DID YOU KNOW THAT Beets belong to the family that includes chard, spinach and quinoa???
If you have cut/peeled beets that deep red is very much like a dye on your hands and clothes! That color comes from the betelain pigment which is in great abundance in beets. Betalains have been greatly studied for their involvement in anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and detoxification support. Beets are also very high in folate, manganese and potassium as well as fibre. You may start to see a trend here where all the fruits and veggies I discuss indicate support for those key areas of health. Main message - eat more fruits and veggies!
Our livers love beets! Beets are key in the support of our phase 2 liver detoxification - that is where we disarm the really nasty toxins to eliminate from the body with the least about of harm. Don’t forget the green leafy tops of the beets (beet greens). They are a valuable source of lutein and zeaxanthin which are eye supporting phytonutrients. Chop up and add to salads, or stir fry with garlic, you can use it like chard or spinach.
Like many vegetables, cooking beets reduces nutrients. So when roasting, keep it to under an hour, and steam for less than 15 minutes. Raw beets are a great addition when grated into a salad, or toss a 2 inch chunk into your smoothie for incredible color, flavour and nutrient boost. There are amazing beet dip recipes, as well as soups (borscht!), and pickled beets (lacto-fermented with just salt and water - also known as Kvass).
Store beets and greens in the fridge to retain nutrients once picked. Don’t wash beets or greens until you are about to use them. Raw beets do not freeze well, as they will soften, so depending on what you are using them for when thawed. Cooked beets do freeze well.