Roll with the beet

Turn the wintry root vegetable into antioxidant-packed chips with nutritionist Keri Glassman's simple recipe.

Low in calories and high in nutrients, not many vegetables beat the beet. These purple roots can polarize a dinner party: people either love 'em or hate 'em. If you're part of the latter group, why not make December a month to try something new? Check your childhood beet memories at the door and begin a fresh relationship with this surprisingly sophisticated superfood.

The wholesome beet, known in the nutrition world as a "spectacular superfood," has a unique combination of antioxidants that aid in eye and nerve tissue health. Lab studies have shown that its particular antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, uncommon in most other vegetables, can protect our cells from many types of cancer such as colon, stomach, nerve, lung and breast cancers.

Beets are also cardiovascular-friendly foods. They aid in heart health by offering protection against coronary heart disease. Added bonus: they're high in fiber, helping to fight fat and regulate digestive functioning.

Anytime you need to add a splash of color to a plate, look no further than these nutritional powerhouses. Or try them on their own in the quick snack recipe below.

Roasted Beet Chips
(Serves 2)

1 medium beet, thinly sliced (although I make 12 beets at a time!)
1 tsp. cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
Dash of sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Place beets on baking sheet, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
3. Bake 8 to 12 minutes or to desired crispness, turning once halfway through.

Nationally recognized nutrition expert and author Keri Glassman (@KeriGlassman) is the founder and president of Nutritious Life, a nutrition practice based in New York City.