To the delight of our taste buds, the long-snubbed beet has made a big comeback recently!
Many types exist, including the sugar beet, fodder beet, Swiss chard and ever-popular red beet. In recent years, yellow beets and pretty Chioggia beets, which are pink streaked with white, have also made an appearance on supermarket shelves.
From a nutritional point of view, one cup (250 ml) of raw red beet is an excellent source of folate, which helps prevent fetal birth defects. Beets’ gorgeous and intense ruby colour testifies to their stellar antioxidant power. Beets contain pigments called “betacyanins” that may prevent diseases such as cancer. Like all other root vegetables, beets are also high in carbohydrates, making them a great energy food. Keep in mind that beet leaves are edible and pack quite a nutritional punch. Save them to make tasty soups, or prepare them as you would spinach, by adding them to pasta or smoothies for example.
Did you know?
Beets can produce white sugar. While sugar cane is the crop most often associated with the production of refined sugar, it can also be produced with sugar beets, a variety of white beet.
Borscht is native to the culinary heritage of many Eastern European countries, including Ukraine, Poland and Russia. Many variations of this dish exist, some of which include meat (pot-au-feu style) as an ingredient as well as beetroot. In America, borscht is generally served as a hot or cold soup.
Ideas for adding beet to your menu
Pre-cooked and cubed beets: What a great idea! Use them as is anytime or add them to your cooked meals at the end of the cooking time. Say goodbye to red-stained hands and clothes!
- Add them to salads for a touch of colour and unmatched freshness. Beets also pair perfectly with goat cheese, apple and nuts such as pecan, watercress and chicory.
- Use them to make Beet Hummus, a nutritious and festive dip you can serve with vegetables, crackers or toasted pita wedges. Use beet hummus as you would mayonnaise on your sandwiches; it’s a much tastier and less greasy option!
- All-purpose, diced beets are also ideal to make smoothies, cakes and muffins.
- Try Beet Julienne in these Chocolate and Beet Muffins. Enjoy these muffins as a snack or a dessert with a large glass of milk or fortified plant-based drink.