Did you know every part of this beautiful maroon colored root vegetable is edible?
So, think again before you toss those leaves and stems growing from your beets.
You might be throwing away the nutritional powerhouse as well as steering away from one of the most delicious gift given by Our Mother Earth.
In 1 cup of beet greens there are:
|Net Carbs||1 net carb (that’s 7 grams of carbs minus 6 grams of fiber)|
Surprisingly, when I talked with people about beet greens, I discovered that not many were aware of their existence as an edible vegetable, let alone their delightful taste. This lack of awareness largely contributes to the greens being discarded and ending up in the garbage.
On one occasion, while visiting a local grocery market during the non-busy hours, I noticed the cashier lending a helping hand to the employee responsible for the produce section. The scene that unfolded before my eyes looked like a crime scene—a pair of petite ladies were ruthlessly severing the stems and leaves from a box of beetroots.
Intrigued and slightly appalled, I approached them and casually inquired, “Why are you doing this? Are you planning to sell the beet greens separately?”
To my surprise, one of them replied, “No, the stems and leaves will be tossed out.”
Dismay washed over me, and I asked if I could discuss this matter with their manager. There had to be a better way to handle this abundant resource.
The manager initially seemed perplexed by my request, but as I explained that beet greens could be sold just like kale and spinach, a glimmer of understanding appeared in his eyes. It was an opportunity waiting to be seized.
From that point on, whenever I visited the market, I would find beetroots proudly accompanied by their verdant greens and stems. Sometimes, they were even thoughtfully packaged separately for sale. I felt a sense of gratification knowing that I had played a small part in reducing the wastage of this bountiful gift from Mother Earth.
How to prep beet greens for cooking
After procuring the vibrant beet greens, it is crucial to dedicate ample attention to their preparation. Begin by thoroughly washing both the greens and the stems, ensuring the removal of any lingering traces of dirt or impurities.
Equally important is familiarizing oneself with the proper culinary techniques for this versatile vegetable. To successfully cook beet greens, it is essential to understand the distinction between the tender greens and the firmer stems.
Beet greens and stems cut separately
When it comes to cooking, it is advisable to start with the stems before proceeding to the greens. The stems require a bit more time to soften, and by cooking them first, we ensure even cooking throughout the vegetable, resulting in a harmonious blend of flavors. This method allows for the ultimate taste experience, maximizing the delicious potential of this remarkable ingredient.
How to make stir fried Beet Greens
Once you have prepped the greens, gather all ingredients and let’s get started.
Heat up a pan with a drizzle of oil.
Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle.
Now, it’s time to add minced garlic and chopped green chilies, infusing the pan with a touch of spiciness.
Let them fry for a short while until the chilies soften and the garlic turns golden brown.
If you want an Indian spicy kick, you can add red chilli powder and turmeric powder at this point and fry for 15 seconds. This is totally optional. It will still taste heavenly if you opt out of it.
Introduce the chopped beet stems to the pan, letting them cook and become tender. It should take about 5 minutes for them to reach the perfect texture.
Next, add the beet greens and give everything a good mix. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, allowing the flavors to blend beautifully.
Season with salt to your liking, ensuring a balanced taste that satisfies your palate.
Finish off by garnishing the dish with freshly chopped cilantro, adding a pop of color and a hint of freshness.
Serve this delightful creation hot with rice or roti, and relish in the simple pleasure it brings to your taste buds.
Recipe tips to make the most of your beet greens
With the following tips in mind, you can make the most out of your beet greens and create delicious dishes that highlight their unique flavors and nutritional value.
- Freshness is Key: When selecting beet greens, opt for ones that are vibrant in color and have crisp stems. This ensures that you are starting with the freshest and most flavorful greens.
- Thorough Washing: Beet greens can often be sandy or gritty, so it’s important to give them a thorough wash. Rinse them under cool water and gently rub the leaves to remove any dirt or debris.
- Stem and Leaf Separation: Before cooking, separate the beet stems from the leaves. The stems are denser and require a bit more cooking time, while the leaves cook quickly.
- Flavor Enhancers: Add extra flavor to your beet greens by incorporating ingredients like chopped onions, cumin powder or pinch of asafoetida. These additions complement the natural earthy taste of the greens. Again, these are optional and you can try other flavors you like to make this recipe more delicious for you.
- Experiment with Seasonings: Feel free to experiment with various seasonings to suit your taste. Try a squeeze of lemon juice to enhance the flavors further.
- Balance the Salt: Beet greens can benefit from a touch of salt to enhance their natural flavors. Remember to taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly, but be mindful not to overdo it.
- Enjoy the Nutritional Benefits: Beet greens are packed with nutrients, so savor them knowing that you’re nourishing your body. They are a great source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals like iron and calcium.
Frequently Asked Questions and their Answers
These FAQs and their corresponding answers should provide additional insights and guidance for preparing this beet greens recipe.
Q: Can I use other types of greens instead of beet greens in this recipe?
A: While this recipe is specifically designed for beet greens, you can certainly try using other leafy greens like spinach or Swiss chard as a substitute. Just keep in mind that the cooking time may vary slightly, so adjust accordingly.
Q: Can I make this recipe without garlic and green chillies?
A: Yes, if you prefer a milder flavor or don’t have garlic and green chillies on hand, you can omit them. The recipe will still turn out delicious, as the natural taste of the beet greens will shine through.
Q: Can I add other vegetables or ingredients to enhance the dish?
A: Absolutely! Feel free to get creative and add other vegetables like bell peppers, onions, or mushrooms to the recipe. You can also experiment with additional seasonings such as herbs like thyme or spices like paprika to further enhance the flavors.
Q: Can I make this recipe vegan or vegetarian-friendly?
A: Yes, this recipe is already vegetarian-friendly as it does not include any meat. To make it vegan, ensure that the oil you use for cooking is plant-based and skip any garnishes like cheese. You can also consider adding plant-based protein sources like tofu or chickpeas to make it more filling.
Q: Can I prepare this recipe in advance and reheat it later?
A: While it’s best to enjoy this recipe fresh for optimal flavor and texture, you can certainly prepare it in advance and reheat it when needed. Simply store the cooked beet greens in an airtight container in the refrigerator and gently reheat them on the stovetop or in the microwave when you’re ready to serve.
Q: Can I adjust the cooking time if I prefer my greens to be more tender or crisp?
A: Absolutely! Cooking time can be adjusted according to personal preference. If you prefer your beet greens to be more tender, you can cook them for a few minutes longer. If you prefer them to retain some crispness, reduce the cooking time slightly. Remember to taste and check the texture as you cook to achieve your desired doneness.
Beet Greens chi Bhaaji or Stir Fried Beet Greens
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- Begin by heating some oil in a pan over medium heat.
- Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle for a few seconds.
- Next, toss in the garlic and chopped green chillies.
- Sauté them for about 30 seconds or until the chillies are cooked through and the garlic turns a delightful golden brown.
- Now, introduce the chopped stems to the pan and mix well. Cook everything together until the stems become tender, which typically takes around 5 minutes.
- Once the stems have reached their desired tenderness, add the green leaves to the pan and give everything a thorough mix. Let them cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
- Season the dish with salt to suit your taste preferences, and give it a final toss to incorporate the seasoning.
- To add a finishing touch of freshness, garnish with chopped cilantro.