Beetroot is a vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked. The roots of beet plants are larger than the leaves and stems. You may wonder if you can eat the leaves of the beetroot plant.
Can You Eat Beetroot Leaves?
It may come as a surprise to you, but beetroot leaves are edible. The leaves of the beetroot plant can be eaten raw or cooked. They make for a nutritious addition to salads and can also be used in stews and soups, or added to stir-fries.
Are There Any Risks To Eating Beetroot Leaves?
The short answer is no, these edible greens are completely safe to eat. There are no reported cases of toxicity or poisoning when it comes to these leafy greens, and they’re not a choking hazard either.
However, since beets are grown in soil that contains bacteria such as salmonella, you should ensure you wash your hands thoroughly before handling them (and any other fruits and vegetables).
Benefits Of Eating Beetroot Leaves
Eating beetroot leaves is a great way to get more nutrients into your diet, but you may not be familiar with them. Here are some of the benefits of eating beetroot leaves:
They’re packed with vitamins and minerals. Beetroot leaves are an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, and iron. They also contain small amounts of vitamin A and B-carotene (which converts to vitamin A in the body).
They’re rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants help prevent damage to your body’s cells by free radicals — unstable molecules that can harm cells and cause disease.
They have anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury or infection, but when it becomes chronic it can cause pain and illness. Research suggests that eating foods rich in fiber may help reduce inflammation by helping regulate bowel movements and improving immune function (1).
They may improve digestion. Beetroot leaves contain betaine, a compound known for its ability to aid digestion by stimulating bile production in the liver. This can help break down fat so it’s easier for your body to absorb nutrients from the food you eat.
What Do Beetroot Leaves Taste Like?
Beetroot leaves have an earthy and slightly bitter flavor. They resemble spinach or kale but are slightly more bitter.
You can use beetroot leaves in salads or stir-fries, as well as many other dishes.
How To Prepare Beetroot Leaves For Eating
Beetroot leaves are delicious in salads, but the flavor is often lost because of the bitterness. Here’s how to prepare beetroot leaves for eating:
Pick small or young leaves from the top of the plant. Remove any damaged or yellowing leaves, as well as any stems.
Rinse thoroughly in cold water, and then dry thoroughly between layers of paper towels or clean kitchen towels.
Chop the leaves into bite-sized pieces and store them in a sealed container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
How To Eat Beetroot Leaves
Beetroot leaves are quite bitter in taste. You can eat them raw or cooked depending on your taste preferences.
Here are some ways to eat beetroot leaves:
In salads: Add them to your salad greens to add color and texture. The leaves also add flavor to the salad due to their bitterness. Use them as a substitute for spinach or other dark leafy greens in any salad recipe.
Sautéed: Sauté beetroot leaves in olive oil until tender and lightly browned. You can season this dish with salt and pepper, lemon juice, garlic powder, or any other ingredients you like in your sautés. Serve as a side dish with meat or fish dishes or as a topping for sandwiches and burgers instead of lettuce or cabbage.
In smoothies: Beetroot leaves make great additions to smoothies because they add both flavor and nutrients to the drink! Just throw in some beetroot leaves along with other fruit and vegetables such as carrots or cucumbers for added benefits!
So now you know that beetroot leaves are edible and can be used in a variety of ways. They’re also super healthy, so make sure to try them out the next time you feel like cooking with some greens! So if you have some extra leaves in your garden that need trimming—or rather, eating—be sure to give them a try!
Kate has been in the food business for over 20 years. Worked as a cook at several buffets which include Old Country Buffet, Five Star Buffet, and Ichiban Buffet. Now, I’m mostly at home cooking for my family, caring for chickens and ducks, and tending the garden.