I love beets. I was very surprised by this when I first discovered it because for years when I thought about beets I would get the image of these weird red-looking potatoes in my head and they always came from a can. I honestly don't know if I'd ever tried them before but if you'd asked me if I liked beets I would have told you, "Hell no."
I think my first mistake was thinking that I had to eat them from a can. The only vegetable that comes from a can that tastes good is corn, and I know that it's not the best way to eat corn. Still, I had it in my head that all beets came from a can.
The first time I considered eating beets was around May 2011. My friend Ashlee was living with us at the time and her brother came to visit for the weekend. At the time I considered myself a pretty healthy eater but I was blown away by how healthy her brother was and how I paled in comparison. I was so inspired by him all weekend long and I will always think of him when I think of beets.
Ashlee and her brother had gone to Whole Foods for dinner one night while he was in town and he had gotten some beets for dinner. He came out of my bathroom later that evening talking about how he loves going to the bathroom after eating beets because his pee and poop are purple.
The idea of purple pee and poop sounded completely awesome to me and I vowed right then that one day I was going to eat beets so that I too could have purple pee.
It was a long time before I finally talked myself into eating them, though. I was scared. Finally sometime in like October or November of that year I got the guts to try them. I found a recipe that seemed easy to make and sounded pretty good, even though I had no idea what a beet actually tasted like. I talked Hannah into eating them with me and it was love at first bite.
The next day when I was at work I nearly had a heart attack when I went to the bathroom. I had forgotten I'd had beets the night before and seeing the bright purple/pink pee in the toilet had me terrified that there was something seriously wrong with me. I was ready to leave work and go straight to the doctor before I remembered my dinner from the previous night.
Since then I've tried several different ways to eat beets and I have loved almost all of them. They have a sweet but earthy flavor that I just can't get enough of. Since I know firsthand that beets can be intimidating I thought I would share some of my favorite recipes with you.
Amazingly Unbeatable Beet Juice
- 1 large beet, peeled
- 1 apple, cored
- 1 orange, peeled
- 1 inch piece of ginger
- 3 carrots
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1/2 zucchini
1. Send all ingredients through a juicer and serve on ice.
This recipe is great if you want to try beets but you're still a little too scared to eat them. It does require the use of a juicer though, so if you don't have one of those then you're out of luck. I've made many, many juices with my juicer and still any juices that I make with beets and ginger are my favorite.
serves 4 - 150 calories per serving
- 6 small whole beets
- 2 small yellow onions, cut in half with skin on
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 tbsp chopped walnuts
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash the beets and place them and the onions in a baking dish that's just large enough to hold them.
2. Cover the dish and bake for 55 minutes, stirring occasionally, until you can easily pierce a beet with a fork. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 15 minutes.
3. Once the beets and onions are cool enough to handle, peel and cut into bite sized pieces. Mix with the vinegar, oil, garlic, walnuts and parsley.
This was the very first way that I had beets and I was so surprised by how much I loved them. This recipe takes a while to make though and I don't always want to wait an hour+ when I want to eat beets. A few months later I came up with a way for me to enjoy beets without all that cooking time. This way is even healthier because the beets are raw, which is always the best way to eat vegetables, and the recipe doesn't contain any oil. Remember that healthier doesn't always mean less calories though!
Shredded Beet Salad
serves 2 - 215 calories per serving
- 3 beets, peeled
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 2 tbsp chopped walnuts
- 2-4 tbsp diced red onion
1. Grate the beets using the grater attachment of your food processor (or just a regular cheese grater, but be careful with your fingers).
2. Add to a bowl with all other ingredients and mix well. The salad pictured below also has some kale in it. Kale and beets go great together!
Kale Salad with Beets and Carrot
- big bowl full of chopped kale
- 1 large carrot
- 1 small beet, peeled
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 1 serving serving of sesame tahini dressing from my post about kale
1. Remove kale from thick center stem and chop into bite sized pieces
2. Grate carrot and beet using the grater attachment on your food processor or a cheese grater.
3. Top kale with all ingredients and enjoy!
I absolutely love to add shredded beets to my salad because they add a nice sweetness to balance out the taste of the greens, and I think they go particularly well with this salad dressing. The different flavors really compliment each other well!
Beet burgers are some of my favorite veggie burgers! They are incredibly flavorful and I absolutely love the color. I made them back in October for Vegan Mo Fo when I was blogging about burgers and the recipe I always use comes from Isa Chandra's Post Punk Kitchen Blog. Since it's not my recipe I'm not going to share it here but you should definitely check it out and make them. Seriously, they are so good.
Recently the idea popped into my head to make beet bread, kind of like zucchini bread, but with shredded beets instead of zucchini. Beets are pretty sweet so I think they'd be a great addition and make a really beautiful loaf of bread. If I ever get around to making it I will definitely share the recipe and let you know how it tastes!
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