Onions and garlic and….beet greens? Oh my!
In the past I would have discarded these dark leafy nutritional powerhouses, eating only the bulbous roots that I love. I turned up my nose at anything resembling a wilted green until my nephew served some collard greens at a family party.
To my surprise, they were pretty good. I had seconds!
If you, like my former self, don’t find the cooked version appealing, you can always enjoy the greens raw in a salad to reap the benefits, but if you’re ready to try something new, why wait?
Beet greens are a fine source of protein and are low in fat, carbohydrates and cholesterol.
The greens are even more nutrient-dense than the root itself. They are chock full of vitamins A, C and B6 which contribute to a healthy immune system and strong bones and help metabolize cholesterol. Their antioxidant properties help ward off cancer and heart disease. Vitamin K, also found here, plays a role in protein metabolism, contributes to bone health and is absolutely essential to proper blood clotting.
As if that weren’t enough, beet greens are rich in fiber, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, potassium, copper, manganese, calcium and iron.
And I’ve been missing out on all of that!
Well no more! Grab a large skillet (the greens will take a lot of room until they cook down) and let’s get started.
You may even find, as I do, that you’re getting a “two-for”… more food for the price of the bunch of beets, which is especially sweet if you spring for the organic version.
There are many recipes out there but this is my favorite right now:
- 5 or 6 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 medium or large onion, cut in half and sliced as thin as you like
- 1 (2″-3″) piece of smoked sausage, chopped tiny (a slice of chopped bacon would have been great, but hubby put it in the freezer and I couldn’t find it!)
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup dried cranberries (or a small apple, chopped)
- 1 bunch beet greens, separated from large stems and torn into pieces.
- Chop the stems into about 1″-2″ pieces to use as well.
- 1-2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat skillet on medium and add olive oil. Toss in the garlic, onion, sausage and chopped stems. Cook till onions are softened and stems are tender-crisp.
- Add leaves and cranberries to the other veggies and cook till greens are wilted, occasionally flipping with tongs. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Store leftovers in the fridge for two to three days.
That’s it! Go and be healthy!