Autumn Vegetables

For some reason today I seem to be inspired by beets, also known as beetroot–a colourful vegetable that is freshest in the fall months. Beets are a great source of fibre, a source of vitamin C, iron and magnesium and rich in anti-oxidants. There are so many ways to incorporate beets into your diet, and increasing any vegetables is a great thing!! I often get the question “aren’t beets high in carbs?”. A 1 cup serving of beets has 13g of carbohydrates, but also has almost 4 g of fibre, so in the end you are left with 9 grams of net carbohydrates that affect your blood sugars per 1 cup serving. Fantastic!! So, how can you incorporate this wonderful, earthy and sweet vegetable into your diet? Here are a few suggestions and recipes.

1. Beetroot on sandwiches or burgers.
I learned about this and tried this for the first time in Australia. DELICIOUS! Previously roasted beets or sliced pickled beets can be easily added to a sandwich with turkey, chicken, or tuna with lettuce, tomato, cucumber and just some low fat mayo or honey mustard or some hummus. Give it a shot and elevate your flavours!

2. Roasted beets in salads
Clean off your beets and cut in half or quarters if they are large beets, coat with a small amount of canola oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and wrap in tinfoil. Roast in the oven at 425F for 45-60 minutes or until tender. When they have cooled off, peel the beets (the peel will come off more easily after they are cooked).
Cut beets into smaller pieces. Then mix beets with spinach, 1/4 cup toasted walnuts and 1-2 ounces of goat cheese. Mix it all with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar or your favourite balsamic vinegrette and enjoy as a side with your meal!

Tip: if you’re going to roast beets, do some extra and keep in the freezer, or keep them in the fridge and add to salads, sandwiches or just have drizzled with balsamic vinegar on their own as a side dish with dinner. They will keep in the fridge up to 5 days.

3. Roasted vegetables
Peel and cut the beets into 1/2 inch pieces, mix with carrots, parsnips, onions and mushrooms, toss with small amount of canola oil and sprinkle with italian herbs and roast in the oven at 400F uncovered until vegetables are tender. Toss half way through cooking. Drizzle balsamic vinegar on just before serving. Instead of dried italian herbs, you could use a mixture dried cumin, coriander and pepper for something different.

4. Raw beets
You can grate raw beets onto your salads, or into wraps or on sandwiches. Just peel and then grate. It adds fantastic colour!
I made this salad up one day and really enjoyed it–maybe you will too!

Ingredients

Salad:
1 small container mixed greens or baby spinach
1 medium beet, peeled and grated
4-5 medium Brussels sprouts, shaved
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
2 oz feta cheese
3 tablespoons sliced almonds
2 tbsp coarsley chopped fresh mint
2-3 tbsp fresh coriander leaves (optional)

Dressing (or you can use low fat creamy poppyseed dressing):
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/8 cup low fat mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds

Directions:
1 Mix all prepared salad ingredients together in salad bowl.
2 Mix first 5 ingredients of dressing together in separate bowl. Mix until well blended. Add in poppy seeds.
3 Dress salad just before serving.

Anyone else enjoy beets? Any tips or recipes to share?