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A Fresh Approach to Eating

Beet Risotto

Make some Beet Risotto and celebrate Earth Day! We can reduce being in the habit of throwing away perfectly good food! Food waste is not only good for our food budget but also for is good for the earth! (this recipe has an affiliate link and if you purchase from this link, I receive a small portion of the sale.)

Why Reduce Food Waste?

There are lots of great reasons to do it!  Did you know that 18% of the trash in landfills comes from leftover food? That is equal to about 40 tons of food are thrown out each year (10 billion tons of the food is left is the farm fields that is perfectly good to eat). I came across a great resource about food waste called Keeping Food Out of the Landfill from the Harvard Law & Policy Clinic

Besides wasting money, there are additional good reasons not to waste food:

  • Food left in the fields can be gleaned to share with people who may be food insecure. There are several groups that glean food leftover in fields and share it with the community who needs it. One of these groups is the Society of Saint Andrews.
  • Food waste is that food thrown in a landfill produces methane gas when it is decayed which has 21% more warming potential as carbon dioxide gas. This gas can have a negative impact on our environment. You can read a little bit more about the problems with food producing methane here.
Locally grown beets in garden
You can’t get any fresher than purchasing the beets straight from the farmers’ market.

Prevent food waste:

Reduce. Re-use. Recycle!

1.Reduce: With some careful meal planning, each of us can plan meals that we will need so when we go to the grocery store, we don’t purchase excess that may we will not use that will go to waste.

If this thinking ahead approach does not come naturally for you, there are a lot of great resources to help you get started! Another great way to reduce is also purchasing minimally packaged foods so there will be less paper and plastic to be thrown away.

2.  Re-Use: When I think about re-using, I think about making a vegetable broth with unused vegetable scraps like potato peels, celery roots, and herb stems.

However, it is also important to find creative uses for edible portions of vegetables that we often throw away like carrot tops, potato peels, melon rinds, citrus peels and apple peels. I found so many delicious ways to turn some of those food and vegetable scraps into something delicious.

3. Recycle: Some vegetable and fruit table scraps are pretty difficult to go ahead and eat so a little bit needs to be recycled. Composting is a great way to recycle those inedible bits and pieces of fruits and vegetables.

I grew up in a rural area where we composted all organic materials to make a rich, beautiful soil. When I moved to an urban area, I temporarily quit composting because it was not really done that much in urban areas at that time. Over the years, my husband and I became more familiar with urban composting and researched the great reasons to do it and tools to use became more widely available.

Here is a great website with resources and information on ways to compost whether you live in the city or a rural area. For some people who live in apartments and do not have a place to compost, there are some areas that have companies that come to pick up those valuable vegetable table scraps so check those out too! But it does have a section on home to compost indoors.

It seems that people either love or hate beets. I hope that after reading this blog post that you will love them or at least eat them more often.

There are many people who ask: Are beets good for you?

Here are just a few ways!

Nutritional Benefits of Beets

Beets are rich in lots of vitamins, minerals and medicinal plant chemicals. Here are just a few of beets health benefits:

  1. Beets and Garlic for Blood Pressure: These colorful root vegetables are rich in nitrates which break down into nitric oxide which helps promote blood flow in the body and may help lower blood pressure. Combine it with garlic & it may be even more powerful!
  2. Are Beets Good for Inflammation?: Yes, indeed! Beets have powerful anti-inflammatory properties like nitrates and betalain which help us fight chronic diseases and immune conditions.
  3. Beets and Digestive Health: The fiber in beets can help with digestive health.
  4. Beet Root and Cancer: Beets contains several anti-cancer plant chemicals like betalain, ferulic acid, kaempferol and caffeic acid which appear to have chemo preventive activities and help disrupt the growth of cancer cells.
    Are beets really nutritious? – American Institute for Cancer Research % (
  5. Beets and Brain Health: They play an important role in brain health because of the nitrates which help with blood flow in the brain.
  6. Beet Nutrition: And last but not least, they are rich in copper, folate and manganese. You can read more about the benefits of beets and their nutrients here. In addition, they also contain potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and zinc. So, for those of you wondering if beets are high in iron, yes, they are!
  7. Anti-oxidants in Beets: The anti-oxidant activity in beets help act as a free radical scavenger that may even help us feel a boost of energy.

Different Ways to Prepare Beets

Beets can be very versatile. You can roast, grill, puree, steam, grate and simmer them. You can add them to smoothies, desserts, salads, main dishes and soups. You can use them in a condiment. In addition, there are health benefits of pickled beets also.

To make this creamy dish, I used arborio rice. You can find out about this rice variety here.

I wanted to share a recipe with that I hope that you will love. How often do we throw away the stems and even the greens when we prepare only the roots of beets? These facts inspired this Roasted Beet Risotto recipe! You can get more beet nutrition by adding every bit of the beet!

When I think about beets, I often think about spring, but beets also can be grown in the summer, fall and even winter in many regions.

Recipe for Beet Risotto


Roasted Beet Risotto

Roasted Beet Risotto

I used a mixture of golden and purple beets to make this beautiful risotto! And in addition, I chopped up the beet stems and greens to put in there also. If you scrubbed the beets real well, go ahead and roast and use the entire beet root in the recipe.

I peeled the beets this time and used them to dye Easter eggs but you could even save them to make a vegetable broth. If you have young, baby beets, you may not even need to peel them. I hope that you enjoy this colorful plant based main dish!

Makes 6-8 servings.

3 tablespoon olive oil

5-6 cups vegetable broth (If you are looking for a garlic and onion free broth check out this link:

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup chopped onion or green onion

1 1/2 cups Arborio rice

2 teaspoon thyme

2 dark red beets, peeled and sliced in 1/4-inch slices (I use a sandwich bag on my hand when I peel and slice the beets to prevent my hands from getting “beet red”

2 golden yellow beets, peeled and sliced in 1/4-inch slices

Chopped beet greens from the greens

Chopped beet stems cut in half inch pieces

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease a cookie sheet with 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil and toss the beets and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add beet slices to the cookie sheet and bake about 10 minutes turning the beets over and bake about 5 more minutes. Take out and allow to cool. In a large skillet, heat 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.

Add beet stems and onions. Saute until translucent and add beet greens. Set the skillet off the heat. In a large saucepan begin heating the broth in a large stock pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add rice and gently stir it into the olive oil. Turn down the heat to the stock pot.  Add 1/2 cup wine, stirring until it evaporates.

Continue to be adding vegetable broth 1/2 cup at a time until 5 cups of broth have been added. the broth will become creamy, and the rice kernels will soften. Add dry thyme and then add the rest of broth 1/2 cup at a time. Test taste a granule of the rice to make sure that it is cooked. If it is too chewy, add more broth or water if needed until rice granules are soft. When rice is finished, carefully add onions, stems and greens.

Add the rice to a large bowl and add the cooked beet root on top of the risotto. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Carefully place in bowls. Or you can put risotto in bowls and then top with beets and Parmesan cheese.

In addition to this risotto recipe, you may also like this beet and spinach salad.

Make Some Beet Risotto

Celebrate Earth Day with a colorful bowl of this Beet Risotto! I hope that some of the ideas I shared to limit food waste will inspire you to try some of them along! I also hope some of the health benefits that beets provide will be an inspiration to give them a second look to have more often!

If you are new to my blog, welcome and please sign up so you don’t miss a post! And if you have come by again, thank you and come back soon. You can find out a little more about me here.

Below, is my set up for composting, I hope that it inspires ideas for you to get started! I look forward to hearing how it goes for you!

Make Your Own Compost Post
From farm to garden! Use your unused vegetable scraps to make garden soil!
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