Warm Beet Salad

Beets are an antioxidant-rich root vegetable that provides serious support for the liver and gallbladder. The deep pigments that give beets their rich color, called betalains, are special phytonutrients that provide anti-inflammatory and detoxification benefits.

Loaded with a variety of nutrients such as folate, potassium (essential for healthy nerve and muscle function), magnesium, fiber, manganese (good for your bones, liver kidneys and pancreas) and immune-boosting vitamin C, beets are a great way to increase the nutrient-density of your diet. Eating beet root may help to lower blood pressure, boost your stamina, and fight inflammation and cancer.

And we’d be silly to throw away the beet greens! They are among the healthiest and most nutritious part of the plant! The greens supply significant amounts of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron and calcium and may strengthen your immune system as well as support brain and bone health.

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Beets with Garlic and Fennel

I planted my beets in February this year and I received a bumper crop! Unfortunately, they began to bolt last week so I knew it was time to harvest them. What to do with a sink full of beets? Ferment them!

 

Fermentation? Like beer? Well, yes, but . . .  You know that yogurt you enjoy? That’s fermented milk. Not only does it taste good, but it has probiotics – good bacteria – which benefit your digestion.  Did you realize that every civilization throughout time has had their history of fermented foods and beverages? They had to utilize fermentation for lack of refrigeration. Today, many of us eat versions of these ferments such as aged cheeses, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, wine and cider which all began as naturally fermented foods.

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You Can’t Beat Beets!

I have bad memories of the lunch ladies in grade school “making” us eat our warm, mushy canned beets. But now as a Nutritional Therapist, I realize there is so much more to beets! In the last year, I’ve come to appreciate beets in many forms – raw and shredded in a salad, pickled on a sandwich, roasted and eaten cold, as a fermented beverage called kvass, and sauteed beet greens and garlic with my eggs for breakfast. (Honestly, sooo delicious!)

I grew beets in my garden this year – traditional red beets, golden beets, and white Chiogga beets, which, when sliced, look like a bulls-eye. I harvested a whole sink full of beets the other day so I’ve been looking for more inspiration for how to use them in my diet. I’ve shared additional recipes with you at the end of this post.

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