Beet Greens: Easy Recipes and Health Benefits You Need to Know

Beet Greens: Easy Recipes and Health Benefits You Need to Know

Beet greens, the leafy tops of beets, are packed with essential nutrients. One cup of boiled beet greens contains 39% of your daily value (DV) of vitamin A, 650% DV of vitamin K, and 60% DV of vitamin C. These greens also provide significant minerals, offering 27% DV of magnesium and 11% DV of potassium. Their high antioxidant content helps combat oxidative stress, supporting overall health. Including beet greens in your diet enhances nutrient intake efficiently.

The Relationship Between Beet Greens and Common Beets

Beet greens and common beets come from the same plant, Beta vulgaris. While the root, known as the beetroot, is often used in cooking and salads, the greens offer a unique nutritional profile. Both parts are edible, but beet greens are distinct in their nutrient density and flavor. Utilizing both beetroot and beet greens maximizes the plant’s benefits, offering versatile culinary and nutritional possibilities.

Preparing Beet Greens For Cooking

Cleaning and Storing Techniques

Rinse beet greens under cold running water to remove dirt and debris. Use a colander for better efficiency. If beet greens are especially dirty, soak them in a bowl of water for a few minutes. Shake off excess water, then pat the greens dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels.

Store beet greens in the refrigerator to keep them fresh. Wrap the cleaned, dry greens in a damp paper towel and place them in an airtight container or plastic bag. Use them within 3-5 days for optimal freshness.

Basic Preparation Methods

Trim the stems from the beet greens using a sharp knife. Separate the leaves from the tough stems. You can compost the stems or chop them finely to add to soups and stews.

For a simple saute, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the beet greens and cook, stirring frequently, until wilted, about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For steaming, place the beet greens in a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover and steam until tender, approximately 5 minutes. Steamed beet greens can be seasoned with lemon juice, olive oil, or a pinch of salt.

To incorporate into salads, blanch beet greens by dipping them in boiling water for 1-2 minutes, then transfer to ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain and use in your favorite salad recipes.

Simple and Delicious Beet Greens Recipes

Sauteed Beet Greens with Garlic and Olive Oil

Sautéing beet greens with garlic and olive oil creates a simple yet flavorful dish. Start by washing the beet greens thoroughly under cold water. Trim and chop the stems and leaves into bite-sized pieces. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 3 minced garlic cloves and cook for 1 minute, ensuring they don’t burn. Toss in the beet greens and stir to coat them in the oil. Sauté for 4-5 minutes until the greens are wilted and tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve as a nutritious side dish. The garlic and olive oil enhance the earthy flavor of the beet greens.

Beet Greens and Smoothies

Beet greens add a nutritional boost to smoothies. Use fresh, well-washed beet greens to avoid any bitterness. For a basic green smoothie, blend the following ingredients until smooth: 1 cup of beet greens, 1 banana, 1 cup of frozen berries, and 1 cup of almond milk. Optionally, add a tablespoon of chia seeds or a scoop of protein powder for extra nutrition. This smoothie provides vitamins and antioxidants from the beet greens and fruits. The sweeter ingredients mask the mild bitterness of the beet greens, creating a delicious and healthy beverage. Experiment with different fruits and liquids to find your preferred flavor.

Tips for Incorporating Beet Greens Into Meals

Breakfast Ideas

Incorporate beet greens into your morning routine by adding them to omelets or scrambled eggs. Chop the greens finely, then sauté them briefly before mixing them with beaten eggs. This boosts your breakfast with vitamins and minerals. Smoothies also make a great option. Blend beet greens with fruits like bananas and berries, adding a bit of yogurt or almond milk, for a nutrient-packed start to your day. Another idea is to mix beet greens into your favorite breakfast burrito. Combine them with beans, eggs, and cheese, wrapping the mixture in a whole-grain tortilla.

Dinner Ideas

Elevate your dinner by adding beet greens to soups, stews, and casseroles. They complement ingredients like beans and potatoes well. When preparing a stir-fry, include beet greens along with other vegetables and proteins. Their slightly bitter flavor adds depth to the dish. Pasta dishes also benefit from beet greens. Sauté them with garlic, olive oil, and a pinch of red pepper flakes, then toss them with cooked pasta and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Furthermore, beet greens add a nutritious punch to grain bowls. Combine them with quinoa or brown rice, roasted vegetables, and a lean protein source for a balanced meal.


Embracing beet greens in your diet is a simple yet powerful way to boost your nutritional intake. Their versatility means you can easily add them to a variety of dishes, from breakfast omelets to hearty dinners. Not only do they enhance the flavor of your meals, but they also provide a wealth of health benefits. So, the next time you buy beets, don’t discard those vibrant greens. Instead, get creative in the kitchen and enjoy the delicious and nutritious possibilities beet greens offer.

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