April Seasonal Recipe: Beets
Written by Arielle Kestenbaum | Reviewed by Alyssa Tucci, RDN, CDN, MS, RD
As we get ready to put our winter clothes away, and prepare for spring, its always exciting to learn about the seasons freshest produce. There are many delicious fruits and vegetables that are “spring friendly”, but one that is both tastes and looks good is beets.
Beets are highly nutritious and are said to be “cardiovascular health” friendly. They are a root vegetable that, because of its unusual deep pigments, contains antioxidants. They have also been found to protect against coronary artery disease and stroke, as well as lower cholesterol levels in the body. They are low in calories and fat, and very rich in fiber, vitamins and mineral. Beets are said to be a rich source of the phytochemical compound called glycine betaine, which has the property of lowering homocysteine (one of the highly toxic metabolites that can be harmful to blood vessels) levels within the blood. Beets can be prepared in all different ways, and are a healthy vegetable that you should introduce into your diet this season!
1. Rosemary Beet Chips:
3 medium-large beets, rinsed and scrubbed
Sea salt and black pepper
2-3 sprigs rosemary, roughly chopped
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and place oven rack in center of oven
2. Thinly slice beets with a sharp knife (or mandolin), getting them consistently as thin as possible.
3. Divide between two baking sheets and spray or drizzle lightly with olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and the rosemary.
4. Toss to coat, then arrange in a single layer without the beets touching
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crispy and light brown. Be sure to watch closely after the 15-minute mark as they can burn quickly.
6. Remove from oven, let cool and serve
2. Warm Kale Salad with Quinoa and Roasted Beets
2 bunches baby beets, scrubbed and trimmed
½ cup balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp grape seed oil
salt and pepper
Quinoa and salad:
½ cup quinoa, rinsed
1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves torn
2 tbsp grape seed oil
1 glove garlic, peeled and sliced
1 tsp smoked paprika
Salt and pepper
Handful of pecorino shavings
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Place trimmed beets in deep ceramic or glass dish. Pour balsamic vinegar and grape seed oil. Sprinkle in the sugar salt and pepper
3. Cover dish with foil and roast for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue roasting, uncovered, for 20 more minutes. The beets should be tender
4. Remove from dish and allow to cool
5. In a small saucepan, place rinsed quinoa and cook according to packaging. Add a pinch of salt.
6. In a large soup pot, heat 2 TBSP grape seed oil over medium heat. Add garlic and smoked paprika and stir around about 30 seconds.
7. Add quinoa, a splash of water and half of the kale. Stir around until kale begins to wilt a bit. Add the remaining kale and season with salt and pepper. Kale should be slightly wilted, but still firm. Take off heat and transfer kale and quinoa mixture to bowl.
8. Arrange roasted beets on tope of kale and quinoa. Drizzle salad with the balsamic cooking liquid in the pan.
9. Scatter pecorino shavings on top and serve.
3. Beet and Walnut Dip
8 ounces cooked beets (boiled), chopped
1-cup raw walnuts
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1. Add all of the ingredients, except for the olive oil, to a food processor. Turn on food processor and let it run into mixture is thick and creamy.
2. Leaving the food processor on, slowly incorporate the olive oil through the top of the mixer. Process until well combined.
3. Taste for flavor, add more cider vinegar or sea salt accordingly. If dip needs to be thinned out, slowly incorporate more olive oil.
4. Serve with pita bread, vegetable crudité or on your favorite sandwich