Spring is in the air, I can feel it!! It's time to think about sunshine, warmer temperatures, and gardening!! April is National Garden Month, but did you know that 2018 is the year of the beet? I know what you are thinking, many of you may hate beets. In fact you are not alone! In an online poll, beets ranked 25th in a list of vegetables. Maybe after you read all of the benefits of beets you will change your mind and give them another chance.
Today's beet is touted as a "superfood." It is rich in antioxidants and contains more iron and natural sugar than most vegetables. They are also high in fiber, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, folic acid, and vitamins A and C. You may have even seen beet juice sold as a natural energy drink. The idea is that beet juice is packed with nitrates which your body converts to nitric oxide that enhances dilation of blood vessels. Therefore it increases your blood flow capacity and decreases the amount of oxygen your muscles need. Also, the red pigment in beets is used for coloring foods such as tomato paste, jam, jelly, candy, and ice cream.
My favorite way to eat them is roasted with a little bit of goat cheese or feta cheese sprinkled on top. Give this recipe a try!!
Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese
3 medium beets, washed and trimmed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon minced red onions
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 cups baby spinach
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Wrap the beets in a heavy foil packet and roast in preheated oven for about 1 hour, or until tender. Remove from oven, open the foil and cool. Once beets are cool enough to be handled, use a paper towel to peel and then dice.
3. In a medium bowl, add the olive oil, vinegar, honey, red onions, and Dijon mustard and whisk together. Add the beets and spinach to the dressing and toss to coat. Top with goat cheese and walnuts.