I harvested some beets today! Beets are highly nutritious and heart-healthy root vegetables. Certain unique pigment antioxidants in the root, as well as in its top greens, have been found to offer protection against coronary artery disease and stroke; lower cholesterol levels within the body; and have anti-aging effects.
They are a favorite in my house. Not only are they sweet and delicious but they are rich in B-complex vitamins such as niacin (B-3), pantothenic acid (B-5), pyridoxine (B-6) and minerals such as iron, manganese, copper, and magnesium. The root has high levels of potassium, which helps lower heart rate and regulate metabolism inside the cells by countering detrimental effects of sodium. The greens are an excellent source of carotenoids, flavonoid antioxidants and vitamin A.
Here is a recipe using both the beet greens and the roots. It is quick and easy to make, and offers a lot of nutritional bang for your buck!
Beet Salad with Goat Cheese
• 4-5 beets, greens, and roots
• 1 orange, segmented
• 1/2 red onion, minced
• Olive oil, 3/4 cup
• Fresh squeezed orange juice 1/4 cup
• Goat cheese
• Salt and pepper, to taste
Harvest beets and greens when they are young and tender. Remove beet greens from beets and wash thoroughly. Cook beets until tender. After cooking, chop to size. Whisk together olive oil, orange juice, salt and pepper. Toss together beet greens, beets, orange segments, red onions, pecans and vinaigrette. Top with goat cheese.
I am Gail Hermenau—vegetable gardener, composter, and garden manager for Planting Hope in Delaware. I also own my own small business that produces and sells heirloom vegetables and herbs to area restaurants.