Wednesday, March 18, 2009
How often do you eat beets?I bought this bunch of beets after I don't know how many months.Often times we avoid beets because of the mess it creates or out of ideas to use them in our daily meals.What ever might be the reason,think again,this gorgeous vegetable of the Mediterranean origin is considered a powerhouse of nutrition from root to its leaves.Raw beet juice is said to be good for treating some form of cancers.The good source of folate can prevent birth defects in pregnant women.The leaves are next only to spinach in its nutrition.
Not very practical to eat them raw,but there are numerous ways to incorporate this wonder veggie in your daily meals.In the Series 1 are the recipes with Beet Puree,which are sure to change your perspective about cooking with beets.
How to cook beets?
Stove Top Method
Rinse the beets under cold water.Transfer them to pot or pressure cooker,fill in water until all the beets are completely immersed.Cover and cook on medium heat,takes about 40-45 minutes in a pot and 20-25 minutes in a pressure cooker to be fork tender. Drain all the water,peel ,slice and serve in salads or soups .Or add 1/2 a cup of water and puree in a blender,can be used in gravies,baking breads,muffins or in parathas(flatbread) and pancakes.
Conventional Oven Method
Preheat Oven to 400F. Lay beets on a sheet lined with aluminum foil and coat with little olive oil and let bake for about 35-40 minutes until tender. Let cool for 10 minutes then peel and chop or slice.
Beet Pancakes with Pomegranate Syrup
1 1/4 cup Whole wheat flour
1 cup Reduced fat milk or soy milk
1/4 cup beet puree
1/4 cup dried cherries or raisins,chopped
2 tablespoons Olive oil
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Makes about 15 pancakes.
For Pomegranate syrup
1 cup pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon sugar
Make the syrup by reducing the juice with sugar until half its original quantity.
sift together the flour, baking powder,baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl.Add in the puree,milk and combine well using a whisk until smooth free of lumps.
Heat non stick pan on medium flame. Grease it lightly with oil . Pour one ladle of batter drizzle about a little oil all over and wait for a minute before flipping and let it cook for another minute.Repeat the same for the rest of the batter.Stack the pancakes and drizzle the syrup and enjoy!
I usually serve this to my toddler,but really any body who loves to start the day with a bowl of oatmeal should try flavoring with beets,for added nutrition.
1 cup oats ,quick cooking or original
1 tablespoon Beet puree
1 1/2 cup water or Organic reduced fat milk or soy milk
1 teaspoon maple syrup(optional)
A handful of any preferred dry fruits and nuts.
Bring the water or milk to boil in a small saucepan,add the oats,cook as per the package instructions.When cooked ,turn off the heat,mix in the beet puree and serve with a drizzle of honey and sprinkle of dry or fresh fruits and nuts.
I got this brilliant idea of adding beets in parathas from Dershana's recipe,a delightful nourishing variation for a family that eats parathas for 2 meals of the day.
2 cups Whole wheat flour
2 tablespoon Beet Pure
1 tablespoon milled flax seed
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin olive oil(EVOO)
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 cup water
Prepare the dough:Add all the dry ingredients in mixing bowl,combine them. Make a well in the middle pour in the water ,beet puree and oil. Mix until the dough is smooth ,knead for couple of minutes and let rest for about 10minutes before rolling in to parathas.
Rolling and Roasting the Paratha:Divide the dough in to about 10-12 portions and roll in to balls. Sprinkle a little flour(I prefer All purpose flour) on the rolling surface. Use a rolling pin to roll them in to round parathas.See here for a pictorial paratha recipe.
Preheat an iron pan(Tava) or non stick pan at medium high flame. Roast the parathas flip once and spread little bit of oil and flip again after few seconds. For softer parathas use a spatula or a kitchen towel to lightly press and roll them around the pan. Parathas are ready to serve when slightly brown on both sides. A curry in a hurry is perfect with these parathas.
Beet Almond Lemon Pasta
How could I resist the pretty in pink pasta recipe of another Healthnut, Bharti.The zesty pasta became instant favorite of my boys.The elder one was a little reluctant,the big guy knows pink is meant to be for girls,but after having a bite quickly changed his mind in favor of this pink food.
I excluded dairy from the recipe and used almonds instead.
1/2 a pound Whole grain Penne pasta,use any kind
1/2 a medium onion,finely chopped
1 big clove garlic,minced
1/2 a cup Beet puree
1/4 cup roasted Almonds,coarsely ground or processed
2 tablespoon lemon juice,freshly squeezed
1 teaspoon lemon zest.
1/4 teaspoon black pepper or red chilly powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive oil
2 tablespoon fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley,finely chopped.
Cook the pasta as per the package instructions.
Heat the oil on medium heat,add the onions,saute for 3-4 minutes until lightly brown,add the garlic ,saute another minute.Add the almonds,beet puree,salt and the pepper,stir in 2 tablespoons of water allow the mixture to warm up ,then mix in the cooked pasta.Finally add in the herbs,lemon juice and the zest ,combine well and serve.
This pink series of foods are off to Food In Colors,a food event started by talented Sunshinemom.Hosting the pretty pink is Priya of Priya's Easy n Tasty Recipes