thesnapman44
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Are Beet Leaves Edible?

I would like to ask, has anyone eaten the leaves from beet, either raw or cooked ?
I am growing Ruby Queen beet, and i would like to know, how do you cook the leaves, without losing all that valuable nutrition that they contain ? Also, what dish does beet leaves best go with ? We are fish lovers in this family, so would the leaves be okay with salmon ?

As a foot note, when is it best to harvest the beet ?
The leaves are fairly big, with red veins, but i do not want to disturb the beet underground, so i cannot say what they look like.

Thank you.

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ElizabethB
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Re: Beet leaves.

Harvest your beets when they are 1 1/2" - 2" in diameter. Beet greens are my favorite green. I have to exercise a great deal of self-control to keep from eating them before they get to the table :!: When you harvest the beets rinse the leaves. Strip the tender leaves from the stalk. Rinse again in a colander. Shake off excess water. Put the greens with only the water clinging to leaves in a pot. Add salt, pepper and BUTTER. Cover. Cook until leaves are wilted. Plate (if you can wait that long). Eat and be happy :!: :-() A PERFECT side for fish.

Enjoy :!: A party in your mouth :-()
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Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Are Beet Leaves Edible?

A perfect side for anything!
I render bacon and put rinsed greens in until just wilted. Wee bit of salt, lots of pepper!

I eat the greens raw when they are itty bitty, in salads.
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hendi_alex
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Re: Are Beet Leaves Edible?

If you ever start wilting in olive oil, add greens, garlic, and a bit of salt and pepper, you will likely never go back to bacon grease for seasoning, as is both more healthy and more complementary flavors. We prepare most of our greens in a pressure cooker, one minute for tender types and up to three minutes for collards. The pressure cooker is one of the most indispensable gadgets in our kitchen.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Are Beet Leaves Edible?

I LOVE olive oil and we eat a lot of it! But I prefer bacon in my greens. And my cornbread too! When I'm training hard for races, I follow a vegan diet, but I miss bacon with greens!
Lindsay
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USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

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ElizabethB
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Re: Are Beet Leaves Edible?

Unlike many other greens beet greens are sweet, tender and buttery. None of the bitterness or tartness that you may find in mustard, turnip or collard greens . I would never use a heavy fat like bacon drippings. It would smother the delicate flavor of the greens. If you are adverse to using butter (can not imagine why) then use 1 tbsp. olive oil to 1 large pot of greens. OK but not nearly as good as butter.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

thesnapman44
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Re: Are Beet Leaves Edible?

Okay, i am fair game for criticism, so how come nobody but i ( just noticed !!! ), that i spelled leaf/leafs, leave/leaves ? lol.
Thank you again "your majesty", and all others, who kindly responded. :)

tomc
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Re: Are Beet Leaves Edible?

If you've liked cooked greens, I'll wager you'll like beet greens too. I might slice out the center stem on larger leaves.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Are Beet Leaves Edible?

Beets are the exact same species as swiss chard, just beet varieties are specialized for root development and chard varieties are specialized for leaf development. Chard is my favorite thing to grow. The leaves can be used raw or cooked any way you would use spinach.
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grrlgeek
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Re: Are Beet Leaves Edible?

rainbowgardener wrote: Chard is my favorite thing to grow.
I am beginning to feel the same way, now that I'm figuring out how to foil the buggies in my garden that keep eating it. From a comment you made in a post somewhere I grew three plants (1 got eaten, but I re-seeded recently). I swear, nearly every other day there are 2 or 3 big leaves per plant that I can harvest without even making a dent. It grows and grows and it goes with anything. My beets are on the move and I've been snipping leaves here and there, but nothing near the volume from just a couple of chard plants.

I had to laugh the other day. My neighbour a couple of doors down has a leftover veggie garden. I say leftover, because her son planted it for her last summer when he visited her. She asked me if I would come over and help her identify some of the plants in it. She has a rainbow swiss chard that looks downright prehistoric. It's over 3 feet tall and I half expected to see a brontosaurus peek out from behind the fronds. She's also got a broccoli plant about 5' tall (the flower stalks are incredible!) I only know enough about gardening to be dangerous so far, and yeah, it looked like a brassica, but the only way I managed to identify it was from the tiny side shoots.

Back on topic! Beet greens rock! I like to carmelize shallots and garlic in a pat of butter, then add a bit of water and the greens, and cover till a little beyond wilted, but not browned. Cracked pepper to season. Yum.
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thesnapman44
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Re: Are Beet Leaves Edible?

That comment i made, was in a thread called, "Cucumbers gone awol". I didn`t find out what was eating my young cucumber plants, but ever since i put a normal household net curtain over the container, it has flourished well.
Back to the beet leafs, what you do with yours sounds delicious. I am going to have a look to see if shallots will do well in 4ftx4ft containers. I have more beet growing, and i plan to start another supply soon, so hopefully, if the shallots grow in time with the beet, i am going to try your idea. Thanks for the idea.

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Are Beet Leaves Edible?

Kind of off topic, but since they're the same, does Swiss chard make a small tap root? I attempted several years ago with rainbow chard, but couldn't get it going well on the raised rows. I've grown beets with great success, but don't harvest greens until I'm pulling them for the root. Waste not, want not...

Back on topic, sometimes I use Fatback!!!!! :shock: :shock: :shock: (heheheee)
Lindsay
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USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

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jal_ut
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Re: Are Beet Leaves Edible?

Are Beet Leaves Edible?
Indeed they are. One of my favorite early harvests. Enjoy!
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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applestar
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Re: Are Beet Leaves Edible?

One abnormally hot summer following an abnormality warm winter, we had beasties (pests) that we normally don't get around here. One of them was blister beetles and they went and DESTROYED all beet related plants before moving on to other plants -- because they couldn't find any more beets, Swiss chard or sugar beet leaves to munch on.

Do keep an eye out for them and be prepared to drop them in soapy water with a stick or gloved hands (as the name implies, they release caustic body fluid that burns and blisters your skin).

I also had an explosion of the larger grasshoppers (usually only see little ones) that year. It turns out THEY eat blister beetles.
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