Like cilantro, beets are one of those foods that spark strong feelings. Whether you think they taste like dirt or you love their earthy sweetness, most people know that beets are healthy — and now there is science to back that up.
Recent studies show beets are high in nitric oxide, which helps to naturally dilate our blood vessels, increasing blood flow and circulation. Other things high in nitric oxides are dark, leafy greens, garlic and walnuts. Nitric oxide isn’t the only benefit of beets, the brightly colored bulbs are also high in antioxidants, potassium, fiber and vitamin C.
Beets come in a delightful variety of colors (red, white and yellow) and are remarkably versatile. Not only can they be eaten raw, juiced, pickled or roasted, they are also an excellent addition in sandwiches, salads, pasta, hummus — and even as a secret sweet ingredient in vegan cupcakes!
The possibilities are endless! Here’s an easy and delicious recipe to try at home:
GINGER BALSAMIC BEETS
- 6–8 small/medium whole beets
- 1 tsp. olive or coconut oil
- 1–2 Tbsp. grated ginger
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- (to taste) salt/pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Scrub each beet and wrap them in foil or parchment paper. There’s no need to peel them.
Roast for about 30 to 45 minutes, depending on how big they are. The beets are done when a knife goes through them easily.
When they have cooled down, push down on the foil or parchment paper and the skin will come right off. It will stain your skin and your clothes, so be careful.
Heat oil over medium-low temperature. Add ginger and cook one or two minutes. Keep the heat low so it doesn’t burn. Add the beets and cook two or three minutes. Add balsamic vinegar and cook another minute or so until it turns into a light glaze. Salt and pepper to taste — and enjoy!