These spiralized beet noodles are served with a homemade pesto sauce using beet greens!
There's just something oh so very delicious about the earthy sweetness of beet noodles. Especially when tossed in a fresh pesto made with the attached beet greens. Believe me when I say that the humble beet green should not be overlooked or discarded.
Beet greens are incredibly nutrient dense, offering up fiber, vitamins/minerals, and phytonutrients like beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
Like the greens, beetroot also contains a high level of important micronutrients and phytochemicals. The root is a rich source of folate and potassium and also contains vitamin C, fiber, and phytonutrients called betalains.
You can thank the betalains for the deep red/purple color of beets. (Interestingly, most other red/purple foods - like blueberries and red cabbage - are pigmented instead by the anthocyanins.) Betalains have also illustrated antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
A number of studies have concluded that eating beets could play a potential role in lowering high blood pressure, preventing cancer (especially colon), and improving cognitive health. They also seem to offer (modest) benefits for athletic performance.
I love this colorful, nutrient-rich 15 minute winter meal for either lunch or dinner. Along with the health benefits of beets listed above, this dish also offers heart healthy monounsaturated fats from olive oil and essential omega 3's from walnuts. Walnuts and nutritional yeast provide plant-based protein but you could also top these beet noodles with baked tofu, beans, or crumbled tempeh to add even more.
Most importantly, the taste of these beets will fully convince you of their deserving place in your own noodle-loving world.
Beet Noodles with Beet Green Pesto
- 1 tbsp grapeseed oil
- 3-5 beets 1 bunch greens separated/reserved and roots peeled and spiralized (or peeled into ribbons)
- 1 bunch about 2 cups packed beet greens
- 1 cup packed fresh basil plus additional for topping
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lemon zest and juice
- ½ cup walnuts plus additional for topping
- ½ cup nutritional yeast plus additional for topping
- Salt and pepper
- Heat grapeseed oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add spiralized beets and cook until tender, 7-8 minutes.
- While beets are cooking, prepare pesto. Add remaining ingredients to food processor and process until smooth.
- Turn heat to low and toss beet noodles with pesto and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Transfer noodles to serving dish and top with additional walnuts, nutritional yeast, and fresh basil as desired.
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What is your favorite spiralized vegetable?