Hi! I'm Alison.

Welcome to Food by Mars. Your source for healthy recipes, wellness tips and tricks to easily integrate into your life. As a Holistic Health Coach, it's my mission to connect the mind, body and soul with whole foods & whole living.

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Balsamic Beets & Greens (vegan & gluten-free)

Balsamic Beets & Greens (vegan & gluten-free)

Balsamic Beets and Greens (gluten-free, vegan) via Food by Mars
Balsamic Beets and Greens (gluten-free, vegan) via Food by Mars

Historically, I have never liked beets. This is not the first time I've had to come clean about this on the blog... but this is the first time I can honestly say... I think I have overcome my beet-phobia. I could just never get past the "earthiness" (AKA - overwhelmingly strong dirt taste), but I have persevered. I've been stubborn about finding a way to like them #TaurusProblems

My first beet recipe on the blog was a beet & feta dip, and while I was proud of myself for that (hey, it was a milestone for me, OKAY?!) how impressive is it to like something chock-full of feta? I would probably eat feta with anything. Time to kick it up a notch. So a friend of mine introduced me to slathering beets with balsamic vinegar. How could such a simple combo make such a big difference? I don't know... SCIENCE? Well all I know is, it did... and now I can AND WANT to eat these by the fork-load. I jazzed it up by making it with a balsamic reduction, because the extra effort is SO WORTH IT (See dramatic pouring photo below to see what I mean) and some raw pepitas for crunch. Also... the greens, THE. GREENS. - They are so good! I had no idea what I was missing out on, they're delicious. And highly nutritious (high in Vitamins C, K, and A) - so save those greens! 

Are you a beet-lover or hater? Let me know below, but promise me you will make this recipe either way... because it will beet anything else you've tried. 

- Drops mic -

Balsamic Beets and Greens (gluten-free, vegan) via Food by Mars
Balsamic Beets and Greens (gluten-free, vegan) via Food by Mars
Balsamic Beets and Greens (gluten-free, vegan) via Food by Mars
Balsamic Beets & Greens (vegan,gluten-free) via Food by Mars

Balsamic Beets and Greens (gluten-free, vegan) via Food by Mars


serves 3-4 sides depending on size of beets

  • 2-3 fresh whole beets with greens attached
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 2 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp raw pepitas
  • sea salt
  • pepper

Balsamic Reduction (to drizzle):

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • pinch of clove powder (optional)


  1. Chop stems off beets, leaving a couple of inches attached to the beets. Rinse off any dirt and add to a large pot (leaving them whole).
  2. Cover beets with cool water, add 1 tsp white vinegar and 1 tsp salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, leave them at medium heat for approx. 45 mins (large beets may take an hour, you'll know when poking with a fork and they're tender).
  3. Prep the greens by snipping the stems and discarding (you can leave an inch or so on the ends of the leaves). Rinse greens and let dry. Set aside.
  4. Once beets are done, remove them from the water and place on a cutting board.
  5. Add the greens to the hot water over low heat to blanch for 2-3 minutes, then set aside. You can discard the pink water now!
  6. Meanwhile, get some kitchen gloves on and peel the outer layer off beets, set aside.
  7. Make the balsamic reduction which should take approx. 5 minutes: add all ingredients to a skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a spoon. You need to watch this so it doesn't burn, so be careful multi-tasking!
  8. Keep stirring until you see tiny bubbles form and you start to feel the vinegar get thicker. Once it's thick (almost like a syrup, but not quite) - pour into a cup and save it for drizzling on afterwards. 
  9. In that same skillet with the vinegar glazed on it, add 1 tsp olive oil and heat over low-medium. Add your greens and start sautΓ©ing them with tongs or a wooden spoon. 
  10. After 2-3 minutes of this, add in minced garlic, sea salt and pepper to taste- and keep stirring. Once greens are dark and look like cooked spinach almost, you can remove from the heat (grab all that leftover vinegar on the pan too!). Plate the greens.
  11. Chop your beets into wedges and place on top of greens, add remaining olive oil and 1 tsp balsamic vinegar and lightly mix together to sit.
  12. Now is the decadent part... Drizzle your thick-syrupy balsamic reduction over top and sprinkle pepitas over top. Add a little pinch of more sea salt and VOILA. 

Balsamic Beets and Greens (gluten-free, vegan) via Food by Mars
Balsamic Beets and Greens (gluten-free, vegan) via Food by Mars
Hope you enjoy!
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