Healthy Ingredient of the Week – Beets

Up until about a year ago, I had never tried beets, mainly because they were never “on the menu” at my house, and they didn’t seem to be a common ingredient in restaurant salads or meals.  That all changed, however, when I had a delicious beet salad at a potluck, which made me realize what I had been missing all that time.  Besides being tasty, beets are high in fiber, Vitamin C, and folate (which is an especially important nutrient for women of child-bearing age).  They are also a good source of iron, potassium, and magnesium.  Although beets are relatively high in sugar, when eaten in moderation and combined with nutritious, savory ingredients, they can be a regular part of a balanced diet.  Rather than chopping up beets to include in a salad, try them pureed as part of a healthy dip that will be perfect for any holiday gathering.

Roasted Beet Hummus

Ingredients
15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
½ cup peeled and chopped roasted beets
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

Instructions
1.  To roast beets:  Preheat oven to 400°F.
2.  Wrap beets in foil and seal tightly. Bake for 45 minutes or until tender when pierced with a knife. Cool.
3. Use a paper towel to rub skins off beets.
4.  Chop coarsely.
5.  Combine chickpeas, beets, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a food processor. Cover and process until smooth, scraping down sides as needed.

Recipe from Kids Eat Right

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