With the fall in full force, I am super pumped to start gathering all my fall veggies! One of my favorites is beets. These colorful root veggies come in two varieties: a reddish-purple and golden hue. The dark color tells you they are filled with phytonutrients.
Also known as antioxidants, these substances protect plants from germs, bugs, and other predators. When humans consume foods with phytonutrients they give beets anti-inflammatory properties to improve health. The color in the beets comes from the antioxidants known as Betalains. Betalains come in two types: betacyanins and betaxanthins. Betacyanins are what give the beet its dark red pigment. Betaxanthins are a lighter yellow pigment and make the beets golden.
Aside from phytonutrients beets also provide a good source of fiber with 3.4 grams (we want to aim for 3 to 4 grams per serving). Beets provide a good source of potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C which are good for stress management, immune health, and energy production.
Some will say that beets are high in sugar. They have about 14 grams per 1 cooked cup. This translates to about 3.5 teaspoons of sugar. However, when looking at the glycemic index (a measure of how much a food increases our blood sugar) it falls in the medium category. However, beets also offer a lot of health benefits.
If you are worried about the sugar in beets, the best thing to do to keep your is have a variety of non-starchy veggies paired with a starchy veggie such as spinach like I have in this salad.
If you have never eaten a beet before and are unsure what to do with them I would suggest roasting them in a big batch. You start by washing them to get any dirt off. After cutting the greens and stems off you can wrap them in foil and bake them for about 40 minutes. Once they are cooled they are easily peelable and ready to be chopped.
I like to prep my veggies and then store them in the fridge or freezer so I can easily add them to salads, soups, and other recipes during the week.
This week I used the golden beets I prepped in a spinach salad. I topped it with a dressing that features dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, and extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil. While mustard may not be the most appealing ingredient it really makes the taste of the salad.
Try this recipe out tonight before the weather gets too cold for raw veggies
Golden Beet and Cucumber Salad
- 2 large golden beets roasted, peeled, and chopped into 1/4" pieces
- 2 cups Spinach
- 1 Medium cucumber peeled and chopped
- 1 Avocado peeled and diced into pieces
- 2 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- Wrap the beets in foil and place in the oven
- Cook for 45 – 50 minutes, then place in the freezer for 10 minutes to cool
- Take the beets out of the freezer, peel, chop into small pieces and then add to the mixing bowl
- In a large mixing bowl add the spinach, cucumber, beets, avocado, and set aside
- In a small mixing bowl combine mustard, red wine vinegar, and olive oil until well blended
- Toss the salad with the dijon dressing until its well coated and serve