Beets are versatile, earthy and nutritious root vegetables that are an exceedingly popular ingredient in many dishes. Plus, they’re edible from leaf to bulb! (Try our beet, arugula, and goat cheese salad.)
This root’s magenta or golden yellow bulbs usually get all the love (like in our balsamic beet tartar endive leaves, but can you blame us?). But next time you remove the veggie’s long, lush green leaves, don’t toss them into the compost! Beet greens aren’t only good for you, but also taste incredible when properly cooked.
Health Benefits of Beet Greens
Beets are ranked as a superfood for several obvious reasons. Their bulbs and leaves alike possess healthy properties to help keep you in great physical and mental shape. To name a few:
- Beet greens are packed with high amounts of vitamins and nutrients, including iron, protein, calcium, magnesium, zinc and fiber. They also are extremely low in calories, fat and cholesterol. (Psst: Here are foods that’ll help lower cholesterol naturally.).
- Beet greens contain plenty of nitrates, which help lower blood pressure. Nitrates also improve oxygen levels in the body, which enhance exercise performance and athletic ability.
- Beet greens also help fight inflammation, improve digestive health, support brain health and contain anti-cancer properties.
How to Sauté Beet Greens
Sautéed beet greens taste amazing in sandwiches and salads or mixed into rice, egg and pasta dishes. The greens become tender and are a great alternative (or complement) to other leafy greens such as spinach, collards, kale, mustard greens and chard.
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 lb. beet greens, roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Crushed red pepper, optional
To saute beet greens, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers (an indicator that it’s hot!), add beet greens, garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. For a spicy kick, sprinkle on some crushed red pepper. Toss the leaves in the pan for about 8 minutes until they start to wilt. Drain out any excess liquid and enjoy!
How to Bake Beet Greens
On the other hand, baked beet greens have crispy leaves and can be enjoyed in salads. Plus, the process is super simple.
- 1 lb. beet greens, thoroughly washed and patted dry with paper towels
- 2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the greens in a single layer on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Brush on coconut oil until the greens are lightly coated, then sprinkle them with salt. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until the leaves are dry and crisp.
How to Add Beet Greens to A Grain Bowl
For a nutrient-packed meal, easily add beet greens to a quinoa bowl packed with veggies, like our Tahini Beet Green Bowl. All you have to do with the beet greens is massage them with dressing and add them to the bowls. Get the recipe.
Next, check out the fruits and vegetables you shouldn’t peel.