how to cook beets & beet greens

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’

Happy MLK, everyone!  Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the most memorable heroic icons to me because of his humanitarianism and ability to influence positive thoughts in people.  He didn’t wait for somebody else to make history; he took it upon himself to protect what he believed in today, not tomorrow. Such an inspiration.

Over a month ago, I made a post featuring the meal I made with unusual and usual ingredients from a Farm Fresh To You delivery.  Getting a box of fresh produce sent to your door is an exciting and convenient way to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your meals.  I thought I should share the recipe with you guys since I posted pictures of the meal.  I made the recipe again recently and I ended up preparing the beet greens as an additional side dish to 1) not waste food and 2) have more veggies.  Since I received many compliments on the sautéed beet greens after a holiday party, I had to share it.  Sorry, pictures of the beet greens are missing!  Potlucks and holiday parties are always ladened with high carbohydrate and high fat dishes.  It isn’t rare that almost everyone forgets to bring a healthy, veggie dish.  I love having as many veggies as I can with each meal for the fiber, phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.  My goal is to always encourage eating more vegetables, and it doesn’t stop just because it’s a special occasion.  There’s always some occasion, some event, some dinner to push off making healthy choices.   The only way to keep your health is to maintain healthy habits, constantly and consistently, and practicing them today, not tomorrow.

Sharing this recipe or any vegetable recipe is very important to me because I like to emphasize on the steam method of cooking vegetables.  Steaming is one of the best cooking methods, especially for vegetables, as it preserves more nutrients, taste, texture, and flavor than  boiling or sautéing.  The steam heats the plant just enough to soften the texture without killing all the nutrients.  Unfortunately, boiling is a common go-to cooking method for vegetables and that’s the worst way to keep nutrients intact!  If you were to boil a bunch of beets in water, the water would eventually turn into a dark red or fuchsia colored pool as a result of the natural antioxidant in the plant leaching out.  This can also be seen when boiling carrots or ube – the water is tinted with an orange and purple hue, respectively.  And even though it can’t be seen with other vegetables that aren’t as highly pigmented, healthy nutrients are still draining away when the boiling method is used.

recipe - beets and basil

How to cook beets & basil

+ 2 lb beets
+ one bunch basil leaves
+ one lemon wedge
+ salt & pepper to taste
+ one tsp of balsamic vinegar (option)

To prepare:
+ separate beet bulbs from leafy greens
+ cut off tops and bottom of bulb
+ cook bulbs in a steamer for 20 minutes {closed lid}
+ remove beets from steamer pot and slice the way you like (quarters or thin slices)
+ chop basil and mix with beets in a bowl
+ squeeze lemon over and season with salt and pepper

+ Roast beets in the oven at 450F for 45 minutes instead of steaming

How to sauté beet greens

+ green leaves of 2 lb. beets
+ 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
+ salt & pepper
+ 4 garlic cloves

To prepare:
+ remove beet greens from stems and chop
+ mince garlic cloves
+ heat olive oil on medium heat then add garlic until aroma
+ lower heat to avoid burning garlic
+ add chopped greens and sauté for 5 minutes {avoid overcooking}
+ add salt and pepper to taste

To serve:
+ serve separately or with beets and basil; do not mix dishes together because the garlic taste may be overwhelming for your guests



3 thoughts on “how to cook beets & beet greens

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