Have you heard it is beneficial to “eat a rainbow” of different colors of produce to get a variety of nutrients your body needs? This is true with beets. Not only do garden beets come in a variety of colors, the greens (beet tops) are edible and are very tasty as well.
Betalains are the pigments found in beet roots that give them their bright, distinct colors. Studies have shown that this nutrient has some benefits in preventing inflammation and cancer. Beet roots are also high in naturally occurring sodium nitrates. In the body, these nitrates have been shown to reduce blood pressure. They also help to increase stamina and with muscle recovery after a workout. The beet root has also been shown to protect the liver from different toxins.
Beets are very high in fiber, vitamins and minerals. They contain vitamin C, folate, manganese, copper and potassium, to name a few. The greens are also one of the highest plant-sources of iron.
Here’s some how-to tips on preserving and preparing fresh garden beets that have been growing all summer long. We like to oven roast and freeze them to enjoy eating throughout the winter. The taste is just like cooked fresh beets! Perfect for salads, sides and other recipes. And they make great baby food for the little ones!
Wash beets thoroughly with a brush to get all the dirt off. Trim greens one to two inches from beet root (keep root intact).
Place the beets on a rimmed baking sheet and add a half cup of water. Cover and bake at 350° for 2 to 2-1/2 hours. Insert a small knife into the thickest part of the beet to check if they are done. Let cool.
Cut tops and bottoms off beets and remove thin layer of skin from the beet (I like to wear gloves for this part).
Cut beets into slices or chunks.
Place beets in a freezer bag or container and freeze.
For more preserving tips, check out page 54 in our book Eating Pure in a Processed Foods World®
To learn how to cook beets in your Instant Pot click here.