Just Beet It

Have you ever bought a fresh beet? They are so dull on the outside, but when you cut into them they are a bright pink-red color. And it looks like you are butchering something when you cut them. And no, they are not poisonous if you eat them raw.

Look at the knife… I immediately think of Dwight Schrute from The Office and his beet farm.

A few fun facts about beets:

  • Beets contain the antioxidant betalains which are highly detoxifying as long as you don’t cook them to death.
  • 10-15% of people pee a reddish color after eating beets and people with iron-related metabolism problems are more likely to experience this.
  • Beets may help reduce tumor growth.
  • Excellent source of folate and manganese.
  • Beets were used as a source of sugar in the 19th century.
  • The leaves are edible, but those prone to kidney stones should beware because the leaves are high in oxalates which may cause kidney stone formation.

Recipe Ideas:

I am not a big fan of beets. They are OK, but I wouldn’t choose to eat them unless they are shredded and pickled or have dressing. Mr Triathlete tried to use a beet when making homemade V8. Not sure that made a big difference. We still have the leftover beet sitting in the fridge (been sitting there for a while–probably has less antioxidants by now). I guess it’s time to make a salad out of it!

*Update on the beets:

Yesterday while bored and stuck in our small apt all day because of the ice and snow, Mr Triathlete decided to throw the rest of his failed V8 juice (made with beets) onto the snow:

It was hilarious. I think a bunch of dogs went up to it and tried to lick it. I wonder what the dogs’ owners thought it was. Looks gross.


  1. says

    Ahhh I love the wonderful nutritional powerhouses that beets are! However I can only take them in my smoothies. I tried making borscht for the first time the other day and I found it disgusting. Blech!

    • Maura says

      I make beet pancakes. I got the recipe from Mark Bittman’s ‘How to cook everything’….they are yummy.

      In this dish, butter is the fat of choice; it complements the beets perfectly. If you choose to substitute, use a neutral oil like canola rather than strong-tasting olive oil. The beet rosti must be cooked in a nonstick skillet, preferably one measuring 12 inches across. (If you have a 10-inch skillet, decrease the amount of beets from two pounds to one and a half; the quantities given for the other ingredients can remain the same.) And keep the heat moderate. Cooking too quickly will burn the sugary outside of the pancake while leaving the inside raw.

      Beets bleed and can easily stain clothing. Peel them over the sink, and wash the grater as soon as you are finished with it. Oh, and wear an apron.


      Time: 30 minutes

      2 pounds beets (3 very large or 4 to 6 medium)

      2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary

      Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

      1/2 cup flour

      2 tablespoons butter

      Minced parsley or a few rosemary leaves for garnish.

      1. Trim beets, and peel them as you would potatoes; grate them in food processor or by hand. Begin preheating 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat.

      2. Toss grated beets in bowl with rosemary, salt and pepper. Add about half the flour; toss well, add rest of flour, and toss again.

      3. Put butter in skillet; heat until it begins to turn nut-brown. Scrape beet mixture into skillet, and press with spatula to form a round. With medium to medium-high heat — the pancake should gently sizzle — cook, shaking pan occasionally, until bottom of cake is nicely crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Slide cake onto a plate, top with another plate, invert the two plates, and return cake to pan. Keep cooking, adjusting heat if necessary, until other side is browned, another 10 minutes or so. Garnish, cut into wedges, and serve hot or at room temperature.

      Yield: 4 servings.

  2. says

    I made a minestrone soup last fall and the recipe called for either beets, turnips, or rutabagas. I had beets… it turned the whole thing a bright red/pink color. My husband ate it, but never went back for seconds, stating that the color really confused his tastes.

  3. says

    Beets are gorgeous…never had them in a smoothie though. But you’re right unfortunatley they do come in the category of a high oxalate food which really should be avoided if you a prone to kidney stones.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>