Beets are at their best from June-October, which means it was time to get myself in action with using them in interesting and appealing ways! This blog post is dedicated to teaching you more about this unique vegetable, including 4 different ways in which you may enjoy them this summer, in straight-forward and highly-pleasing ways!
Are a source of phytonutrients (plant nutrients) called BETALAINS
Betalains possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxification support for the body
In beets, Betalains are concentrated both in the peel and in the flesh
Due to the fact that Betalains undergo a steady loss from food as the cooking time of beets increases, aim to keep steaming time to 15 minutes or less, and roasting time under 1 hour
Beets are a great source of dietary fiber AND micronutrients (vitamins & minerals), including: copper, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin C, folate, manganese, potassium, iron and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)[i]
Are low in calories
Contain no cholesterol
Have the highest sugar content of all vegetables, yet still have a moderate score on the Glycemic Index (a scale that ranks carbohydrate-rich food, according to the food's ability to increase blood sugar levels)[ii]
DETOXIFYING BEET JUICE
Red apple: vitamin C and potassium
Lemon: vitamin C, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and citric acid
Carrots: beta-carotene, vitamin A, biotin and vitamin K
Ginger: B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, potassium and zinc
Ingredients (serves 1 - makes ~ 2 cups):
2 large beets (or 4 small beets)
1 red apple
4 medium-sized carrots
1″ piece of ginger
Wash all produce well and chop into pieces of appropriate size for the juicer at hand.
Juice ingredients, stir and enjoy!
I have published a blog post about Beet Hummus, a vibrant and flavourful alternative to your traditional chickpea hummus - you may view the post by clicking on the "Snacks" category at the top of this post! This dish is versatile, in being able to be served with chopped veggies, crackers, pita bread, etc. And, the colour is just incredible!
“Carpaccio” is an Italian hors d’ oeuvre composed of very thinly sliced beef or fish, served in a sauce. This vegetarian variation on a traditional Carpaccio is a must-try!
“Deliciously ELLA: 100+ Easy, Healthy, and Delicious Plant-Based, Gluten-Free Recipes” is one of my go-to cookbooks, which you can learn about more in my blog post about it by clicking on the orange "Cookbooks" category at the top of this post!
This recipe comes from this cookbook, and is incredibly delicious and straight-forward to prepare. FYI: You will roast the beets for approx. 45 minutes prior to letting them cool. Then, they will be thinly sliced and dressed with an apple cider vinegar-based dressing and fresh baby arugula. I highly recommend this cookbook to those looking for new recipe options that are both plant-based and gluten-free yet not too time-demanding!
SPRING CLEAN RAW BEET, CARROT & APPLE SALAD
The “Oh She Glows” blog and cookbook are some of my other favourite, go-to, recipe sources. Again, this salad is easy-to-prepare, utilizing just a handful of ingredients with a refreshingly clean dressing that includes balsamic vinegar, fresh lemon and pure maple syrup. I loved it served on a bed of baby arugula and garnished with hulled hemp seeds and sesame seeds! Wow!
You may view the recipe here.
What are your favourite ways in which to enjoy beets? I’d love to keep expanding my repertoire with recipes tried and true that YOU’VE enjoyed!
[i] The World’s Healthiest Foods: Beets. Retrieved June 26, 2016 from http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=49
[ii] Organic Facts: Unbiased Info on Nutrition, Benefits of Food & Home Remedies. Retrieved June 26, 2016 from https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/beets.html