Golden Beetroot Facts & Health Benefits
When you think of beetroots, you probably think of red beets. But like carrots, peppers and other vegetables, beets also grow in a rainbow of colours, which includes golden beets. Like their more common red cousins, golden beets are a nutritional powerhouse. They’re loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Red beets may be the most familiar variety, but beets come in a rainbow of colours. Yellow, white, and even candy-striped (with red and white concentric circles) beets are available in specialty markets. Sugar beets are used to make table sugar.
The leaves and roots of beetroots are packed with nutrition including antioxidants that fight cell damage and reduce the risk of heart disease. They’re one of the few vegetables that contain betalains, a powerful antioxidant that gives beets their vibrant colour. Betalains reduce inflammation and may help protect against cancer and other diseases.
Nutritional data (1 cup cooked)
- Calories: 58
- Protein: 2 g
- Carb: 13 g
- Fiber 3 g
- Fat: 0
- Potassium: 442 mg
Nutritionally, the golden beet is quite similar to that of red beets. They have similar carbohydrate, fat and protein content and both are equally packed with potassium, a blood pressure-lowering mineral. But there are also some differences beyond basic nutrition. For starters, golden beets are sweeter in taste, and less earthy in flavor. For those who do not like the taste of red beets, there’s a good chance that they may enjoy golden beets. The main nutritional difference between the two are the pigments.
Different Pigments, Same Power
The pigments that give beets their rich colors is a type of antioxidant called betalains. There are two basic types of betalains: betacyanins and betaxanthins. The red beet contains betacyanins pigments; the golden beets contain betaxanthins. In general terms, dark-colored beets contain mostly betacyanins and yellow beets contain mostly betaxanthins. Despite a difference in structure, both betalains function both as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents.
Golden Beetroot Also Offers Nitrates
One of the main benefits of red beets is its high level of nitrates. It has been documented that nitrates in beets can act to enhance sports performance as well as lower blood pressure. The good news is that despite the color difference, golden beets also contain a similar level of nitrates. Whichever beet you choose, you will not lose out on health benefits of nitrates.
What’s unique in golden beets is the other nutrients commonly found in other yellow and orange vegetables. Vitamin C, Vitamin A, beta-carotene, flavonoid and zeaxanthin are also present in golden beets.
Golden beets can vary in sweetness; they tend to be a bit sweeter and taste a little less earthy and more mellow in intensity than red beetroot. Thanks to its beautiful yellow colour, roasted Golden beets can brighten up any food dish and look marvellous in all kinds of salads.
Golden beets are much easier to peel and creates less of a mess than the red varieties. Alternately, I always cook it with the skin on, and then peel after it’s cooked; it’s much easier than peeling when raw.
Both betalain pigments in beets are water-soluble so I do not recommend boiling them. Either steam or bake beets whole to preserve as much nutrient as possible.
- To bake, set your oven to (195c, wash beets and then wrap them in aluminum foil. Depending on size, bake them whole for 45 to 60 mins.
- To steam, set temperature (stove or steamer) to high. Wash and steam with skin on for 15 minutes. Poke beets with a fork to check doneness.
In addition, you can juice golden beets in a blender just like you can with red beets.
To store beets, trim the leaves 2 inches from the root as soon as you get home. The leaves will sap the moisture from the beetroot. Do not trim the taproot. Store the leaves in a separate plastic bag and use within two days. The root bulbs should also be bagged and stored in the refrigerator’s crisper for seven to 10 days. Cooked beets may be refrigerated up to one week.
Fresh cooked beets may also be frozen up to 10 months, either whole or cut. Be sure to peel before freezing in airtight containers or baggies, leaving no air in the container. Pickling beets is another popular method of preservation.
Gold Beetroot juice will slightly stain skin and porous surfaces. Rub your hands with wet salt and lemon juice and then wash with soap and water. To clean chopping boards, containers or other stained plastics, use
coarse salt and lemon juice. Sprinkle the salt liberally over the board, then slice a lemon in half and use it to rub the salt into the board
Beetroot on the menu
Beets add a colourful flair to dishes, even beyond salad and soup. There are plenty of recipes in which you can explore this vegetable’s full potential.