Next time you buy a bunch of beets, sauté, boil or steam the leafy green tops for a low-calorie nutritious side dish. Beet greens are rich in potassium, calcium, vitamin A and other minerals and vitamins. They also contain high amounts of lutein and beta-carotene; both are antioxidants that help keep eyes and skin healthy. The slightly sweet taste of beet greens makes a good addition to salads and stir fry or as a steamed or sautéed side dish to meat, fish or on pasta.
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Beet greens are sold either with the beets or without. If you like beets, you'll get two dishes out of the deal. Cut the greens from the beets and wash in cold water. Pat the greens dry. Store them in the refrigerator inside a resealable plastic bag lined with paper towels. Use within one week. Use fresh, raw beet greens in a mixed salad. Cut stems away and tear leaves into bite-sized pieces. Toss them into a salad with other greens.
Put beet greens, with stems, in a steamer basket over boiling water. Steam for seven minutes or until tender. Remove from the heat source and drain. Put hot greens in a bowl, add a small bit of butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve hot.
For sautéed beet greens, remove stems and cut the leaves in half. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil, one clove of chopped garlic and one small chopped onion in a pan. Cook garlic and onion until soft. Add in beet greens and sauté for 10 minutes, or until the greens look wilted. Serve sprinkled with salt and pepper.
Add beet greens to soups, stir fry or any other recipe that uses greens. Mix beet greens in with a stir fry of other vegetables. Add soy sauce and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until the beet greens are wilted. Add beet greens to canned vegetable soup for a nutritional boost. Remove stems and add leaves to pot with tinned soup. Simmer for 15 minutes. Put beet greens in ½ cup of hot chicken broth and cover. Let greens cook for 15 minutes. Then add 2 tbsp of orange juice. Cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add salt and pepper and serve.
Tips and warnings
- Beet greens are a tad high in sodium. If you're watching your sodium intake, try a lower-sodium green, like kale.
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