Friday, June 17, 2011

Healthy Beets





A tribute to beets is always welcome as it has been a long time personal favorite.  The recipes are a little too complex for my liking although anyone can make borscht by the simple expedient of putting together a vegetable soup by empting all those unused veggies in the fridge into the food processor along with a couple of beets and plenty of water. Boil and season to taste and you are home.

However I will make life easy.

1                  Buy baby beets or whole beets and boil until tender.  Rinse with cold water to allow handling.  Slip skins off and discard.  Serve reheated with plenty of butter (optional).
2                  Buy beet greens, wash and then steam until tender. Serve with plenty of butter (optional).

Anything more complicated and you will take away from the flavor.

It is nice to know that something so tasty is also good for you.  Just remember they are no more difficult to work with than carrots and potatoes, so ignore such complex recipes.

Enjoy healthy beetroot

Saturday, June 04, 2011 by: Fleur Hupston

(NaturalNews) Beetroot is an ideal vegetable for both sweet and savory dishes. Packed with health benefits, beetroot has an earthy bitter/sweet taste that makes it ideal to eat either raw in salads or cooked in soups and stews. Read on for some great recipe ideas.

Baby beetroot is around the size of a golf-ball and is slightly sweeter than mature specimens. Beetroot leaves look a lot like baby spinach, with red stems and veins showing through the dark leaves. Often used in mixed salads, they have a peppery taste and a crunchy texture. Use as you would baby spinach leaves.

Choose beetroot that is firm to the touch and look carefully to make sure it is free of mold. Buy beetroot that has the stem and leaves remaining, preferably from an organic market.

Beetroot Health Benefits

Studies undertaken by the Queen Mary University, UK and published in the Journal of the American Heart Association have shown that beetroot juice can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. According to the research, naturally occurring nitrates in the beetroot produce a gas called nitric oxide in the blood which widens vessels and arteries.

In addition, beetroot helps liver, kidney and bladder function and helps to improve circulation.

Beet greens are a good source of calcium, iron and Vitamins A and C. Beetroot is an excellent source of folic acid, fiber, manganese and potassium.

Sweet and Sour Beetroot Soup (serves 6)

A variation on traditional Russian beetroot soup. (Borscht)

Ingredients:

1 small red cabbage, finely grated
1 large raw beetroot, finely grated
1 liter water
Himalayan salt to taste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
120g raisins
1 heaped tablespoon wholewheat flour
1 tablespoon butter

Method:


Boil the cabbage, beetroot and lemon juice, add the raisins and simmer until the ingredients are soft. Thicken by adding a little cold water to the flour and stirring into the soup. Stir until soup thickens; add salt to taste.

Spicy Turkish beetroot dip

Ingredients:

3 medium beetroot, trimmed
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/4 teaspoon hot paprika
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
2 gloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 cup natural yogurt (optional)


Method:

Boil beetroot until tender, then drain. When cool, peel the beetroot and chop into pieces. Blend the spices and remaining ingredients until smooth.


Beetroot is also delicious roasted. Try chopping beetroot into large pieces, toss in olive oil and fresh thyme leaves and roast in a moderate oven for about 30 minutes or until tender.


About the author
Fleur Hupston is a professional freelance writer. She is passionate about natural, healthy living and is currently studying to be a naturopath. She divides her time between writing for Natural News and various other sites, home schooling her children and studying part time.

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