Monday, June 27, 2016

Tips and Tricks: Cooking with Beets

Now, to get the puns out of the way: it beets me why more people aren't eating more beets! You just can't beet this colorful, nutrient-packed delicious ingredient!

Whew - now that I got that out of my system, it's time to share the tips and tricks I use to get the most out of my beets. Already use them? Then here are some new recipes to try! Never even tried beets before? Here's why you should! 

Casey the College Celiac

First off, why even bother with beets? To put it simply, not only do they add a splash of bright color to every meal, but they're also nutritional powerhouses! According to Nutrition and You, beetroot boasts high levels of vitamin B, iron, manganese, copper and magnesium. It also offers a moderate amount of potassium, plenty of folates and a compound known as glycine betaine, which can lower the levels of homocysteine in the blood. Since high levels of homocysteine can lead to heart disease, stroke and vascular diseases, your heart will love this veggie as much as your taste buds! As a bonus, eating beet greens can also boost your levels of vitamin C, vitamin A and flavonoids (which help prevent lung and oral cavity cancers).

How can you get beet-er at incorporating beets into your daily menu? (Sorry, pun haters. Couldn't help myself). One of the easiest - and tastiest - ways is through nana ice cream or smoothie bowls

casey the college celiac
Berry beet heaven!
Adding beets is simple. Just chop or slice up some beets, pop them in the freezer and pull them out whenever you're getting your blendin' on. Personally, I love combining beets with mixed berries (as well as my usual sliced zucchini and squash) for a bright pink smoothie that tastes so good, you'll forget all about the hidden veggies! In fact, as long as you include a decent amount of fruit or spices in proportion to the beet, you won't even taste the beet in your breakfast. 

For those who follow a low fodmap diet - as I do - it's also important to not overdo it on the beets. Since its a high fodmap ingredient, I typically only use one or two ice-cube-sized pieces in each of my huuuuuge smoothies. Bonus points: if you buy beets with leaves attached, through them in your smoothie - the fruits' natural sugar will balance the beet greens' slightly bitter taste. 

casey the college celiac
My kind of pie!
Beets also make a delicious, crunchy topping for pizza! When making your usual favorite pie, try cutting thin slices of beet and mixing them with your usual toppings. The beets add a bright burst of pink that, combined with other veggies like squash, zucchini, sweet potato and spinach, can create a rainbow masterpiece. 

I also love that beets can get crispy on pizza as long as they're cut thin and the oven temperature is relatively high. If you're a super beet lover, you can even replace the radish greens in my green sauce - which I often use on pizza instead of tomato sauce or pesto - for beet greens

More of a "toss-it-in-the-oven" and eat kind of chef? Then beets also add an earthy flavor to roasted veggies. As long as you slice them thinly, you can even use my broil method to get crispy beet chips in under twenty minutes. 


casey the college celiac


As for stove top lovers, I often throw beets into my veggie stir frys as well. Not only do they add a pink color, but they also give a hardier bite to more fragile veggies like zucchini and squash

Need even more ideas of what to do with beets? Here are some of my favorites from the blogopshere:

  • Chocolate Beet Muffins - that are also grain and sugar free - from the perpetually talented Julia at The Roasted Root
  • Chocolate Raspberry Beet Pudding - pudding has never been this pink, or this delicious! This is packed with fruit and veggies, and I would probably even leave the extra sweetener out or add a bit of frozen banana instead! 
  • Beetroot Cake Porridge - ever heard, or enjoyed a bowl, of zoats? This is the beetroot version, which is not only vegan, but also loaded with goodies like chopped pecans and blackstrap molasses. Thanks Kyra!
  • Sweet Beet Yogurt Bowl - of course I have to feature a recipe from the HeartBeet Kitchen! If you're craving an easy way to upgrade your yogurt parfait, this is the recipe for you.
  • Broccoli Beet and Kale Brown Rice Bowl - and another recipe from The Roasted Root for you savory lovers. A warm salad has never looked so...pretty!

The fact is that, though beets may seem a little foreboding at first, there are plenty of easy ways to add them into your diet. 

You might even say that vitamin B, iron and magnesium have never looked more be(et)autiful


Do you eat beets? Any tips and tricks of your own? Comment below! 


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