With so many unique ways to add beets to your diet, gone are the days when these naturally sweet and nutritious vegetables were pushed to the side of the plate untouched. I, myself, am new to the beet party after years of avoiding these veggies like a plague. Why the change of heart? Put simply, and much to my surprise, beets are a rich source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. To add, beets are also incredibly low in calories and fat! As I try to make healthier food choices (to balance out my severe sweet addiction), beets are one of my go to vegetables to cook and experiment with in the kitchen. So without further delay, here are some tasty ways to add beets to your diet.
Let’s start with one of the frequently used ways that beets are eaten--the beloved salad. Whether it is roasted, shredded or steamed, the addition of beets to your salad is a great way to benefit from the many nutrients that are packed into this vegetable. When I think of some of the ways to add beets into my diet, a salad seems like the best way to start, especially if you are new to eating beets and are still deciding if you like them. With so many varieties of beets, adding beets to the standard salad is a simple way to not only jazz it up, but also add some amazing color.
2. Baked Goods
Yes, you read that right, baked goods! Beets are a phenomenally healthy way to reduce some of the fat and sugar in baked goods. A common way beets are used in baking is either in the shredded or pureed form, much like other vegetables and fruits. Both ways allow for adding great moisture and nutrients like vitamins A and C to cakes, muffins and quick breads. Due to the light, natural sweetness of beets, the flavors of your baked goods can be enhanced without being masked by an overbearing beet taste.
Now this is a fairly new way of eating beets that I am obsessed with. Beets of any variety are thinly sliced, lightly oiled, salted and baked until crisp; a genius idea for a chip-eating fanatic especially when that craving for a salty and crunchy snack hits. So the next time you find yourself reaching for that bag of greasy chips, replace it with some guilt-free beet chips. These tasty bites also pairs well with dips and salsas.
Like salads, soups are another way beets are frequently used in cooking with an outcome that’s purely delicious. Aside from the popular Russian soup Borscht, there are many other ways to use beets in soups. One way that I have become fond off is beets in vegetarian chili. I love the slight sweetness that the beets lend to balance out the spices in the dish, but this is just one way to use beets in soup or stews. The possibilities are truly endless!
5. Frozen Treats
From the look of things, Ben and Jerry are no longer the only ice cream makers who are creating frozen treats with a unique twist, because beets have officially entered the ice cream world. I know, at first, I was like beets in ice cream? Weird! But when you think about it why not? Beets have a naturally sweet flavor that complements any neutral ice cream base. So why not take the bland vanilla ice cream and elevate it to a new level of interesting.
I absolutely love a good smoothie in the morning or any time of the day. However, I often find myself getting bored with the usual ingredients that I use. So what do you do when boredom hits; you find new ways to spice up the original. For me, that has been the addition of beets to my smoothies. Aside from the amazing color that it adds to the smoothie, the flavor when combined with ingredients like apples, carrots and spinach is out of this world.
Oh, how I love pasta, let me count the ways. With this love for pasta, comes a love for a really good sauce to go with it. Although my go to sauce is usually tomato based, in the recent months, I have experimented with a beet and herb sauce and there is no looking back. I am simply hooked. Will I forgo the beloved tomato sauce with my pasta, probably not, but it helps to change up a recipe now and then to maximize the amount of nutrients you are getting from other food sources.
The addition of beets into your diet goes beyond adding great flavor, but it also delivers on providing those essential sources of fibers, vitamins and other nutrients required by the body to function at its best. Some common and new ways to eat beets were discussed here, but what are your thoughts on beets? How do you like to eat them?