Beets are delightful for their color and flavor as well as for their beet nutrition. Their juice is wonderful mixed with carrot juice and can also be used as a dye. Is there any more beautiful color than the rich fuchsia and red tones of the beet? In some countries the beet juice, betanin, is processed commercially for coloration in various products.
Marian Morash author of the Victory Garden Cookbook said this about beets, “Have you ever enjoyed the sweet pungent flavor of a baked fresh beet? Or experienced the subtle but earthy aftertaste and delicious crunch pf raw beets grated into a salad? These are two of the lesser-known ways of preparing fresh beets, which don’t enjoy the popularity they deserve.”
Most people have experienced canned or pickled beets, but few people have had fresh beet experiences. Of course nutritionally fresh raw beets will always be superior to canned or even fresh cooked beets. Speaking of beet nutrition, here are some of the facts: they are high in folic acid (great for pregnant women), potassium, calcium and antioxidants (betacyanin, which is what gives beets their rich red color.).
Now the beets we are talking about so far are the beet roots, the portion that grows below the ground. However, leafy beet greens are also very nutritious and can be used for juicing, or cooking as you would any other green. In fact the beet tops are more nutritious than the roots. The greens contain significantly more iron, vitamin A, potassium and calcium than the roots.
Ok, here’s some more about beet nutrition. Beet juice is rich in natural sugar, sodium, sulphur, chlorine, iodine, copper and vitamin B1, B2, C and bioflavonoids. Some holistic practitioners believe that beet juice combined with other juices like carrot and cucumber are excellent for cleansing the kidneys and gallbladder and for restoring health to these organs. Additionally, beet, being a fibrous root, is excellent for aiding in and eliminating constipation. The fiber adds bulk to the diet and therefore helps to improve peristalsis activity in the large intestine.
So not only is beet nutrition good for you, they are also delicious baked, shredded in salads, or even as their own salad. If we have peaked your interest in beets, give our beet salad recipe a try.