I recently heard about an easy way to grow fresh beet greens at home. Check it out!
1. Buy a bunch of beets with the tops still attached.
2. Trim the greens off (and please use them for cooking! They are delicious in soup, such as this Creamy Fennel and Greens Soup or quickly sauteed like spinach. By the way, the stalks are wonderful chopped up and cooked like onions. Waste not, want not, right?)
3. Cut off the top of the beets, LEAVING AT LEAST 1/2 INCH OF BEET ROOT
4. Set them cut-side down in a dish of water and leave in a sunny spot in your house. The below image shows how the beet greens grew over the course of just one week. I think I’ll pick some now!
And lastly, some fun beet facts:
- Beets belong to the chenopod botanical family, which also includes chard, spinach and (oddly enough) quinoa.
- Red and yellow beets are a rich source of betalain pigments and epoxyxanthophyll carotenoids, both phytonutrients that have been studied for their beneficial effects on the human nervous system and eye health. Two of these compounds, betanin and vulgaxanthin, have shown antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in the body.
- Beets are high in folate (one of the B vitamins) and many minerals, including magnesium and iron.
- About 10-14% of us will experience “beeturia” (when your pee is tinted red-orange) after eating beets. This is not harmful, but can certainly be frightening when you’ve forgotten about eating beets!*
- Some research suggests that beeturia is most common if you are deficient in iron.
Have you grown beet greens at home before? In the comments below, let me know if you have tried and how it went. If you have never tried, do you think you’ll give it a shot?
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~The Pilates Nutritionist