The healthiest way to cook beets is to cook them lightly. Studies show beets' concentration of phytonutrients, such as betalains, is diminished by heat. We recommend healthy steaming beets for 15 minutes to maximize their nutrition and flavor.
They resemble Swiss chard, and can be prepared similarly. They are packed with essential nutrients that support your body's immune system and help strengthen your bones. They are nutritious as they are rich in Vitamin K, copper, manganese, iron and calcium, but they are great for maintaining a healthy weight, as they contain zero saturated fat and cholesterol. An excellent source of potassium, which is vital to your heart and digestive tract, beet greens also contain magnesium to maintain normal nerve and muscle functions.
Colorful Beet Salad with Carrot & Quinoa
½ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1 cup frozen organic edamame
⅓ cup slivered almonds or pepitas (green pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds)
1 medium raw beet, peeled
1 medium-to-large carrot (or 1 additional medium beet), peeled
2 cups packed baby spinach, salad mix or arugula, roughly chopped (opt. add finely chopped dark leafy greens like beet, chard, kale, etc.)
1 avocado, cubed
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint or cilantro
2 tablespoons honey, maple syrup or agave nectar
½ to 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, to taste
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
To cook the quinoa: First, rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh colander under running water for a minute or two. In a medium-sized pot, combine the rinsed quinoa and 1 cup water. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then cover the pot, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the quinoa from heat and let it rest, still covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover the pot, drain off any excess water and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Set it aside to cool.
To cook the edamame: Bring a pot of water to boil, then add the frozen edamame and cook just until the beans are warmed through, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
To toast the almonds or pepitas: In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the almonds or pepitas, stirring frequently, until they are fragrant and starting to turn golden on the edges, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large serving bowl to cool.
To prepare the beet(s) and/or carrot: First of all, feel free to just chop them as finely as possible using a sharp chef’s knife OR grate them on a box grater. If you have a spiralizer, you can spiralize them using blade C, then chop the ribbons into small pieces using a sharp chef’s knife. If you have a mandoline and julienne peeler (this is a pain), use the mandoline to julienne the beet and use a julienne peeler to julienne the carrot, then chop the ribbons into small pieces using a sharp chef’s knife.
To prepare the vinaigrette: Whisk together all of the ingredients until emulsified.
To assemble the salad: In your large serving bowl, combine the toasted almonds/pepitas, cooked edamame, prepared beet(s) and/or carrot, roughly chopped spinach/arugula (see note above about leftovers), cubed avocado and cooked quinoa.
Finally, drizzle dressing over the mixture (you might not need all of it) and gently toss to combine. You’ll end up with a pink salad if you toss it really well! Season to taste with salt (up to an additional ¼ teaspoon) and black pepper. Serve.