What to do with beetroot leaves and stalks 

Written by Ollie Wilkinson

Delicious, nutritious, and grown here in the UK, beetroots are one of few veggies that are ENTIRELY edible! Discover what to do with your beetroot leaves and stalks to kick waste’s butt with your next batch. 

Can you eat beetroot leaves? 

Beetroot leaves are not only edible and safe to eat. They’re delicious! Scrumptiously sweet, silky and tender, these leafy greens are hard to beet when it comes to taste and texture. Not to mention nutrition! 

Beet greens, also known as beetroot tops, were once actually used for medicine, while Ancient Romans believed they were an aphrodisiac. Ciao, bello! Kale gets a lot of plaudits – and rightly so – but beetroot tops are the unsung hero of the veggie world. Think of them as a lusciously leafy Mark Owen or Bilbo Baggins. 

The peak season for beetroots is between June and October in the UK, and they are part of the same food group as spinach and chard. We know right, a family of foods that fuel both Popeye and Dwight Schrute, how could we not try and eat every part of them!? 

Nutritional benefits of beetroot leaves 

Beetroot leaves are a fantastic source of: 

  • • Vitamin C, which gives your immune system a well-deserved kick up the backside, while also keeping your skin glowing and healthy. 
  • • Vitamin A, which helps keep your eyes nice and healthy. That’s right, carrots aren’t the only one! 
  • • Bone-strengthening calcium. 
  • • Vitamin D, which keeps your teeth healthy and far away from the evil dentist. 
  • • Mood-boosting Vitamin B6. 
  • • Iron, which improves your blood health. 
  • • Fibre, which helps your digestive system (the one in your stomach, not the biscuit tin). 

Can you eat beetroot stalks? 

Stem the tide of waste by eating your beetroot stalks! Beetroot stalks are very much edible and can be eaten raw or cooked. Beet leaves are delicious when sautéed as a crispy side dish or tossed in a salad. But more on those tasty recipes later…  

Nutritional benefits of beetroot stalks 

Low in calories and full of goodness, beet stalks pack many of the same health benefits as beet tops. Brimming with calcium and vitamins, they support your skin, brain, bones and teeth. 

Is any part of the beetroot poisonous? 

No. Beetroots are a rare breed, in that you can eat every part of them, making them a favourite among us waste-hating veggie lovers. 

Storage tips 

Greens are best used soon after you buy your beets. This is because they wilt quicker than a brew-soaked Rich Tea biccy. To preserve your beet tops for as long as possible, wrap them in paper and keep them in the fridge, but try and use them within a few days. 

Cooking with beetroot tops 

Wondering how to eat beetroot leaves and stalks? The best way to enjoy the leaves is to cook them quickly to preserve their beautiful bright green colour. Start by trying these scrumptious methods! 

Can beetroot leaves be juiced? 

Move over Love Island and work gossip, there’s a new juicy treat in your life. And it goes by the name of beetroot leaves. Beetroot leaves can be juiced very easily and enjoyed as a magnificent detox smoothie. Perfect for those dreaded Mondays after a heavy weekend! 

How to juice beetroot leaves: 

  1. 1. Cut your beetroot and leaves into small pieces 
  2. 2. Place them in your blender or juicer 
  3. 3. Juice them until all the liquid has been extracted 

Sautéed beet greens 

Food waste? We’ve sauteed it. Sautéed leaves are a crunchy, crispy treat that really make those sweet beets sing. Just toss them in a pan and start fryin’! 

Blanching 

Blanching is a fancy chef’s word for briefly cooking something in boiling water, before usually plunging it into ice-cold water. This method traps flavour, texture and colour, making it perfect for cooking beautiful beet tops! 

Steaming 

Putting your beet tops in a steamer will add moisture to your dish, while softening the stalks and making them easier to chew. 

Beetroot leaves recipes 

So, you know how they taste, their nutritional benefits, and what to do with beetroot leaves. Now what? Time to test out some beetroot top recipes! 

Beet green soup 

Did you know, you can use beetroot leaves in soup? This dish is very popular in Poland, and can be made using the following ingredients: 

  • • X4 beet leaves and stems 
  • • X1 onion 
  • • X1 leek 
  • • ½ a celery stalk 
  • • X1 clove of garlic 
  • • X1 medium carrot 
  • • X4 potatoes 
  • • Dill 
  • • Parsley 
  • • Olive oil 
  • • X1 bay leaf 

The recipe: 

  1. 1. Prepare your veg by finely chopping your onion, leek, celery, garlic and beet tops. Then, peel your carrot and potatoes. You’ll want to grate your carrot and cube your spuds. 
  2. 2. Fry your chopped garlic, onion, celery and leak with a bay leaf and a splash of oil. We recommend using a deep pan. 
  3. 3. After a few minutes, toss in your beet greens and carrot. 
  4. 4. Keep stirring, and once your veg has softened, add in your potatoes with 4 cups of water. 
  5. 5. Add some seasoning before covering your pan and leaving it to simmer.
  6. 6. After 20 minutes, add a handful of chopped parsley and dill. 
  7. 7. Leave to simmer for another 5 minutes. 

Beetroot top dip 

This is the perfect healthy dish for pre-dinner nibbles or party food. It’s also great for using up spare ingredients. All you need is: 

  • • A handful of beetroot stalks and leaves 
  • • X1 clove of garlic 
  • • Olive oil 
  • • 100g natural yoghurt 
  • • X1 lemon 
  • • Dried mint 
  • • 25g walnuts 

The recipe: 

  1. 1. Finely chop your beetroot tops and place them in a frying pan with some oil and salt.  
  2. 2. Put the lid on top and fry them for a few minutes on a medium heat. Give the leaves a stir about half-way through. 
  3. 3. Add the mint and half your chopped garlic and keep frying and stirring until the juices evaporate. 
  4. 4. Allow to cool, before mixing in your yogurt, lemon zest and juice, and the rest of the garlic. 
  5. 5. Grab your bread or pitta and you’re ready to for dipping! 

Sautéed lemon beet greens 

Sautéed greens are an amazing side dish, especially when paired with a juicy steak or pie. 

Ingredients: 

  • • A handful of finely chopped beet leaves (however many you have). 
  • • Olive oil 
  • • X1 finely chopped shallot 
  • • X3 cloves of crushed garlic 
  • • X1 tsp of fennel seeds 
  • • ½ tsp of ground cumin 
  • • Soy sauce 
  • • ½ lemon 

The recipe: 

  1. 1. Fry your shallot in olive oil for 4 minutes. 
  2. 2. Add the fennel seeds, cumin and garlic. 
  3. 3. After a few more minutes, toss in your beet tops and stir until they wilt. 
  4. 4. Pour in about 60ml of water and cover the pan. 
  5. 5. After a couple of minutes, stir in the zest and juice of your lemon and season with soy sauce. 
  6. 6. Continue to sauté until most of the liquid has evaporated.  
  7. 7. Leave to cool and serve with some grated parmesan. 

Composting leaves and stalks 

If none of our recipes tickle your pickle, don’t worry. You can still reduce food waste without eating beet stems and stalks. Our composting guides are a great place to start: 

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