Beets hold a special place in my heart and belly. I grew up eating borsht, a staple in Ukranian and Russian culinary traditions. On cold winter days each spoonful would provide a comforting hug, while the cold version would soothe the heat on hot summer days. Fast forward to a couple years later..this bright root vegetable continues to ground and nourish me. I love its culinary versatility and of course rocking nutrition profile.
Full of fiber, potassium, folate and bone-building manganese, beets are also an excellent source of nitrate. Nitrates are naturally-occurring compounds in vegetables that the body converts to nitric oxide. This increases blood flow and oxygen to muscles which boosts athletic performance and cardiovascular health. Their beautiful color comes from betalains, which have been found to interfere with the oxidation of LDL cholesterol in the formation of plaque. Since they are methyl donors they also prevent altered liver metabolism which can occur with inadequate dietary intake of methyl groups.
When shopping for beets I make sure the greens are still attached. Not only do they provide more fiber, calcium and nutrients but they make a delicious addition to a meal or side dish. Sure they can be a bit messy to work, but that’s part of the fun! I wear gloves when handling beets because they tend to stain everything. I hope you enjoy this recipe and are inspired to get creative in your own kitchen.
Blanched and chopped beet greens
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/4-1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
In a pot of water boil the beets until they are soft all the way through. This usually takes about a half hour. While the beets boil, soak the beet greens in a tub of water and white vinegar as they usually hold a lot of dirt. Rinse beets and throw in a pot of boiling water for a minute to blanche them. This will soften them a bit. Remove from pot and pat dry with a kitchen or paper towel. When they cool chop the greens and set aside.
After the beets cool, the skin will be easier to remove.
Grate the beets in a separate bowl and add the zest and juice of the lemon. Add the chopped greens and add the salt. Mix everything thoroughly and place in refrigerator to cool.
Happy & Healthy Cravings! 🙂