Sorry, I couldn’t resist…and really, I am not sorry at all! I almost chose…“And the ‘BEET’ goes on!”, or “Can I get a ‘BEET’?” or “Just ‘BEET’ it”. But, because of the cardiovascular focus of this article, I landed on the heart title. So, you’re welcome. Let’s talk about em…beets, the pickled red thing at the end of the salad bar that only the “old” people put on their salads who have clearly lost their taste buds, right? Well, think again my friends. Beets are chalked full of nutrients, vitamins and minerals that make this veggie a rock star. Beets have been studied and shown to improve mental health, are a high quality energy boost, can affect and improve cardiovascular function and are potentially an aphrodisiac (again, you’re welcome).
Maybe you have heard a bit about the benefit to drinking beet juice to improve aerobic performance. Take a minute to read the article posted in Active.com.
The trouble lies in figuring out a way you can incorporate this little guy into your nutritional rotation. I always like to try a food raw first to see what its original flavor is and then experiment with different cooking options. So, why not grate them in a salad and get all the benefit of the naturally occurring nitrates and vitamins. Oh, and, you can incorporate the beet greens into the salad as well! Here is my recipe:
Raw Beet Salad
1 cup chopped beet greens, rinsed 1 cup spinach, chopped
1⁄4 cup raw beets, grated
2 TBS. gorgonzola cheese
2 TBS. slivered almonds
1⁄4 of an avocado, diced
**Drizzle with honey mustard vinaigrette
Recipe for the dressing
1⁄4 cup apple cider vinegar 1⁄4 cup olive oil
1 TBS. honey
1 TBS. dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste **whisk ingredients together
Or, you can roast them and get the benefit of the slight caramelization that happens while roasting. I couldn’t resist eating them straight from the pan even though I knew I was likely going to burn the taste buds right off my tongue. Man, they are so good with their earthy and slightly sweet flavor, they are sure to surprise you. Here is my recipe for roasted beets.
Roasted Beets and Leeks
3 beets, washed and cubed into 2” cubes
1 leek, sliced into thin strips
1 TBS. olive oil
Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
**Turn oven to 400 degrees. Wash and cut the beets into cubes (be sure to scrub them well to get the dirt off). Reserving the beet greens for the salad. Rinse the leek well to be sure to get all the dirt out of it as well. Sometimes I like to cut the leek first into thin strips and then place it in a colander or salad spinner to rinse it, so you can be sure to get all the dirt out. Place the beets and leeks on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and add salt, pepper and a little garlic powder if you want. Bake at 400 degrees for 2025 minutes until they are fork tender and slightly caramelized.
Thanks for joining me on another Foodie Friday! Food is a constant journey that takes you to new places… & I love being part of your journey.