As fall approaches, root vegetables like beets begin to reach their prime. In addition to many vitamins and minerals including iron, beets contain a powerful group of antioxidants called Betalains. These are responsible for the vegetable’s deep, ruby red color. Betalains have cancer fighting properties and act as an anti-inflammatory in the body. They help to improve the elasticity of the skin and strengthen the integrity of cell walls. Diets rich in antioxidants have been shown to lower the rate of all major diseases, especially cardiovascular.
For some, beets are a delicious treat in their whole form. But if you are like me, they must be hidden amongst other flavors to disguise what I consider a very distinct ‘dirt’ taste. One of my favorite ways to do this, is in beet hummus. This vibrant dish is incredibly flavorful and can be used in a variety of meals to add a pop of color and increased nutrition. Try this easy recipe and be sure to let me know what you think!
2 small Beets, cut into one inch pieces
1 can of cooked Chickpeas (about 15 ounces) rinsed and drained
The zest of a whole Lemon, reserve the rest to be juiced
3-4 Garlic cloves
1/3 cup Olive Oil
2-4 tbs. Tahini
Salt and Pepper to taste
Fresh or Dried Herbs like Cilantro or Cumin
Substitute Tahini for Almond, Cashew or Sunflower Butter
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove the stem and most of the root from your beets, and scrub and wash them underwater until clean.
Dice the beets into one inch pieces and place in a glass bowl. Add a small drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper and any additional seasonings to coat.
Place the seasoned beets onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for approximately 45 minutes. Individual oven times may vary.
When there is approximately 20 minutes of cooking time left for the beets, place the garlic cloves onto the baking sheet. The beets are done when they are tender with a fork.
When beets have finished cooking, remove from oven and let everything cool to room temperature. When the beets and garlic have cooled, remove the peel from both.
Place peeled beets into a food processor or high speed blender with the chickpeas, lemon zest, lemon juice, peeled and cooked garlic cloves, olive oil, tahini and salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth.