The farmer’s market is full of beets these days. I used to think that beets were gross. A couple of years ago, however, I fell in L-O-V-E with them. Full on love.
Beets are a popular garden vegetable for two reasons – they are fairly easy to grow and just about the whole plant can be consumed. Actually, the leaves, whether served tender and young in salads or cooked after they mature, are more nutritious than the beet root.
There are lots of Health Benefits of Beets (Silver Lining):
- In ancient times, beet root was used as a treatment for constipation and fever. In Medieval times, beets were used to for other digestive disorders and to fight scurvy. Beet leaves are said to be good for wounds when crushed and applied to them.
- Besides being low calorie, no fat and high in fiber, beets also contain substantial amounts of Vitamin C, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and copper.
- The high fiber content helps reduce triglyceride levels which means they are a heart healthy food. The Vitamin B folate amounts help in fetal spinal development, so beets are a good food to consume regularly during pregnancy, especially the first trimester.
- Betaines in beets help stimulate liver function, and the beta-carotene in them is good for the eyes. The Vitamin C content is beneficial for the respiratory system and also helps capillary development. Some studies show higher potassium levels can lower the likelihood of a stroke. Beets are rich in potassium.
I am a big fan of the Skinny Bitch series of books. Late last year, the Skinny Bitch Ultimate Everyday Cookbook came out and I am crazy about it. Delish and easy vegan recipes.
Below is one of my favorite Beet recipes from Skinny Bitch Ultimate Everyday Cookbook. There are more ingredients than I usually use, but they are all worth it!
Beet & Cheese Napoleon Salad with Candied Pecans and Shallot-Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 3 medium-size beets, tails trimmed and tops removed
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus pinch, to taste
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 (8-ounce) container of vegan cream cheese, cold
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 (10-ounce) bag of mixed baby greens
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced, with white and green parts
- 2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
- 1 medium avocado, sliced
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 medium shallots, finely minced
- 1/3 cup evaporated cane sugar
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning Mix
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
- In a shallow baking pan, add the beets and enough water to fill the pan 1/4 inch. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake 45-55 minutes, or until soft. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Once cooled, use a paper towel to rub off the skins. Slice the beets into 1/4-inch rounds.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
- In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, water, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and the pecans.
- Transfer the nuts in a single layer to a cookie sheet and bake 7 to 9 minutes, or until brown and crispy. Be careful not to burn them!
- In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese and garlic powder. Roll the cheese into 1-inch balls and place in a zip-top plastic bag. Lightly press to flatten out the cheese, to about 1/4-inch thick.
- Remove the bag and create a tower by starting with the one beet round and then gently topping with a slice of the cheese round.
- Add another beet slice on top and continue alternating until you have three layers of the beets with two to three layers of the cheese.
- Wipe the knife in between each slice to minimize the bleeding from the beets onto the cheese.
- Put the baby greens on a large plate or platter and add the green onions, cucumbers, and avocado.
- In a medium bowl, prepare the dressing by whisking together the oil, balsamic vinegar, shallots, evaporated cane sugar, mustard, Italian seasoning Mix, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Gently place the beet cheese towers on the plate atop the greens.
- Drizzle with the dressing and top with the pecans.
A recipe has no soul. You, as the cook, must bring soul to the recipe.