eat Podcast. Sign up below for updates and announcements.