Beets deserve more respect than being thrown into the dining hall line without a second thought. Did you know that this versatile root was used to dye hair in the Victorian era? While we aren’t endorsing any drastic hair makeovers, we do think beets are awesome.
Plus, beets come in all shapes, sizes, and even colors so you’ll never get bored. Read on to discover why nothing beats beets.
1. Beets make everything pink.
Beets are pretty and Instagramable. They can make your sludge-green power smoothie a nice shade of purple. Plus, pink muffins and chocolate cake made with beets are a thing. The possibilities are endless.
For naturally pink lemonade: just boil some chopped up beets with a few tablespoons of the concentrated beet water, two juiced lemons, a cup of water, and a few tablespoons of sugar to taste. Yum.
2. Beets are forgiving, no matter how bad you are at cooking.
Even if you can’t boil pasta, I guarantee you can cook beets. Beets are great sliced with mozzarella and basil, caprese-style, on top of a salad, and even dipped in blue cheese dressing.
The easiest method is simply to roast the hell out of them. Plus, since beets contain more water and sugar than other root vegetables, a long roast will actually concentrate the sugars and make them taste even sweeter.
Can’t get to an oven? You can microwave beets the same way you would a potato: 5 minute intervals on high until the beets are tender. Just make sure you pierce your beets with a knife or fork before nuking unless you’re writing a thesis on bomb kinematics and need test subjects…
3. They (almost) never go bad.
Beets are hardy root vegetables available year-round, though traditionally they’re stored and eaten through long, cold winters. As long as they are kept cool and dry, they won’t rot. And, unlike potatoes, you don’t have to worry about your beets sprouting all over.
To store your beets indefinitely, fill a tray with (clean and dry) sand and bury them within. You might get some strange looks, so alternatively, just stick your beets in a paper bag in the corner of your fridge. If you don’t have a fridge, anywhere cool and dry will work. Underneath your bed? Sure, we won’t tell.
4. Beets are cool.
Borscht. Say it with an Eastern European accent and we guarantee you’ll sound badass. It’s a soup packed with meat (traditionally beef), potatoes, a slew of veggies, and BEETS, which give borscht its signature pink-purple hue. (Yep, we’re cultured on world cuisine.)
Borscht is basically everything a hungry college student growing kid needs. Now your kale is jealous that it’ll never be this cool.
The pigments that give beets their color are actually a great source of betalains, nutrients that provide antioxidants, anti-inflammatory benefits, and detoxification support (i.e. good for your Sunday hangover).
Beets are also chock full of essential nutrients: potassium, dietary fiber, folate, and manganese, just to name a few. Studies have even suggested that beet juice may help lower blood pressure, so grab a glass of beet juice and drink to your health.
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