Simple but delicious. Beets. Beautiful red (or orange, or striped…) colorful beets.
You don’t even have to wash or peel them before you cook them. Because you just bake them, let them cool, and the skins (and thus the dirt) just come right off. If you haven’t tried beets, this is a must do. You can make this fancy salad or just eat them plain which is what I often do.
Beets are medicinal.
They contain Tri-Methyl-Glycine (TMG) aka Betaine which is one of the most powerful liver foods we could eat. TMG/Betaine is found in the highest concentrations in beets and beet greens.
Let’s start with how this works and why you should care. Our liver makes bile, and bile helps us digest- or break down – our fats.
When we don’t have enough bile, we’re at risk of:
- RefluxHeartburn – because bile salts neutralize food that was acidified in the stomach by HCl; stomach acid not neutralized = acid reflux or heartburn
- Hormone dysfunction – (hormones are made from fats) and without bile, we can’t use our fats properly
- Fat soluble vitamin insufficiency – vitamins like A, D, E, and the K’s are subject to deficiency so a person may have night blindness, weakness of bones, immune dysfunction, and more.
- Toxic burden – Overloading our body with toxins because of the fact that bile acts like a magnet and removes the toxins.
- Gallbladder stones and/or sludge – due to liver congestion.
- Steatorhea – or floating stools because of malabsorption of fats
- Constipation – if you have “tried everything” consider bile insufficiency as a root cause. Eating beets provides TMG/Betaine which helps you make bile, which helps things move along. Literally.
Approximately 85% of bile is made from water so it’s important to stay hydrated too.
So let’s get on with HOW to make beet salad so that we don’t have to worry about these issues!
10 medium sized red (or combo of colors) beets – I use red and orange when I can get the latter because I love the color contrast
1 organic crispy apple (yes, it will turn red from the beet juice but the crispness is fun)
1/3 cup raw or lightly toasted pumpkin seeds (the green ones)
Basil – fresh – 2-4 tablespoons minced to taste
Optional: grated goat feta cheese
Optional: orange or mandarin pieces
Tracy’s Standard Hemp Oil Dressing: 1/2 cup hemp oil, 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 scant tablespoon organic maple syrup. Shake and pour. You may not need all of this dressing – it just depends on your taste and the amount of beets you used, etc.
1. Don’t even wash your beets. Just put them in a roasting pan with a fitted lid, add a little water so they don’t dry out, and bake for 60 to 90 minutes. Check them at 60 minutes. They should pierce like a potato and be soft but they are a root vegetable.
2. Once baked, let them cool. When you can handle them, remove the skins. You’ll need a knife just for the top where the greens grow out the top. Once peeled, cube them into bite sized pieces.
3. Chop the apple.
4. Prepare the pumpkin seeds if you wish to roast them. Let’s say you do want to roast them – put them in a hot skillet without oil. Keep them moving -so they don’t burn – with a wooden spatula just until they start to pop. You’ll know. Then quickly get them out of the hot skillet and onto a cool plate or bowl. They will continue to cook even after you remove them and excess heat damages oils. Honestly, I think you can use them raw and you won’t know the difference and they’ll have their healthy oils intact.
5. Mince the fresh basil.
6. Combine your cubed beets, cubed apple, pumpkin seeds, chopped basil, and then add the healthy hemp oil dressing and mix. It gets better with a few hours. You may notice it needs a bit more dressing on day 2 if there is any left.
And, dressing is really optional. You might like it just as well with just the main ingredients. There’s no one right way to use food as medicine!