Beets, along with the leaves, belong to the amaranth family. In that family, there are other greens like spinach, kale, white atriplex and other wild plants, all included in the dark green leafy vegetables.
Because it grows quickly and copes well with low temperatures, beet cultivation began as early as 2, 000 years ago, first in the Mediterranean region. The Babylonians cultivated it in the 8th century and in China about 850 years after the new era it was already a known culture.
The beet is of primary culinary interest, although the Romans at first used only the leaves for food and left the fruit for medicinal purposes. Today, the leaves are also eaten, mostly for salads and garnishes. They also make a good vegetable broth. They are best consumed within 2-3 days after being stored in the refrigerator.
What are the health benefits of beetroot leaves?
The body can get many useful nutrients from them. Protein and fiber are obtained in good quantities from salad or beetroot soup, but also phosphorus and zinc. Antioxidants are in good supply in these leaves, as well as vitamins - B6, A, C, K. Microelements - magnesium, potassium, copper, manganese, beta carotene. The good news is that fat is low, as well as bad cholesterol. The leaves have a higher nutritional value than the beets and the iron in them is excellent. In the green part of the vegetable, benefits for the whole organism can be found and together they offer excellent dishes for the table.
What can beet leaves be used for?
Green beetroot leaves can be used in cooking, processed or fresh in a salad. Another way to extract nutrients from them is by juicing them.
Culinary ideas with beetroot leaves
A standard green salad can be varied by tearing the beet leaves without the veins, drizzling them with olive oil and lemon juice and adding walnuts, cheese or boiled chicken.
Steamed beetroot or spinach leaves, finely chopped, sprinkled with olive oil and soy sauce can be spread on a slice as a vegetarian snack.
Beetroot leaves make an excellent combination with eggs. An omelette can be made with the green leafy vegetable or beet leaf quiche for dinner.
Steamed, the dark green leaves make a beautiful colorful filling in lasagna and can also be served with seafood.
Green shake of beetroot leaves with selected fruit and water will bring freshness in summer.
Properly selected foods are also excellent medicine and this is their great importance.