Love ’em or hate ’em – these beautiful beets are super versatile for salads, sides and even burgers! I will admit that we often buy the pre-cooked version simply out of convenience. When it comes to food decisions, there is always a battle between time, health, cost and convenience. However, if buying beets pre-cooked makes you eat them more often, it is certainly something I would encourage!
I often get the question – “Aren’t beets high in sugar?” Most root vegetables, including beets do have more carbohydrates than our greens, but I would not consider beets a high sugar food as long as you have a reasonable portion. A 3/4 cup or 100g cooked serving has about 40 calories and only 6 grams of sugar.
Beets get their vibrant red-purple colour from a group of phytonutrients called betalains. These unique plant chemicals have been shown to provide anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxification support. To reap the most benefit from the betalains, try quartering your beets and steaming for no more than 15 minutes. Despite their hard and rough appearance, the betalains are quite delicate and can leach into the water if boiled for too long. For more detailed information on this go to wh foods or Jen Reviews
Beets are also naturally high in nitrates, which the body turns into nitric oxide. I know this sounds scary, but it is actually beneficial for relaxing our smooth muscles, making our blood less ‘sticky’ and opening up the arteries. If you’re looking for a healthy and natural way to “beet” high blood pressure, I would start integrating this bright purple vegetable more often in your diet! Just watch out for the purple pee – this is actually a medical term called “beet-urea”. It is not harmful, just a reminder that you had some beets 😉
- 7-8 beets, small to medium in size
- 2 cups oats
- 1 onion, chopped
- ¼ cup feta cheese
- ½ cup egg whites
- 2-3 T liquid smoke
- 2 T garlic, minced (about 4-6 cloves)
- 2 T soy sauce or gluten free tamari
- *optional: salt, pepper, fresh herbs (basil)
- Pulse beets, oats, onion, and garlic in a blender or food processor. The idea is to create a beet pulp or puree type consistency.
- In a large bowl, combine the oats, soy sauce, egg whites, feta cheese and liquid smoke.
- Add in the beet pulp, and mix well. Let stand at least 20-30 minutes in the fridge to allow the flavours to blend well.
- Place parchment paper on a baking sheet. Use an ice cream scoop, measuring cup or simply get your hands dirty to make 12 burger patties.
- Fry in a non-stick or oiled pan for about 7-10 minutes per side on medium heat. Watch closely as these will burn if left for too long!
- For freezer prep, simply freeze the patties directly on the parchment/baking tray until hard. Place the patties in a freezer safe ziplock bag or container for future use.
This recipe uses simple ingredients and can be put together fairly quickly if the beets are ready to go. I must give credit where credit is deserved, and I have to thank my friend and client Erinn at Pink’s Pantry for this amazing creation.
The only obscure ingredient is the “liquid smoke”. If you don’t have it – go buy it! The liquid smoke really does make or break this recipe. The smell is absolutely incredible and it makes the flavour of these burgers taste more like ‘meat’. In fact, once the ingredients are mixed together, the pulp actually looks like ground beef!