How to eat beetroot leaves

There is no need to throw your beetroot tops away! Instead, read this article on why and how to eat beetroot leaves for a nutritious and healthy addition to your meals, hot or cold!


a bunch of beetroots and their leaves
photo by Emma Jane Hobden

When it comes to healthy eating, we often find ourselves focusing on the usual suspects like kale, spinach, and broccoli. But let’s not forget about the humble beetroot tops and the leafy greens that often get overlooked.

Not only are beetroot tops a nutritious addition to your diet, but they also offer a unique and earthy flavour that can elevate your meals. Eaten raw or cooked, beetroot leaves, with a few added extras, make a truly delicious and vibrant side dish or nutritious addition to your meals.

So read on to understand why you should start eating your beetroot leaves, How to store them, some suggestions for the best way to use them and my simple and easy beetroot top recipe which is incredibly versatile and so easy to make.


What are the health benefits of beetroot tops?

Before we delve into the many culinary possibilities, let’s look at the nutritional benefits of beetroot tops. These vibrant greens are a rich source of vitamins and minerals that can do wonders for your health.

Vitamins Galore – Beetroot tops are brimming with essential vitamins, particularly vitamin K, which supports bone health, and vitamin A, which is excellent for your vision.

Mineral Boost – They also contain minerals like potassium and magnesium, essential for maintaining healthy blood pressure and muscle function.

Fibre for Digestion – If you’re looking to improve your digestion and keep your blood sugar levels stable, the fibre in beetroot tops can really help. Fibre helps slow down the absorption of sugars, preventing those unwanted spikes and crashes.

chopped beetroot leaves

How does eating beetroot leaves help to reduce food waste?

One of the most compelling reasons to embrace beetroot tops is their role in reducing food waste. Food waste is a crucial step toward a more sustainable and responsible approach to food consumption. It’s a sustainable choice that not only benefits your health but also contributes to a greener planet. By using beetroot tops, you’re making the most of every part of the vegetable, and that’s something worth celebrating!


Storing your beetroots and beetroot tops

a bunch of beetroots with their tops

As soon as you get your beetroot home, chop the bulb from the beetroot tops.

Wash the stalk and leaves in cold water and pat dry.

  • Store your beetroots and leaves in the fridge
    • The bulb – I like to put them in a paper bag just to stop the mud from going everywhere.
    • The beetroot tops – I like to put them into a sealable, reusable bag to help keep them fresher for longer

Love beetroots then make sure to try these delicious beetroot recipes too:


The best way to eat beetroot leaves

Beetroot leaves, also known as beet greens or beetroot tops are not only packed with nutrition, another way to avoid food waste but are incredibly versatile as they can be enjoyed raw, cooked, hot or cold.

Here is a common question that gets asked about eating beetroot leaves raw:

Can I eat beetroot tops raw?

Yes, you can absolutely eat beetroot tops (the leafy greens) raw. Beetroot tops have a mildly earthy and slightly bitter flavour that can add a delightful twist to your salads or other dishes when consumed in their raw form.

When consuming beetroot tops raw, make sure to wash them thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris. Also, consider starting with a small amount to ensure that you enjoy the taste and texture before incorporating them into larger portions of your meals.

But my favourite way to really enjoy this nutritious vegetable is to simply saute (lightly fry) them adding a few flavours to the pan that really enhance their flavour.


What you will need for the perfect sauteed beetroot leaves

  • Beetroot tops
    • Packed with vitamins and minerals, including iron, protein, calcium, potassium, vitamin C and fibre.
  • Shallot
    • A variety of onion
    • I like to use chopped frozen shallots
    • If you can’t get shallots then use a small onion instead
  • Garlic
    • I always have a packet of chopped garlic in the freezer as I can’t always be bothered to crush or chop a fresh clove
    • You can of course use fresh
    • Adds a garlicky earthiness to the vegetables
  • Lemon
    • Adds an extra zing and freshness
    • Also gives another kick of vitamin C
  • Salt and Pepper
    • Essential seasoning

sautéed beetroot tops in a pan with lemon being squeezed on them

How to make sauteed beetroot leaves

This side dish really couldn’t be quicker and easier to make.

Start by heating a little extra virgin olive oil or rapeseed oil in a frying pan and add the chopped shallots and garlic. Fry them until softened and slightly brown.

Then add the chopped beetroot tops and gently fry for another few minutes until they begin to soften.

Remove them from the heat and season really well with lots of salt and pepper. Stir through the lemon juice and serve immediately.


How can I use beetroot tops in my meals?

Here are a few suggestions I like to enjoy beetroot leaves either raw or sauteed

  1. Salads – Chop or tear the beetroot tops into bite-sized pieces and toss them in your salads. Or leave the Sauted beetroot to cool before adding them. They can add a unique flavour and texture to your greens.
  2. Smoothies – If you’re a fan of green smoothies, consider adding a handful of beetroot tops to your blender along with other fruits and vegetables. They can provide a nutritious boost to your morning or post-workout smoothie.
  3. Sandwiches and Wraps – Use whole beetroot leaves as a lettuce substitute in sandwiches and wraps. They’ll add a crunchy, slightly peppery element to your meal.
  4. Side Dish – serve them as a side dish alongside your favourite protein, toss them into pasta dishes, or even pile them onto a pizza for a vibrant twist.
  5. Beetroot Top Pesto – Elevate your pasta game by blending sautéed beetroot tops with garlic, nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil to create a vibrant pesto sauce. It’s a unique twist on a classic favourite.
  6. Garnish: Sprinkle finely chopped beetroot tops on top of soups, omelettes, or other dishes as a fresh and colourful garnish.

Diabetes Note

This is a super nutritious and totally carb count free side dish. So enjoy!

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Sautéed Beetroot Tops

Sautéed Beetroot Tops

Recipe by Michelle

Simply sauteed for an amazingly tasty and nutritious vegetable side or addition to your meals

Course: Salads u0026 SidesCuisine: BritishDifficulty: Very Easy
0.0 from 0 votes
Servings

2

servings
Prep time

5

minutes
Cooking time

5

minutes
Total time

10

minutes
Cook Mode

Keep the screen of your device on

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch 1 beetroot tops, roughly chopped

  • 1 small 1 shallot or 1 tbsp frozen, chopped

  • 1 clove 1 garlic, or 1tsp frozen, chopped

  • 1/2 1/2 lemon, squeezed

Directions

  • Heat a little olive or rapeseed oil in a frying pan and add the chopped shallots and garlic. Fry until softened and slightly brown.
  • Add the chopped beetroot tops and gently fry for another few minutes until softening.
  • Remove from the heat. Season really well with lots of salt and pepper. Stir through the lemon juice and serve immediately.

Tips and Notes

  • Using frozen onions, shallots or garlic to make this even quicker to bring together.
  • Diabetes Note – Healthy Nutritious and totally diabetic carb count fre

Michelle Rorke avatar

AUTHOR

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