Happy Blogiversary to ME!!! I can’t believe this little blog is a year old today. Seems like just yesterday it was a fleeting thought in my head. Thanks again to all of my readers. If you know of anyone else who is interested in plant based healthy eating, I would love it if you would share my site with them. And I always love hear from you guys…what foods or cuisines you would like featured…what you tried from this site and what you thought about it, or any questions you might have.
I asked last week for recommdations on which ingredients you would like featured and the winner this week is BEETS!! I think its pretty common to be intimidated by beets. Let’s face it, they can be messy with all their beautiful redness. They may stain your clothes, so you do have to be careful, but they wash right off of your hands and dishes quite easily. I even stored some roasted marinated beets in a plastic container in the fridge and it didn’t stain at all.
Beets are super healthy! They belong to the same family as spinach, chard and quinoa. They are high in folate, fiber, potassium, vitamin C, iron and vitamin B6. Beet greens are really high in lutein, very important in eye health. Beets also have antioxident and anti-inflammatory properties, beneficial in preventing and reversing disease. With only about 59 calories per cup, you will want to eat up!!
I’ll admit, I don’t use beets very often. If they are on my plate, you will most likely find them atop a salad. And I grew up in a family of borscht lovers (that’s beet soup in case you didn’t know). While those are both good choices for using beets, I wanted to get a little more creative. Drawing inspiration from Pinterest, I came up with two quick and easy recipes to use the beautiful red beets I found while shopping with a friend at a local co-op in Madison, WI. Save those beet greens my friends….while I don’t use them here, there are plenty of ways to get those in your diet as well.
First, let’s roast some beets. (I used 6 small beets for these two recipes).
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
- Cut the greens off, trim the tails and cut each beet in half
- Place beets on a foil lined baking sheet and cover with an additional sheet of foil
- Bake for about 50 minutes or until the beets are fork tender
- Remove from oven and allow to cool
- Once cool, peel the skins off the beets
- Place roasted beets in a container or plastic bag with 1/2 cup orange juice and stick in fridge until you plan to use them. They should keep for several days.
Strawberry Beet Smoothie
- 1 cup unsweetened soymilk (WestSoy is my fave…just organic soybeans and filterd water. Almond milk would work too)
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- 1 very ripe banana
- 2-3 small roasted marinated beets
Place all ingredients in a blender and watch the magic happen.
This turns out the most beautiful pink color. My girls were in heaven! My son loved this too! It’s sweet from the banana and strawberries and has just a hint of the earthiness of the beets. Will definitely be making this again!
Roasted Beet and Walnut Spread
- 4 small roasted marinated beets (these don’t need to be marinated…it’s just what I had)
- 1/2 cup walnuts (toasted if you prefer)
- heaping 1/2 cup of cooked white beans (chickpeas would work here too)
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove
- pinch of salt
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until creamy. You may add a little water or more EVOO if you need for consistency. Or on the flip side, if yours is too runny, add more beans or walnuts.
This was SO good! It has a wonderful sweetness to it while still be savory. Again, the kids ate this up. The girls were BEGGING for more! Wow! We snacked on it with whole wheat crackers and cucumbers. This spread would be an excellent addition to any veggie tray…especially for Valentine’s Day or Christmas. I think it would be amazing as a spread on a veggie sandwich too. How else would you use it?
I’ve got more beets to use up and I am so excited to try a burger recipe later this week. Stay tuned!!