Healthy Foods: You can’t beat beet greens

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of kale. In fact, I might go so far as to say that kale farmers across the country should send me some kudos for all the folks I’ve helped nudge onto the kale train over the past twenty-some-odd years!
But kale’s not the only green wonder that gets a special place of honor on my dinner table.
How many of you slice the tops off your beets and then toss them onto the compost heap or down the garbage disposal? Because, if that’s what you’re doing, you are essentially tossing a multitude of important nutrients into the trash.
In case you’re not familiar, beet greens are the pretty green leaves with red veins attached to that ruby red root we all know and love. Maybe you didn’t realize that these leaves are edible and quite nutritious, but I’m here to tell you they are.
First off, beet greens are extremely high in Vitamin K. Vitamin K is important in blood clotting, but studies are revealing that this special K vitamin may also help fight disease. If you’ve ditched dairy (good for you) and are trying to find other ways of getting in osteoporosis-fighting nutrition, try to up your intake of Vitamin K. Why? Because this vitamin works with calcium to make bones even stronger.
There’s also a great deal of Vitamin A in beet greens, a vitamin that helps maintain good vision. Carrots aren’t the only vegetable to help your eyesight! Vitamin A also strengthens the immune system by stimulating white blood cells and antibodies to help fight infections. Vitamin A might also play a role in preventing cancer.
Great, Leanne, but how do we prepare them?
I’m so glad you asked!
The next time you buy beets, keep the greens and turn them into a side dish or give them a starring role on the table in a main dish of their own. Wash the beet greens well, drain them and get rid of any large stems. Then, chop them into bite-sized pieces and steam the beet greens in a saucepan in just a little water. You can add anything you like. My paleo friends like to cook them with some bacon. If you like to get more veggies in, toss in some red pepper and onions. Cook them just until they’re nice and tender. You can finish them off with a bit of vinegar, or just enjoy the dish hot out of the pan.
Beet greens are especially delicious with fish.
So, spill it. Until now were you a beet green tosser? If you enjoy your beet greens, tell us how you like to prepare them by commenting below, or on Facebook.

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0 Responses

  1. My family used leftover beet greens to make beet buns, a Ukranian dish.  Take your favourite bread dough (frozen works fine) and form “fingers” of dough, then wrap a beet leaf around the middle of each “finger”.  Let rise, then bake.  We served them with a mushroom sauce poured over them (often just cream of mushroom soup).  Yumm 🙂

  2. I am Ukrainian born and my mother cooked all kinds of Ukr. dishes.
    I never heard of beet buns in my life.
    Yes, we use beets for borscht and other dishes, but not what you described.
    Maybe it’s your family specialty.

  3. I love beet greens. I love the earthiness of them. It was funny when I went to the Farmer’s Market last time – this older couple did not want their greens so they just gave me them. I put them in salads or steam them lightly with some lemongrass and olive oil after.

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