“Would you like me to cut off the greens, miss?” said the man at the market. He was referring to the greens connected to my beets. “No sir!!” I yelled back. The beet greens are one of my favorite greens and not only do they taste great, they boast many health benefits. Loaded with iron, vitamin K, vitamin A, folate, potassium, calcium and fiber, these greens are versatile and can be used like any other green. I love my beet greens in salads or in place of kale, collards or spinach in beans and greens or other dishes. Beets in general are high in anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals, and the good news is they are generally good all year round!
Substances in beets help the liver to get rid of toxins. The liver is an organ in our body that helps to get rid of excess toxins or other harmful substances. It also produces bile, which helps to digest fat as well as eliminate toxins. The gallbladder serves as a reservoir for bile release. When something goes wrong, a gallbladder attack can occur with or without the formation of gallstones and can be very painful. Beets and beet greens can help to thin the bile if thickened, allowing your body to utilize the bile and digest fat more efficiently. Beets also contain betaine, which helps to promote regeneration of liver cells and flow of bile. Nutrients in beets and beet greens are essential for detox.
So next time you have the option of keeping those greens or tossing them in the trash, remember the benefits they can serve for your overall health!
Below is one of my classic favorite dishes. Beans and Greens! Enjoy.
1/2 cups garbanzo, cannellini or navy beans
1/4 cup sliced white onion
2 garlic cloves, chopped
dash crushed red pepper ( optional)
4 cups kale, spinach, collard greens, beet greens or combination)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 fresh lemon
In a medium sauté pan, in order, add beans, onion, chopped garlic, crushed red pepper and kale. Top with garlic powder and olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Turn heat on and cover for about 3-5 minutes or until greens start to wilt. Remove cover and stir. Continue to cook until greens are wilted and beans begin to brown. Turn heat off and evenly squeeze juice of lemon on top. Serve.