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Don’t Skip a Beet

4 Ways to prepare beets and enjoy them in your everyday eating habits.

I love beets. Beets are an acquired taste for some people.  I often encourage clients to coach their palates by trying various methods of preparing food.  You may discover that a raw beet is more palatable than say a roasted one – or adding additional seasonings to give a new food item a chance.

The bright beautiful color, the duality of their earthiness and sweetness they release, and the way they bleed all over our hands – that can lend a natural stain for lipstick or rouge – really just warms my heart.  With a nutritional lens on, it’s the particular molecule found in beets, the natural nitrates that convert into nitric oxide, to put into focus.

I will provide you with recipes to turnip your beets with a variety of ways to enjoy them in your diets, as well as the nutritional science of how they can improve our heart health.


Beet Kvass


If your palate enjoys the sour flavor in lemonade, then Hello Palate is here to introduce your taste buds to a delicious age-old tonic that uses a healthful process called lacto-fermentation. There are many misconceptions about homemade fermented beverages and it’s time we set them aside to harness the regenerative healing powers of mother-nature in our own kitchens.

The Original Sport Drink

If you’re new to fermenting foods, this recipe is ideal for beginners.   All you need is a mason jar, simple ingredients, and some patience.  When you enjoy foods like kvass, you are basically swallowing a probiotic supplement with a tasty, thirst-quenching satisfying beverage.  Kvass is the most diverse source of invaluable enzymes and bacteria to support digestion.  In fact, Hello Palate calls fermented beverages the “original sports drinks”.  After a strenuous workout, our bodies require a balance of electrolytes, and cultured beverages like kvass provide efficient hydration and electrolyte. Plus, the added benefits of nitrates from the beets that provide nitric oxide to our blood vessels without the sugar or preservatives found in store-bought modern-day “sports drinks”.   I got this gut feeling you’ll love it!

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces beets (approximately)
  • 1 teaspoon best quality sea salt or Himalayan  salt
  • Optional flavorings: ginger, lemon, orange, spices
  • 1-quart clean jar with a canning lid
  • A little patience
  • Bowl and plate to place under the jar during the fermentation process
  • Strainer

Preparations

  • Clean and trim the beets and trim the tops and tails but leave the skins on. Dice the beets into ½ inch cubes.  You don’t have to be precise in shapes but you do want to give the beets surface area to ferment.  Best not to finely chop or grate the beets which can lead to very rapid fermentation and alcohol production.
  • Place the beets in a sanitized clean mason jar.  Add your salt and any other additional flavorings like ginger, orange rind, spices, or lemon.
  • Cover the beets with pure filtered and unchlorinated water.  Leave at least 1 inch of headspace at the top of the jar.  Cover the jar tightly to let it ferment at room temperature.  You may see bubbles inside the jar, even hear the sound of it, and the brine may seep out of the lid.  Place a bowl or plate under the jar to catch any overflow.  This is a good sign that fermentation is in play.
  • Check your ferment daily and taste the liquid once a day to release gases produced during fermentation.  If you find any mold or scum simply skim it off.
  • Once you decide the taste is strong enough for your like, strain the beets and other contents and transfer the kvass to the refrigerator.  Once you’ve completed this step the process of fermentation is over.  You may enjoy it right away, but as a fermented beverage, this kvass lasts for a month or longer.

Parchment – Roasted Beet with Orange Ginger and Greens


Simple roasting technique but so tasty, this recipe creates tender sweet beets with a hint of orange and ginger to celebrate vegetables cooked without fuss any longer

Roasted Beets in Parchment Labneh, Orange Ginger Dressing

Ingredients

  • 4 Beets, washed and trimmed
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 orange freshly juiced
  • 1 tablespoon of grated fresh ginger
  • Sea Salt and Freshly ground black pepper
  • A handful of fresh herbs basil, mint, chervil
  • 1/4 cup of thick yogurt labneh

Preparations

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Wash and trim the greens from the beets.
  • Cut 4 sheets of parchment and lay them on a baking tray. Place one beet in the middle of each sheet.
  • Make the orange, ginger dressing: In a bowl, add the juice of one large orange, grated ginger, orange zest, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt and whisk ¼ cup of olive oil to combine ingredients. Drizzle about a tablespoon of dressing and salt and pepper, then wrap up the beet to completely seal.  Repeat with the remaining beets.
  • Place on a baking sheet and roast for 1 hour.  Check for doneness by inserting a fork through a bulb to test if they are cooked.
  • Once done, carefully transfer onto a serving plate, unwrap, cut an X into the tops and push down like a jacket potato. Leave to cool for a few minutes.
  • Just before serving drizzle over any remaining dressing, top it with your favorite protein (steamed chicken, poached fish, tempeh, or lentils) or a thick creamy yogurt Labneh if desired.  Add your greens. Serve immediately.

 

 


For additional Beet recipes see Beet Burger your way, and Beetacular Smoothie.


 

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