Marcelle enjoys preparing delicious meals for family and friends. She especially loves creating original, plant-based, vegan recipes.
This healthy, colorful side dish works well with most any dinner and is easy to prepare. The sweet flavor from the beets pairs well with the potatoes, garlic and spices. This dish is also surprisingly low in sodium.
The health benefits of beets are numerous. Many nutrients are plentiful in this deeply-hued veggie including:
- Folic acid
- Vitamins A, B and C
Beets are also a source of betaine, a nutrient with anti-inflammatory properties as well as a substance used in treatments of depression. Color pigments in beets called betalains, offer both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Consumption of beets has been shown to lower blood pressure and may even prevent liver disease and some cancers, including colon cancer.
Can Beets Help You Run Faster?
You may have heard the hype about the how beet juice benefits athletic performance, but what about eating the actual vegetable? Well, according to a 2012 study done by researchers at Saint Louis University, eating beets can help you run faster.
In this study, eleven “moderately fit” runners were tested running 5 kilometers on a treadmill. Test subjects were given a placebo and then a 7 ounce serving of baked beets during two runs. Results showed that the runners took 41 seconds off their run times after eating the beets. The study found that the greatest benefits happened when beets were consumed 60 minutes before exercise.1
Seven Fun Beet Facts
- U.S. astronauts on Apollo 18 ate borscht soup (beet soup) with Russian astronauts from the Soyuz19 in space.
- Beets were used as an aphrodisiac during Roman times.
- Dwight from the hit television series “The Office” is a beet farmer, selling beets in his roadside stand.
- Beets are a traditional food eaten at Rosh Hashana.
- English Victorians used beets to dye their hair in the 19th century.
- When the British blocked shipments of cane sugar to France, Napoleon Bonaparte substituted beet sugar for cane sugar in his country.
- Beets can be used to make wine.
What About the Greens?
Beet greens pack a nice nutrition package of their own. A half cup serving of cooked beet greens provides 30 percent of your vitamin C needs for the day and 110 percent of your vitamin A daily needs. That same half cup also provides two grams of fiber and two grams of protein, all for just 19 calories.
The slightly bitter leaves make a great side dish by sautéing or microwaving, as you would for spinach or other greens. You can also toss them in stir-frys or salads. Find an easy sauté recipe for beet greens at the bottom of this article.
This healthy and easy recipe makes a great side dish for any meal! You can even add other root vegetables to the mix. Some good ones to try are carrots, sweet potatoes, and parsnips.
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
- 2 beets, greens trimmed and saved for recipe below or future recipe
- 1/2 pound potatoes, Yukon gold or fingerling
- 1 medium onion
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 teaspoons no-salt seasoning, (try Costco's Kirkland Signature organic no-salt seasoning)
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Wash and scrub beets and cut off the bottom stem and top greens, reserving greens for sautéing (see recipe below).
- Peel beets with a potato peeler or pairing knife and cut into ½ inch chunks.
- Wash potatoes, leaving skins on, cut into ½ inch chunks.
- Chop onion into inch long, wide slices.
- Place beets, potatoes, onions, garlic, olive oil, and seasoning in a large bowl and toss to coat.
- Spread contents of the bowl out onto the lined cookie sheet. Roast in the center or preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until potatoes and beets are soft.
Use this quick and easy recipe for the beet greens for a second side dish or save the greens for a future stir-fry or salad.
- Beet greens from 2-3 beets, rinsed well, chopped coarsely
- 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- A dash or two of crushed red pepper flakes
- Fresh ground pepper, to taste
- Splash or balsamic vinegar
- Heat skillet over medium-low heat, add oil and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add red pepper flakes and sauté for another minute.
- Add beet greens and sauté until wilted and desired tenderness.
- Move to a serving dish and toss with freshly ground pepper and balsamic vinegar.
1 "Want to Be Fast on Your Feet? Eat Beets!" How Beets Improve Running Performance from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Rev. Eleese Cunningham. N.p., Apr. 2013. Web. <http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6442470253>.
"Beetroot." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 20 July 2014. Web. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beetroot>.
"Nutrition Facts for Beet Greens, Raw per 72g, And Analysis for Beet Greens, Cooked, Boiled, Drained, without Salt.” Conde Naste, 2014. Web. <http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2353/2>.
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Claudia Porter on August 31, 2014:
Oh this looks good, but sadly I would be the only to eat it in my family. Beets are the best and will be pinning this for future reference.
Kari on August 29, 2014:
I make borscht quite a bit, but I never thought to do beets and potatoes this way. I can see how this would taste good, and since I have some beets and potatoes waiting to be eaten, I think this will be my next dish with them!
Marcelle Bell (author) on August 01, 2014:
Thank you for pinning and your awesome comments! Roasting those beets is a great way to incorporate them into meals. They are fairly inexpensive and kid-friendly.
thefedorows from the Midwest on August 01, 2014:
I was interested to hear about the anti-inflammatory properties of beets. But honestly, have to admit that I have never purchased beets. This recipe looks like a possible way to try beets. Pinning!
Marcelle Bell (author) on July 31, 2014:
Thank you for your nice comment! I think you will really like it. The beets add just a bit of sweetness to the dish and it's way more interesting (flavor and appearance) than your standard roasted potatoes :).
msdielise on July 28, 2014:
Thank you for sharing this nice looking side dish. I haven't tried it yet but I might try one of these days!