With autumn upon us, what better time to enjoy seasonal fall vegetables? Beets are one of those vegetables many people shy away from. They seem intimidating. While the preparation calls for a little work, they're worth it for their exceptional nutrient benefits. Beets are an excellent source of folate and potassium. They're also low calorie, with 1 cup of beets coming in at only 75 calories. Here's a recipe you can make that's easy and delicious. (Hint: don't throw out the beet greens!)
BEET & PINE NUT SALAD
1 ½ cup of beets (cooked and peeled)
½ tsp. of salt
2 tbsp. of Olive Your Heart®, natural flavor
1 tbsp. of pine nuts
2 tbsp. of goat cheese
1 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar
- Prepare the beets for cooking. Keep the skin on, and leave a few inches of the greens in place. You may want to use plastic gloves or cover your hands with plastic bags to avoid hand staining.
- Rinse the beets well, and cut each beet into four pieces.
- Steam them for 15 minutes or until they're soft enough to puncture with a fork.
- Peel the beats. Again, you may want to use gloves or paper towels.
- Toss the beats with balsamic vinegar, goat cheese, pine nuts, salt, and Olive Your Heart® omega-3 olive oil in natural flavor.
- Serve as a side dish or on top of a bed of lettuce or spinach.
Beet greens are similar in texture to Swiss chard and spinach. They are a great nutrient for healthy vision, since they're packed with lutein. They also contain about 800% of your daily requirement for vitamin K, which plays an important role in supporting bone health.
Beet greens contain only 40 calories per cup, and one cup of cooked beet greens provides about 150% of vitamin A, 60% of vitamin C, and 37% of potassium. Try this simple recipe before tossing beet greens into the trash.
BOILED BEET GREEN SALAD
1 bunch of beet greens, thick stems removed
1 tbsp. of Olive Your Heart®, garlic flavor
¼ slice of lemon
¼ tsp. of crushed red pepper
1 tsp. of sesame seeds
Salt and pepper, to taste
- Bring a pot of salted water to boil.
- Add the greens, and boil 1 minute.
- Drain and chop into bite-size pieces.
- Squeeze the lemon juice over the greens.
- Stir in Olive Your Heart®, garlic flavor, and salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Now for another fall favorite – winter squash. You'll find many varieties of this healthy vegetable. One of my favorites is Delicata Squash. It cooks fast, and it's creamy and slightly sweet. The skin is thin, and is even edible if you like. Winter squash is generally low calorie and contains a good amount of folate and other B vitamins, like B-1, B-3, and B-6. Typically, one Delicata Squash is enough for two people. Next time you're in a hurry, consider trying this recipe instead of a potato.
STEAMED SQUASH WITH MAPLE SYRUP
1 Delicata Squash, cut in half long-ways and de-seeded
1 tsp. Olive Your Heart®, natural flavor
1 tsp. maple syrup
Salt, to taste
Cayenne pepper, to taste
- Steam Delicata Squash face down for 10 minutes.
- It's done when you can pierce the flesh with a fork.
- Sprinkle with salt and cayenne pepper, to taste.
- Drizzle with Olive Your Heart® in natural flavor and maple syrup.
Enjoy the new seasonal vegetables coming your way this fall!