Lettuce turnip the beet!
That has been a saying I came across years ago and have been waiting to finally get to use it! You can never ‘beet’ a play on words! Beets are most definitely good for more than a funny saying or two though.
Beets are a source of iron. Iron is a mineral that you need to carry oxygen in the body. Without enough iron you can become very tired, pale-looking and well… cranky (and no one wants to be around a cranky person, right?)
Many people think of meat when we say ‘iron’ but the truth is that our bodies can get iron in other ways than just by ‘eating a steak’.
Heme iron = iron from animal sources
Non-heme iron = iron from plant sources
Beets are a source of non-heme iron. Our bodies best absorb non-heme iron when it is paired with vitamin C, sources of vitamin C include: oranges, grapefruits and pineapple, kiwis, papayas, strawberries, cantaloupes, mangoes, peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, cabbage, snow peas, cauliflower and kale. Another way to help your body absorb iron is to drink coffee or tea after meals. Drinking them with meals may decrease iron absorption.
I’ll leave you with just one more quick nutrition fact you can’t “beet” … (yes, I am annoying myself now too with all the word plays going on in such a short post!)
Beets are also a source of folate. Folate helps the body to:
Produce and maintain DNA and cells.Make red blood cells and prevent anemia.Produce white blood cells in the bone marrow.Lower the risk of having a baby with birth defects like spina bifida.
Again, I give full credit to my in-laws for producing all of these veggies and for my mother-in-law’s cooking. I’ve adapted this recipe from her as well.
2 cups of cooked, sliced beets
¼ cup of thinly sliced sweet onion (I used a mandolin to cut mine)
5 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp olive oil
Handful of parsley, for garnish
1) mix the vinegars, mustard and oil in the bottom of a medium sized bowl
2) add the beets and onions, mix well and top with parsley
This is always a hit. I’ve brought this to countless potlucks and people always praise this dish. Here is a little secret:
The last time I made this for a potluck I realized I didn’t have any mustard. Instead of running to the store and buying some I used ground mustard instead and had great results!
To make this into a meal instead of a side-dish, my go-to is a big, nourishing salad. I fill a bowl with some kind of grain, often quinoa or couscous, lentils or chickpeas, kale, roasted tomatoes, peppers, avocado and beet salad topped with a homemade dressing. By serving this with warm grains and lentils it can also a satisfying fall dish too!