Beets are a root crop like radishes. Beets are high in potassium, folacin, and fiber, yet low in calories. Their edible leaves offer protein, calcium, fiber, beta carotene, vitamins A and C, and some B vitamins. They’re known in the arena of natural healing for their ability to purify the blood and the liver.
Swiss chard is actually a beet. The stems and leaves of Swiss Chard are eaten as lettuce, but most don’t know there is a beet root under the ground. Beets can be eaten raw, boiled, steamed, roasted, and sauteed.
Remember that the greens and the stems are not only edible, but tasty and good for you, too. Prepare the greens as close to the purchase time as possible to retain all those health benefits. Wash them thoroughly, and coarsely chop. Pack them into a smaller saucepan than you might think you need–one bunch of beet greens cooks down to practically nothing! Add enough water to cover the bottom of the saucepan by 1/2″. Squeeze in the juice of one half lemon and add a little salt. Cook uncovered over high heat, which allows some of the oxalic acid in the greens to escape, a desirable process, since oxalic acid inhibits the absorption of calcium contained in the greens.
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