Beets are the new black.
…or something like that.
Like all vintage-y things in this Hipster era of neverending nostalgia, Beets have resurrected themselves over the past couple years from The Great Depression.
Truth be told, I never gave the food much thought until I moved to Chicago. It’s not a food I grew up with, and only stumbled across at the rare celebratory dinner at a fancy schmancy restaurant where a few beets may have been tossed on the salad as garnish.
Come to find out from various coworkers born and raised in Illinois, beets are a staple dinner food, as much as broccoli or spinach, and “you have to take at least two bites before getting down from the table.” Interesting! Tell me more. From coworkers and customers who I spoke with, it seems you either love beets, or you hate them. (To me, they taste like dirt.) Beets are deeply rooted (pun intented) in Eastern European, Polish, and Russian cuisine, which makes sense why they are still alive and kicking in the Mid-West, given the vast population with that ancestry. How sad for me because beets are so healthy. Not only are beets high in vitamins, but they help oxygenate the blood and cleanse the liver. Due to their cardiovascular and energy boosting benefits, beets are becoming the go-to food for athletes.
So if you’re like me and not into eating dirt flavored veggies, you might be thinking, “How else can I get the amazing nutritional benefits of beets?” Obviously you can juice until your heart’s content, mixing beet juice with other fruits and veggies to hide the taste, or check out these cool products.
Ingredients: Organic Beet Juice Concentrate, Organic Lemon Juice, & Organic Berries.
This was the first beet supplement I tried, and it’s straight up beet juice.
However, it’s only 2 ounces, and in that 2 ounces are 3 big ol’ beets. You can easily shoot it and chase it with water or juice. If you are into energy shots or needing an afternoon pick-me-up, try this.
Beet Elite NeOshot
Ingredients: Beetroot Crystals, Natural Flavors, Malic Acid and Stevia Leaf Extract
This little powdery packet is certainly more tasty, thanks to stevia. Beet Elite also comes in a Black Cherry flavor, which my coworkers preferred, while I prefer the original. It tastes OK mixed with water, but
we I took it a step further and made margaritas with it. YAAAAAS.
You know when it’s margarita night and the first one tastes SO good, the second tastes alright, and the third you’re just sick with sugar? Not with the Beet Elite, my friend! The natural saltiness of the beets blended so well with the tequila, and the stevia provided the perfect balance of sweetness.
Ingredients: Organic red beet crystals, citric acid
Owned and distributed by the Flora company, these are my favorite taste-wise. Maybe because the texture reminds me Pop Rocks + Fun Dip, I enjoy eating this dry, straight off the spoon. I also blended a spoonful into my ginger kombucha, which was quite lovely.
One rep (not from Flora) told me if you blend Beet Juice or Beet Crystals with any citrus juice, it counteracts the nitrates, and you won’t get the oxygenation benefits. I have attempted further research to find if this is true, but haven’t heard anything. I sent out a tweet to Beet Elite. Nothin’. I asked the Flora company rep; she said she’d have to get back to me. Google hasn’t found anything; so while beet blended with lemonade tastes AMAZING, I’d hold off until we find out the truth.
Last, but not least, we have the nutritional booster. This truly does taste like dirt, so don’t mix it with water. But throw it in a smoothie, yogurt, or juice, and you’re good to go. This is a great blend of energy boosting nutrients. While this isn’t as healthy as eating your beets or drinking the juice, this is still a MUCH better alternative to an energy shot or 5th cup of coffee.