I used to detest beets. They tasted like dirt to me and it was a childhood hatred that followed me into adulthood. Until I tried a raw beet salad at a friend's house one day.
It was delicious. Sweet and bright and completely enjoyable.
After that, I set out to figure out just how many ways I could use raw beets. They're so much tastier than cooked ones and the perfect addition to the vegan diet. Beets can help protect your body against cancer and heart disease and they are absolutely packed with vitamins and minerals. On top of that, they are carbs, so they can give you a nice healthy boost in energy while nourishing your body.
Here are some of my favorite ways to use my raw beets.
This is the salad that turned me onto the delights of these raw veggies.
1 beet, peeled and grated 1 large carrot, grated 3 stalks celery, chopped 1 red pepper, minced 1 lime
Toss all the ingredients together and squeeze the lime over the salad before serving.
Beets with Pine Nut Spread
These make awesome snacks for company, especially if you use striped beets.
2 beets, sliced across 2 c. pine nuts 2 cloves garlic 2-3 Tblsp. olive oil salt
Blend pine nuts, oil and garlic until a thick paste is formed. Spread it on the beet slices and top with another beet slice to make a sandwich.
I know what you're thinking. This doesn't sound vegan. But it is! You can use soy or coconut yogurt. I prefer soy, myself.
1 Tblsp. dill, minced 1 beet, peeled and grated fine 1 garlic clove, mashed 1 tsp. lemon juice 1 c. vegan yogurt, Greek style salt
Mix all the ingredients together and season to taste. This is even better the next day! I use it in wraps and as a dip for tortilla chips or veggie sticks.
What's your favorite way to use beets?
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.