Beet tops: useful properties and contraindications
With the onset of summer, fresh vegetables grown in this season begin to appear on the shelves of vegetable stores. Among this variety, it is impossible not to notice the young beets, the value of which lies not only in the root vegetable, but also in its tops. Experienced cooks are attracted by both the useful qualities and gastronomic possibilities of beet tops, which they rush to use in the composition of various dishes. And there is nothing surprising in this, because such an additive gives culinary delicacies new attractive shades of taste, and its shape and color dispose to use in decorative design.
- Composition and calories
- What is the usefulness of beet tops
- For Women
- For Men
- In Pregnancy
- For children
- When losing weight
- The usefulness of beet tops juice
- Recipes of folk medicine based on beet tops
- Harm and contraindications
- Gathering and storage
- Can be frozen
- What can be cooked from the beet tops
- Can I Eat Raw Beet Stems
- Is it possible to give rabbits and chickens beet tops
- Interesting facts about beets
Not long ago, beet tops could only be purchased along with young beets, as there was little individual demand for them. Today, a large number of dishes using this component have become popular, both because of its excellent taste and because of its useful properties. For this reason, beet haulm has begun to be offered in today's markets as a stand-alone product. In early summer, it is in wide demand by knowledgeable professionals. In order to get an idea of the scope of application of beet haulm, it is suggested to consider its possibilities from various points of view.
Composition and calories
The above-ground part of young beets has in its composition a solid list of vitamins, in harmony with a high content of useful trace elements. Thus, there is an abundance of vitamin C, which is an excellent antioxidant. It has the ability to increase the body's resistance to various viruses as well as pathogenic bacteria. Plus, this vitamin creates the conditions for the formation of collagen, which forms the full composition of human skin, and is necessary for strengthening the hair, as well as being responsible for the plasticity of blood vessels.
Beet tops also contain vitamin K, which promotes blood clotting and improves the absorption of calcium, essential for strengthening bone tissue. This property allows you to include beet tops in the list of preventive measures against the development of osteoporosis. In addition, vitamin K has the ability to hold the neurons of the human brain in a stable position, which eliminates the possibility of developing Alzheimer's disease. And it is important to consider that 100 g of the product contains three times the daily norm of the vitamin presented.
Next in the list of useful constituents should be specified vitamin A, which helps to form free radical bonds, which is important for the formation of heart tissue and the healthy state of the mucosa in the oral cavity.
Plus, we should mention the presence in the vegetable of a complex of B vitamins, which stimulate metabolism in tissues at the cellular level. These components support the normal state of the nervous system, which is important for the body during emotional stress or a period of high intellectual activity. In addition, vitamins of this group take part in the formation of muscle tissues and improve the condition of the skin.
Next, it is necessary to present the mineral composition of beet tops, which also has a huge variety and high concentration of various elements necessary for the formation of a healthy body.
- Potassium is an element actively involved in regulating the balance of fluids in the body. It allows controlling the dynamics of the heart rhythm and stabilizing blood pressure indicators. In addition, potassium helps reduce swelling of the extremities and increases the flow of oxygen to the human brain.
- Chlorine is a substance that improves the activity of the digestive system, stabilizes the filling of the blood with red blood cells, which has a positive effect on its overall formula, and assists in the removal of excess fluid from the body.
- Sodium is a component that stabilizes the salt content in the water composition of the body, takes part in the formation of gastric juice, has an expanding effect on blood vessels and stimulates the secretion of most glands.
- Sulfur is one of the elements necessary for the creation of collagen. It is necessary for increasing the elasticity of the skin and strengthening hair, it also inhibits the aging process. In addition, sulfur is an antihistamine agent and takes part in the synthesis of hemoglobin.
- Phosphorus is a substance necessary for energy metabolism, which contributes to strengthening bone tissues and teeth enamel as well as improving cognitive abilities.
The energy value of 100 grams of product is 21.1 kcal, it is represented by 4.2 g of carbohydrates and 2.1 g of fat.
What is the usefulness of beet tops
The exceptional healing properties of beet tops have been known since ancient times. Healers everywhere recommended to include this vegetable in the daily diet as a means to prolong life. Today, these prejudices are confirmed by scientific facts due to the rich chemical composition of beet leaves.
For women, first of all, the high content of vitamin A in the product is important, which allows to maintain beauty. This is expressed in the prevention of skin drying and premature formation of wrinkles, as well as in counteracting the formation of cracks on the soles and palms. In addition, the high content of vitamin B5 strengthens hair roots, and vitamin B9 contributes to the normal functioning of the reproductive system in women.
For the male group, the high concentration of vitamin C is of great importance, which not only can stimulate the basic processes of the body, but also serve as an excellent preventive agent against adenoma of the prostate. A wide list of vitamins belonging to the B group assists in the synthesis of testosterone, the hormone that determines male sexuality and stimulates reproductive ability.
The most important role for the formation of the male body is given to vitamin B1, which contributes to an increase in muscle mass, which increases overall physical capabilities.
Beet tops serve as a source of folic acid, a substance extremely necessary for the female body during the formation of the fetus. In addition, the high fiber content allows you to control the normal functioning of the intestinal tract, timely releasing it from the accumulation of toxins and deposits. The rich content of vitamin C helps to strengthen the overall body of the expectant mother and her baby, and potassium avoids edema in the last phase of pregnancy.
A large amount of iodine in the composition of beet tops has a positive effect during the period of breastfeeding, increasing the body's defenses. This is especially important for mothers with impaired thyroid function. The high iron content contributes to its rapid recovery in the mother's body and avoids the lack of oxygen in the cells of various tissues.
Also the inclusion in the diet of beet tops helps to stabilize blood pressure at a time when other drugs are not available. The content of vitamin K in the vegetable helps accelerate the absorption of calcium, increasing its content in breast milk. This is important in the formation of the infant's skeleton.
The rich content of vitamins in beet tops allows a great benefit to the baby's body when it is consumed systematically. At the same time, the high concentration of vital minerals allows the child's body to develop dynamically. A complete chemical composition promotes stable growth, the full formation of bone and muscle tissue, the timely formation of teeth and strengthen the nervous system.
For weight loss
Beet tops are notable for their content of the natural antioxidant betaine, which helps to activate the metabolism, which plays an important role in the process of losing weight. Proper consumption of beet leaves can lead to quality weight loss without the use of complicated diets. For this purpose, one of the meals is replaced by a dish made from beet tops. This may well be a complex salad, in which, in addition to beet tops, use other fillers with low calories. It is recommended to season such a product with olive oil.
The benefits of beet tops juice
Unlike juice extracted from root vegetables, the juice from beet tops has a high concentration of useful vitamin A, which can stimulate growth, accelerate regeneration processes and is involved in the formation of visual pigment. In addition, the juice of beet tops can exhibit healing properties in a number of cases:
- The high concentration of ascorbic acid increases the elasticity of capillaries and reduces susceptibility to seasonal depressions.
- The content of folic acid increases brain activity and strengthens the nervous system, and also reduces the likelihood of fetal abnormalities in pregnancy.
- The presence in the composition of carotenoids makes beet juice very useful in various pathologies of vision, cancer prevention, and also reduces the likelihood of CHD.
- In addition, the juice of beet tops contains choline, a substance that stimulates the formation of healthy liver tissue, protecting against fatty degeneration.
- The presence of pectin helps to eliminate harmful microflora in the intestinal tract, which helps accelerate metabolism and improves the condition of the body as a whole.
- Daily consumption of beet juice has a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system, and also reduces the risk of atherosclerotic abnormalities.
When the immune function is reduced, it is recommended to consume a combination of beet tops juice with freshly squeezed lemon juice and nuts. If you include honey in this composition, you get an excellent tonic, which has a restorative effect.
Recipes for traditional medicine based on beet tops
- With weakened functionality of the intestinal tract and frequent occurrence of constipation, it is recommended to use a special infusion. For this purpose, 20 grams of beet leaves are crushed and boiled with a glass of boiling water. Cooled drink is taken in four doses within a day.
- When migraines is recommended to use a compress made from the leaves of beet tops. To do this, they are boiled for 10 minutes, and then grinded to a paste-like state. The resulting composition is applied to the forehead and incubated for 15 to 20 minutes.
- To treat mastitis squeeze the juice from fresh leaves of beet tops, obtaining a viscous mass. The resulting composition is covered seals and incubated for half an hour.
- To soften calluses and prevent the formation of cracks on the heels use the juice of fresh beet leaves. It is impregnated with cloth and applied at night in the form of compresses.
- Milled leaves beet tops are used as an effective remedy against acne. The resulting composition is applied to the face, excluding the area around the eyes.
Among other things, beet tops can prevent the appearance of freckles with the activity of the spring sun. For this purpose, the leaves, mashed to a paste, are applied to the active areas of the skin, and the top is moistened with squeezed juice. Before applying such a mask, the skin should be prepared. To do this, it is washed with a special solution made from a glass of warm water, in which dissolve 2 tsp of soda.
Harm and contraindications
Despite the many useful qualities of beet tops, there are conditions in which its use is desirable to limit or exclude altogether. The high degree of biological activity of the various elements that make up the leaves of the root vegetable has contraindications in certain conditions.
It is not recommended to use this vegetable, as well as its derivatives, in case of kidney disease. The alkalic acid in its composition is capable of interacting with a number of minerals, resulting in salts that can precipitate and accumulate in the kidneys in the form of kidney stones.
Further, beet tops are not recommended to include in the diet in case of gallbladder problems, as well as inflammation of the biliary tract. In this case, dishes containing this product should be significantly limited, again due to the presence of oxalic acid, which can cause irritation. If such symptoms occur, it is recommended to increase fluid intake. The daily diet in this case should include at least 2 liters of drinking water per day.
In addition, beet is contraindicated in patients forced to take anticoagulants, means designed to reduce the rate of blood clotting. After all, vitamin K contained in beet leaves can have the same effect, which can significantly increase the effect of the drugs and lead to negative consequences.
Plus, the consumption of beet tops is contraindicated for people who systematically suffer from diarrhea. This is due to the notable content of pectin in the composition of the product, which has a powerful laxative effect, which can only worsen the situation in this situation.
It is also not recommended to consume beet leaves for patients suffering from pancreatitis. This disease involves following a diet that excludes the consumption of products containing various acids.
The presented product is contraindicated in case of inflammatory processes in the area of the liver. The consequence is the ability to speed up the metabolism, which can lead to undesirable stress on the liver. In addition, beet tops are recommended to exclude from the diet of hypertensive patients, as a means that can significantly lower blood pressure.
Collection and storage
For people who grow beets in their own beds, there is one useful tip. Choosing the haulm for separate use, it is recommended to act only in one part of the bed, because the vegetable badly needs its leaves, and their loss threatens to stop the development of the root vegetable. Buying beets in the store, most often you can find root vegetables separated from the leaves. However, the presence of fresh foliage on them will be a clear indicator of the freshness of the product.
Separating the haulm from the beets in the kitchen, it is advisable to leave the tails up to 3 centimeters long. They will protect the root vegetable from premature wilting. To prepare salads using beet leaves, they are washed under running water and dried with napkins. Store surplus beet tops in an airtight container in the refrigerator, leaving them unwashed for better preservation. In this condition, the beet leaves can remain usable for about 4 days.
Ways to harvest beet tops
Culinary uses many different options for preserving beet tops for winter storage. Using a variety of recipes, the cook can not only diversify the winter menu, but also significantly reduce the time to make many dishes. Each home prioritizes its own list of culinary delights, which becomes a determining factor when choosing a recipe for preserving beet tops.
The easiest way to preserve beet leaves is considered drying. Various techniques can be used, from natural drying outdoors to forced drying in an oven. The most attractive is considered drying with the use of special equipment designed for the preparation of dried fruit. Such preparation will not only preserve the natural color and mineral composition of the product, but also save a certain percentage of vitamins. With other methods of drying the vitamins are almost completely lost.
To preserve the maximum amount of vitamins in the harvested product, it is best to use the method of cold pickling. Pickled beet tops become almost a ready-made standalone dish with excellent taste characteristics. To use it, it is enough to slightly season it with vegetable oil or other filling, prepared according to a separate recipe. In addition, pickled beet tops can be used as an ingredient in the composition of complex salads. When using pickled beet tops in hot dishes, they require minimal time for thermal processing, since they are already ready to eat.
For the longest preservation of beet leaves, the preservation method is used. During this procedure, sterilization is used, which allows to completely eliminate bacteria that can provoke the process of fermentation and depressurization of the container. However, the disadvantage of sterilization is a prolonged heat exposure, which leads to a large loss of vitamins. But only canning allows you to preserve the greens until the next season without too many problems.
Can it be frozen
To preserve beet tops for the winter by freezing, it is recommended to use only young leaves with petioles. Later greens become coarse and lose their vitamin value.
Containers to use
It is recommended to freeze beet tops in packages designed for use at low temperatures. For this purpose, both vacuum bags and special bags designed for freezing, equipped with convenient clasps, as well as containers made of food plastic with a tightly closing lid are well suited.
In this case, the bag used, as well as the container must be absolutely dry and be able to close tightly to avoid premature oxidation. The maximum amount of air is squeezed out of the inside of the container, making sure that the leaves are not crushed and have no sap. This is most conveniently done with a cocktail straw. In addition, batch freezing is recommended so you don't have to refreeze unnecessarily.
Storing in the freezer
Frozen beet tops should be stored between -5 and -20 degrees. Lower temperatures can provide the most favorable conditions for the maximum preservation of vitamins. The maximum storage period of frozen beet tops is 10 months, after this period it begins to lose its useful properties. Thawed product is not recommended to subject to repeated freezing. In this case, it loses its valuable qualities of taste and most of the vitamins.
Directions for use
Beet tops, prepared by freezing, perfectly preserve the gastronomic qualities and large amounts of vitamins. They are excellent for cooking hot dishes, where they are able to bring out their best qualities, not much different from fresh products. However, for use in salads, such preparations are not the best, since as a result of freezing they acquire a particular softness.
What can be made with beet tops
Beet tops are of great value at the beginning of the season, when they just appear and there is a great shortage of fresh vegetables. However, it is used mainly for the preparation of fresh salads, which can replenish the vitamin reserve of the body. Nevertheless, it is quite an independent product that can be used to prepare a variety of first and second dishes, distinguished not only by a useful composition of microelements, but also by excellent taste.
To prepare the soup according to this recipe, you need to prepare the following components:
- beet leaves - 2 bundles;
- vinaigrette beets - 1 pc;
- potatoes - 2 pcs;
- carrots - 1 pc;
- Onion - 1 pc;
- zucchini - 1 pc;
- Tomato - 1 pc.
In a saucepan, fry the onion, pre-cut in half rings. In the browned onion add carrots, grated on a coarse grater, and also fry a little. Next, add grated beets, stir them and also fry them. After that, 1.5 liters of water is poured in a saucepan and brought to the boil. Meanwhile, finely chop beet tops and tomato slices. They are added to the pot after boiling. Prepared zucchini and potatoes are cut into small cubes, added to the soup and brought to the boil. Salt and spices are added to taste. Ready soup is poured into plates, where you can add a spoonful of sour cream.
- beet tops - 500 g;
- ricotta" cheese - 400 g;
- Parmesan" cheese - 80 gr;
- egg white - 2 pcs;
- Puff pastry - 1 packet;
- Nutmeg - 1 pinch;
- Ground pepper - 1 pinch;
- salt - 1 pinch.
The washed beet tops are blanched for 5 minutes, put aside on a sieve and squeezed, then cut into large pieces. Whisk the egg whites until they form a stiff foam, adding salt and spices. Next, add the "Ricotta" cheese and mix it. After that add grated "Parmesan" and beet tops, mix thoroughly. On a baking tray with parchment paper lay the puff pastry, the filling and again the puff pastry. The formed pie is placed in an oven at 180 degrees and baked for 45 minutes.
To prepare the cutlets, it is necessary to prepare the following components:
- beet leaves - 20 pcs;
- chicken eggs - 3 pcs;
- onion - 2 pcs;
- garlic - 2 cloves;
- flour - 120 grams.
Cut the beet tops into julienne strips, dice the onions and rub the garlic through a fine grater. Then put all the ingredients in a bowl and knead thoroughly. Form the mass on a heated pan like pancakes and fry.
- beet leaves - 1 bundle;
- onion - 1 pc;
- garlic - 2 cloves;
- dill - 1 bunch;
- pine nuts - a handful;
- olive oil - 2 tablespoons;
- spices to taste.
Beet leaves are washed under running water, dried with a napkin and shredded. Onion is cut in half rings, rub garlic through a fine grater, chop the dill. Greens, onion and garlic are combined in a common bowl, salt and season, mix well. At the end divide the salad into portions and sprinkle with nuts.
- Beet leaves - 1 bunch;
- dill - 1 bundle;
- green onions - a small bundle;
- flour - 2 tablespoons;
- Eggs - 2 pcs.
Chop the beet leaves finely together with the rest of the prepared greens, put them into a separate bowl, add the eggs, flour and a pinch of salt. Knead the mixture thoroughly and make pancakes. Fry on a heated pan in lard oil.
For this dish prepare such ingredients:
- Beet leaves - 1 kg;
- walnuts - 200 g;
- Onion - 1 pc;
- garlic - 2 cloves;
- saffron - 1 tsp;
- Humeli suneli - 1 tsp;
- coriander in seeds - 1 tsp;
- coriander greens - 1 bunch;
- vinegar - 1 tbsp;
- Other spices and salt - to taste.
Nuts combine with spices, add vinegar and salt, knead well. Then finely chop beet leaves and knead with the rest of the composition until a homogeneous mass. They insist for 30 minutes until it is completely ready.
Can I eat raw beet tops
Fresh beet tops are eaten on par with the root vegetable. They are used as a separate dish or added to salads along with other greens. Fresh beet leaves contain the maximum amount of vitamins, which are lost as a result of heat treatment. When preparing the product for the winter there is also a loss of vitamins, but in varying degrees for different cooking methods.
Can I give beet tops to rabbits and chickens?
Beet tops do not pose any danger to rabbits and are suitable for full inclusion in the diet as part of other feeds. The rodents will gladly accept fresh leaves and will be happy with the new supplement. For chickens, fresh beet leaves also have no contraindications and are excellent for use in the diet along with other greens.
Interesting facts about beets
- In ancient times, some nations considered beets a medicinal plant and used them for medicinal purposes.
- In the Middle Ages, many people believed that beets could act as a prophylactic against the plague, and with regular consumption of the vegetable, the risk of contracting the deadly disease was much lower.
- The earliest evidence of the cultivation of this plant is 4000 years old.
- The place of origin of the beet is thought to be India, then it spread to the Middle East and then to Europe.
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