Beets are getting a lot of attention for being a unique source of ‘betalains’, phytonutrients that are known for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification supportive properties. To ensure that you get these benefits when enjoying your beets, keep your steaming times to 15 minutes or less and your roasting times to 1 hour or less, as the betalain concentration diminishes with heat exposure.
Beets are an excellent source of folate and a very good source of manganese, potassium, and copper. They are also a good source of dietary fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin C, iron, and vitamin B6.
Folate is a water soluble B vitamin, critical for the normal development and function of our brain. This is why foods like cereals are fortified with folic acid, the synthetic form. A folate deficiency has been associated with an increased risk in cardiovascular disease. Beets provide a sweet and natural source of folate.
Steam beets for 15 minutes to maximize their nutrition and flavor. Fill the bottom of the steamer with 2 inches of water and bring to a rapid boil. Add beets, cover, and steam for 15 minutes. Beets are cooked when you can easily insert a fork or the tip or knife into the beet. Serve on top of a salad or sprinkle balsamic on top and serve as a vegetable side dish.