Get the Most Out of Beet Season With These 7 Recipes and 2 Creative Ideas
Beetroot season is in full swing and will be until the late fall, and while beetroot, and its juice, have been shown to be among the most antioxidant-rich foods on the planet, it can sometimes be challenging to know just how to make the most of beets, or how to work them into your diet. Beetroots fresh from the ground look so untamed, have a harsh external skin and stain your fingers as you prepare them. Whether you love beets are can't stand them, there's good reason to work them into your diet.
Here's how to make the most of the abundance of beetroot that we will see in markets across the central and western parts of the US, appearing more vibrant than ever.
The heart-healthy vegetable is worth getting your hands on (warning: gloves necessary) to add their powerful antioxidants to your diet. So stock up at your local grocery or market and choose from these seven unique ideas on how to get innovative with beets.
The Health Benefits of Beets
Beetroot contains active phytochemicals as well as a host of minerals and vitamins, making them one of the most heart-healthy foods you can eat. As a side note, roots soak up minerals from the rich soil, which is why beets have so many beneficial qualities. Beets contain flavonoids, polyphenols, and are a rich source of potassium, sodium, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, and manganese as well as folate, iron, and vitamin C, which helps boost your immune system. Beets are proven to reduce your risk of heart disease because they are naturally high in nitrates which turn into nitric oxide in the body, which benefits endurance and performance and helps lower blood pressure, according to a study.
Beets get their deep color from a unique antioxidant called betalain, which has anti-inflammatory properties and promotes a healthy immune system, as well as lowering inflammation in the body, and protecting against heart disease. A study conducted in a lab resulted in reduced kidney inflammation when subjects were given beetroot juice and beetroot extract.
Beets Are Better For the Environment
As healthy as beets are for you, they are equally as beneficial for the environment – and when used as a natural dye to color fabrics, they contribute to less polluted water and byproducts since apparel made with artificial dyes end up polluting water systems. So we included a way of making your own beet-tie-dyed fabric as well as a beet-stain for your lips as a way of creating organic sustainable products of your own and feeling good about not supporting the more harsh production practices that chemical dyes create.
Overall, beets are beneficial for your health and the environment: Here are seven ways to make un-beet-lievable recipes and crafts.
7 Beetroot Recipes to Make the Most of Beet Season
1. Beet Dips – Make Hummus or Dairy-Free Yogurt
Beets have hints of earthy flavors, a sweet aftertaste, and are extremely dense. When they're boiled and blended, they create a smooth, mousse-like texture just like the consistency of hummus which is why the pink-colored dip has been trending lately.
One of the best beet recipes to enjoy in the final days of summer and throughout the fall season is beet hummus, and sure enough, beets will become your go-to base for hummus if you like a sweeter taste, so long chickpeas.
When you make beet hummus for the first time, experiment by adding the smooth creamy dip on top of a vegetable burger, toast, veggie sandwich before you dive in with a pita chip. To get the full beet experience, take your leftover beets and bake the rest into thinly sliced chips to dip into your beet hummus. Now, that's something to brag about.
For another dip idea, try a beet dairy-free yogurt sauce similar to tzatziki sauce but sweeter, and more colorful. The difference is this texture is lighter and creamier than hummus and calls for garlic and mint.
2. Beet Chips to Go with Your Beet Dip
Give potatoes a break and bake your thinly sliced beets into crispy, salty chips. This sweet, crispy snack deserved viral attention on TikTok for its healthier and more beautiful take on the classic potato chip.
To make beet chips, you'll need a mandolin slicer to slice the beets paper-thin. Then, you'll put them in a bowl with olive oil, and your seasonings such as salt and rosemary and lay them out on parchment paper, and pop them in the oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit until crispy. It's the perfect sweet and salty snack.
3. Beetroot Gnocchi by Mark Bittman
Add color to the classic gnocchi with just four plant-based ingredients from the New York Times' Beetroot Gnocchi by Mark Bittman. For this recipe, you'll need a food processor to make a beet purre added to your starchy potato dough, then dive in.
4. Barley Risotto with Beets and Greens by Mark Bittman
For another beet pasta recipe by Mark Bittman is Barley Risotto with Beets and Greens which calls for both beetroots and greens, a zero-waste recipe.
Beet puree can be mixed into any kind of pasta, just as you would with a marinara sauce. Add savory toppings like sage and pecans for the ultimate umami aftertaste.
5. Beet greens salad
Don't throw away those long, leafy stems on your beets, since they make a tasty salad or a bitter sauteéed melody. Beet greens are extraordinarily high in Vitamin C, one cup of cooked beet greens contains about 60 percent of your daily value with few calories, sugars, and fat.
To make a beet greens salad, simply wash the greens, dress them in sherry vinegar and lemon, and add your favorite salad toppings like tomatoes, cucumbers, and dairy-free feta. To enjoy a warm beet green dish, satuée them in your pan with a little olive oil and garlic and add hearty vegetables like mushrooms and peppers.
6. Beet cupcakes from Minimalist Baker
Scooch over red velvet: Get creative celebrating special occasions with beet cupcakes frosted with beet dairy-free cream cheese frosting. Beets have a naturally sweet flavor and mix perfectly with anything chocolate, two deeply rich flavors. Try the vegan recipe from Minimalist Baker for a healthier cupcake option that mixes fudgy chocolate, zesty vanilla, and sweet beets and makes your own dairy-free cream cheese frosting with beet puree. Show your loved one who eats vegan, is conscious about health, or simply loves dessert how to make delicious treats with beets.
7. Beet Coconut No-Bake Tart
For a refreshing summer dessert that doesn't require any baking, make this coconut tart with a naturally dyed beet filling and a homemade oat crust. All you need is 15 minutes to prep the tart and let the fridge do the rest of the work. Beet powder is available online and at most local health food markets. You can also add it to your smoothies for its health benefits and a pretty appearance.
Creative crafting ideas to make with beets
1. Beet tie-dye tablecloth
Beets stain, and it's likely you'll find out the hard way if you're a beet-newbie. However, this is good news for anyone who wants to get creative with fabrics. This fall, make tie-dye shirts or color your linen table cloth in a pretty pink-reddish color with beets Follow this guide on how to make beet dye from scratch by bringing the beets to a boil, letting them cool, blending them in a food processor, straining them, and pressing down on the puree so the extracts produce as much liquid as possible, the process is much easier than it may seem. To get even more creative, add turmeric to the mix by following the same steps as the beets.
7. Beet lip stain with coconut oil
This fall, refill your makeup cabinet with environment-friendly and cruelty-free products like a homemade beet lip stain that gives off a natural blush color. Follow this recipe on how to make Zero Waste Beet Lip Stain with only two ingredients: Vibrant beets and coconut oil. This hydrating product is loaded with essential vitamins and eliminates any fear of putting toxins on your skin. The one caveat is that you'll need to reapply the lip stain often, given that it's made from beets.