For years beets couldn’t be found on the menu. But that has changed in recent years. The greens and the root bulb actually contain several important nutrients: vitamin A, vitamin K, potassium, magnesium, fibre, folate. Some of those have antioxidative properties. Since an athlete’s diet should be high in antioxidants, beets a a great way to add some red to your plate.

Very recently, beets have also drawn attention because of their high nitrate content. Nitrate from vegetables and fruits is reduced to nitrite, nitric oxide and other metabolites. It can help lower blood pressure. In sports, it’s been in the news (heard of beet root shots?) because of some beneficial effects on performance, although data on performance enhancing benefits in elite athletes are still controversial.

Beet Soup

Ingredients

6 servings

  • 2 big beets, cooked (750 g)
  • 2-3 medium potatoes (400 g)
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 medium yellow onions
  • 1 garlic clove
  • some ginger root
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Mix of herbs
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Nutmeg
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups milk, low-fat
  • 100 g chickpeas (0.5 can)
  • 100 g ricotta

Directions

Peel and cut beets, potatoes, carrots and ginger. Chop garlic. In a pot, sweat onions, then add garlic and sweat for another 1-2 minutes. Add ginger, potatoes, and carrots. Roast for about 2 min. Add water and milk, bring to boil. Finally add the bay leaf and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cook for about 15 min. or until vegetables are tender.

Add the beets, take out the bay leaf. With a mixer, puree the vegetables. Then, add the milk and put the bay leaf back in. Bring to a boil again.

Let cook for another few minutes. Meanwhile add 1 tbsp olive oil to a pan, roast chickpeas until they are golden. Then add some spices and roast for another 1-2 minutes.

Top soup with 1 tbsp ricotta and some chickpeas and thyme.

Nutrition information (per serving)

225 kcal

7.1 g fat

29.6 g carbohydrates

5.2 g fibre

9.6 g protein

314 m sodium

Beet soup

Some more beets: Beet dumplings

Another option for some red: cabbage soup with chickpeas