Can I use beet powder instead of beets?

Beets are a versatile and nutritious vegetable that can be enjoyed in many forms. From roasted beet wedges to blended beet smoothies, beets provide a pop of color and important vitamins and minerals. Some people prefer the convenience of beet powder as an alternative to using whole beets. But how do these two forms compare nutritionally? And when is it appropriate to substitute beet powder for whole beets?

Nutritional Comparison

First, let’s look at the nutritional profiles of whole beets versus beet powder. This will help us understand their similarities and differences.

Nutrient Whole Beets (cooked) Beet Powder
Calories 44 per 1/2 cup 50 per 2 tbsp
Protein 1.6 g 4 g
Carbs 9.6 g 11 g
Fiber 2.4 g 4 g
Sugar 7 g 7 g
Iron 0.8 mg 1.5 mg
Potassium 259 mg 530 mg
Vitamin C 4 mg 4 mg

As the table shows, beets and beet powder have a similar nutritional profile. The biggest differences are that beet powder contains more protein, fiber, iron and potassium per serving compared to cooked beets. This makes sense, since beet powder is a more concentrated form with less water content.

The vitamin and mineral content of beet powder can also vary depending on how it was processed and whether nutrients were lost during heating or drying. Overall though, beet powder provides comparable nutritional value to whole beets in a convenient concentrated form.

Taste and Texture

In addition to nutrition, it’s important to consider the taste and texture of beet powder compared to whole beets. Here is how they differ:

  • Whole beets have a firm, crunchy texture when raw that softens when cooked. Beet powder has a dry, fine texture.
  • The earthy, sweet flavor of beets is often described as more mellow in powder form. But beet powder can have slightly more concentrated sweetness.
  • Beet powder mixed into foods or drinks won’t provide the same texture as bites of whole beets. But it can add color and flavor.

The taste and texture of beet powder can vary between brands based on factors like the beet cultivars used and how finely the beets are ground. Overall though, beet powder has a subtler flavor and different texture compared to the distinctive bite of whole beets.


Now let’s explore some of the key benefits associated with beets and consider whether beet powder provides comparable advantages:

Betalain pigments

The rich color of beets comes from betalain pigments. These nitrogen-containing pigments have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Cooking and processing beets can degrade some of these beneficial pigments. But beet powder still provides betalain levels comparable to raw beets.


Beets are one of the best food sources of nitrates, which have multiple vascular and exercise performance benefits. Research shows processed beetroot juice retains similar nitrate levels as raw beets. So beet powders made from juiced beets likely provide comparable nitrate content to whole beets.

Blood pressure

Studies show beets may help lower blood pressure. This is attributed to their nitrate content. Since juiced beet powder contains similar nitrates, it may provide blood pressure benefits comparable to whole beets.

Athletic performance

Evidence suggests nitrate-rich beets can enhance athletic endurance and performance. That makes both whole beets and beet powders ideal for athletes looking for a performance boost.

Overall, beet powder made from juice retains many of the same benefits as whole beets, especially related to its nitrate and betalain content. The taste and texture differs, but the nutrition and health advantages remain similar.

Cost Comparison

Another consideration is the cost difference between beets and beet powders. Let’s compare:

Form Average Cost
Whole beets $1.00 – $2.00 per pound
Beet powder $12 – $15 for 6-8 oz container

Beet powder is clearly a more expensive option per serving compared to whole beets. But it offers convenience that some consumers are willing to pay more for. Evaluating your budget and needs can help determine if beet powder’s cost is justified for your purposes.

Usage and Substitution

Now that we’ve compared nutritional value, taste, benefits, and cost, let’s discuss optimal usage and substitution. Here are some guidelines on when beet powder works best as a substitute for whole beets:


Adding beet powder to smoothies is an easy way to incorporate its nutrients without altering texture. Replace 1 whole beet with 1-2 tablespoons of beet powder.

Sauces and dressings

Mixing beet powder into sauces, dips, and salad dressings infuses them with color and nutrients. Substitute about 1 tablespoon powder per 1 beet.

Baked goods

Adding beet powder to baked goods boosts their nutrient content and gives a vibrant color. Swap about 1-3 tablespoons powder for 1 beet in most recipes.

Soups and stews

Beet powder can dissolve nicely into soups and stews. Use 1-2 tablespoons per beet the recipe calls for.

Raw dishes

If a recipe relies on the crunch of raw beets, like beet salads, it’s best to stick to whole beets. Powder won’t provide the same texture.

Overall, beet powder can work well in place of whole beets when color and nutrient enhancement are desired, but the texture of whole beets is not critical to the dish. Evaluate each recipe to determine if powder would provide the characteristics needed.


Proper storage is important for preserving nutrients in both forms. Here are some storage guidelines:

  • Whole beets: Store unwashed, untrimmed beets in a plastic bag in the fridge up to 3-4 weeks.
  • Beet powder: Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place up to 6 months. Refrigeration can extend shelf life.

The concentrated nature of beet powder makes it more shelf-stable than fresh beets. But for longest nutrient retention, both whole beets and beet powder are best kept in cool, dark storage.


Beet powder and whole beets offer similar nutritional benefits, with beet powder providing more concentrated amounts in a serving. Beet powder works well blended into smoothies, baked goods, sauces and soups, but cannot replicate the texture of whole beets. It offers convenience at a higher cost. Evaluate each recipe and your needs to determine if swapping beet powder for whole beets would work well.

Both whole beets and beet powder provide great nutritional value and health benefits. Having some beet powder on hand gives you options for easily adding beets into more foods and drinks. But whole beets will always have unique textural and flavor attributes that powder cannot replicate. Enjoying both forms can allow you to maximize the nutrition and versatility of beets in your diet.

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