Our daughter is a big fan of all the “Pinkalicious” books. Pinkalicious is a girl who loves the color pink. Her favorite foods are pink cupcakes, watermelon, strawberries and red beets. So imagine her delight when Vivian spotted pink chickpeas on the dinner table last night. I had mixed the chickpeas with chopped marinated beet slices- not only did the dish look very cheerful, it also tasted delicious- slightly sweet and with a slightly chewy texture.
BEETS are an amazing source of a broad range of vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and fiber, which may improve your health in several ways:
- Liver protective: Beets contain the bioactive agent betaine which stimulates the function of liver cells and protects the liver and bile ducts;
- “Blood builders”: high iron content in raw beets can be helpful for people who suffer from anaemia and fatigue;
- Protective in regards to spinal cord defects, such as spina bifida, because of their high folic acid content (which is crucial to the development of a baby’s spinal cord)
- Strong bones: Beets contain the mineral silica, which helps the body to utilize calcium, so it’s important for musculo-skeletal health and reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
- Stress relief: Beets are a unique source of betaine, a nutrient that helps protects cells, proteins, and enzymes from environmental stress.
- Cancer fighting potential: The powerful phytonutrients that give beets their deep crimson color may help to ward off cancer.
- Detox properties: The betalin pigments in beets support your body’s Phase 2 detoxification process, which is when broken down toxins are bound to other molecules so they can be excreted from your body.
Originally, it was the beet GREENS that were consumed; the sweet red beet ROOT that most people think of as a “beet” today wasn’t cultivated until the era of ancient Rome.
By the 19th century, however, the natural sweetness of beets came to be appreciated and beets began to be used as a source of sugar.
Today, sugar beets (unfortunately often genetically modified) are a common raw material used for the production of sugar, but many people are missing out on including them in WHOLE FORM in their regular diet.
So here’s how to marinate beets: steam them until tender and slice them as soon as they have cool off enough.
Combine with olive oil, apple cider vinegar and balsamic vinegar and season with salt. Let them rest for 10 minutes to soak up the flavors.
Cut in smaller pieces and mix with chickpeas.
Store leftover beets in a closed mason jar in the fridge. See recipe here http://plantbasedhappy.com/?page_id=5300
I also use beets in dips – A few weeks ago, I had made this truly amazing walnut pomegranate beetroot dip that you should definitely try (http://plantbasedhappy.com/?page_id=4449).
You can also sneak some steamed pureed beets into a brownie recipe (http://http://plantbasedhappy.com/?page_id=766).
Enjoy your beets!