Beets are nutritional champions: they are nourishing and are a great ally in purifying the blood after all kinds of excesses. They are sweet, moist and warm in nature, so they are best for Vata and Kapha doshas, and beneficial in smaller amounts to Pitta dosha due to their powerful ability to cleanse the liver and thin the bile. They are also rich in potassium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, iron, vitamins A, B & C, beta-carotene, beta-cyanine and folic acid.
Growing up the only way I ever encountered a beet was in the form of pickled beet preserves that my grandma loved to eat with the good old french-canadian shepherd’s pie (or, Paté Chinois as well called it) and, being a normal child with sensitive tastebuds, I rejected the strongly sour and salty concoction and focused on ketchup instead. In my early twenties I was fortunate enough to get a job washing dishes at the wonderful Montreal vegan restaurant Aux Vivres where I was exposed to a myriad ways to prepare and cook all sorts of vegetables, grains, beans and nuts. I was amazed the first time I tasted into a roasted beet simply dressed with olive oil , balsamic vinegar and salt. It was juicy, earthy, sweet. Not my grandma’s preserves!
So in this New Year my resolution #2 is to have beets at least once a week. My favorite way to have them is steamed. Simply peel the beets and cut into big chunks to fit the steamer basket. Steam for 10-15 minutes or until tender. I like to put kale in the steamer basket for the last 2 minutes. Take out the beets, cut them in smaller cubes and serve on warm quinoa with the kale, dressed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and soaked sunflower seeds.
Some people dislike the way beets will stain your hands when handled. I would recommend using golden beets, which pack all the nutritional punch without the red dye. Besides, the stain will only last a few hours. What about you, how do you like to eat your beets?
Suleyka Montpetit is the managing editor or Everyday Ayurveda.She has studied Yoga, Communications and Spiritual Paths for over 15 years and has been a Mover and a Shaker, writing, editing and website building.
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