Welcome to 2015! The start of a new year is a great time to try some fruits or vegetables that you haven’t had before. After reading some research about beets and their effect on endurance exercise, I decided to give them a go. One study in particular found that participants doing a 5k treadmill trial had a lower rate of perceived exertion throughout the run – sounds good to me! My mom and I have a trail race in a new place coming up, and I figure introducing beets into my diet before the trip can’t hurt.
I bought a bunch of beets at the grocery store and was overwhelmed with the amount of greens atop this root vegetable. So much foliage! After a little chat with my friend who works in the produce department (he dismissed beets as “disgusting”) I decided to cook up the beets AND greens, and promised to let him know how they would turn out…pressure’s on.
Roasted Beets with Sautéed Greens & Onions
- Beets (the bunch I bought had 3 medium/large)
- Olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Wash the beets and cut off the roots/greens. Place on a cookie sheet lined with a large sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle the beets with olive oil, then fold in the sides of the foil and pinch the sides to create a pouch. Roast the beets in the oven for about 45 minutes (they should be fork tender). Remove from the oven and let cool. After the beets have cooled, use a pairing knife (or your hands) to remove the peel. It comes off very easily, but I may try peeling the beets before roasting next time because this step got messy!
For the greens:
- Beet greens
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1/4 red onion, sliced
Wash and trim the beet greens. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, add the olive oil and minced garlic. Add the red onion and sauté until the onions cook and become tender. After a few minutes, add the beet greens to the skillet and cover. Let the greens cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until wilted, stirring occasionally.
Roasted Beets with Sautéed Greens and Onions: Tara Tested, Tara Approved! I served the beets on top of the greens and onions with some crumbled feta cheese, salt, and pepper. YUM! I wasn’t sure what to expect as I’ve heard mixed reviews about beets, but I thought this dish was rather tasty. To me, the beet greens tasted a lot like sautéed spinach, and the feta cheese paired nicely with the beets! I’m eager to add beets to a regular green salad or maybe serve them up with some roasted sweet potato. What new foods have you tried so far in this new year?!
The study mentioned above “Whole Beetroot Consumption Acutely Improves Running Performance” was published in the April 2012 issue of Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.