Music is so important to me. I listen to my favorites when I'm stressed out or when I need to concentrate on a project on the computer I plug myself into a spotify playlist of 80s classics, but also a mix of uplifting songs that I've latched on to over the years. Sharing these beats with you if you're interested, as friends and colleagues seem to like listening to it too.
But of course as a foodie, this isn't about music, but about a food that is equally, and nutritionally uplifting. Beets are one of the healthiest vegetables you can consume. They’re full of powerful antioxidants that aids in digestion, giving your entire body a revitalizing immunity boost. and are essential in cell detoxification and cleansing.
It always makes me to happy when in-season beets come complete with their luscious leaves and vibrant stems, giving the opportunity to make the most of the entire plant.
Whenever I bring a bunch of beets home, I immediately prepare it for optimum use and storage. Separate the leaves from the stems and stems from the roots. Soak all these bits in a large bowl filled with water and a couple of tablespoons of baking soda for 15-20 minutes. Scrub the roots, and stir the water to loosen any soil or grit in the leaves. Shake off any excess water and let it them airdrop for a few hours.
Sauté the leaves in a frying pan with a little olive oil and garlic. Dress with a squeeze of lemon juice, drizzle of tahini, and some sesame seeds, optional.
Chop the stems up to make quick refrigerator pickles by bringing 1/2 cup of vinegar, 1/2 cup water, and 1 teaspoon of salt to a boil and pouring this into the jar of stems. Let it cool and store in the fridge. Or freeze these for a morning smoothie.
Once washed and dried, store the roots in a cloth bag or pillowcase in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Unless you're making a full on beet salad, a the tiniest bit goes a long way to add some colorful nutrition to your meals. Grate raw beets into salads, smoothies, fritters, fried rice, or cut them into chunks and either roast them or steam them to add to a Classic Hummus or Coco (Ice) Pops or even a grain-free Beetroot Cake (recipe below).
2 medium-sized beetroots
1 1/2 cups Homemade Cashew Milk
1 tsp white vinegar
4 oz Earth Balance vegan butter (or coconut oil), softened
1 cup raw turbinado or coconut sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup chickpea flour, sifted
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of sea salt
Preheat oven to 350°F. Scrub beets. Cut into 1" cubes. Steam for 20 minutes until soft.
Let cool and puree. You only need 1 cup of this. (Save the rest for falafel, hummus, or smoothies.)
Add the vinegar to the cashew milk to let curdle. Set aside.
Grease the sides of two 8-inch cake tins and line the bottom with parchment paper.
Beat the sugar and butter or oil until combined. Add the beet puree, almond milk, and vanilla. Gradually beat in the dry ingredients until well combined.
Evenly distribute the batter into the two pans.
Bake for 30-35 minutes. Let cool completely before icing.
NOTE: You can also make cupcakes with this recipe by pouring the batter evenly into lined muffin tins and baking them for 20 minutes.