The Ninth Healthy Day of Christmas: Can't Beet It
For most of us the holidays have now officially kicked off, and the feasting has begun in earnest. From now until New Year's Eve we'll be inundated by party after party, and tons of meals and snacks in between.
So how do you manage your health with all of that food in front of you, all the time? Try making your own healthy appetizers, snacks and side-dishes to bring along. While you're indulging in others' dishes, you can rest assured that yours is packed with nutrients and low in harmful sugars and fats.
To help you get the ball rolling, I thought I'd share an amazing super-food appie recipe from 101 Cookbooks. It features my very favourite de-toxifier: beets!
Beets are an incredible source of phytonutrients called Belatins that have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. What THAT means is that you can snack on this incredible beet caviar at your next holiday party, and know that you're actually detoxing, not creating more of a need to detox!
- 4 medium beets, washed and trimmed
- 5 plump dates, pitted and chopped
- 2 tablespoons cognac (bourbon, or vodka)
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus more to taste
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
- 3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 3 tablespoons creme fraiche, plain yogurt, or sour cream
- lots of freshly chopped chives
Preheat the oven to 400F with a rack in the center. Puncture the beets with a fork a few times, and roast for an hour, or until the beets are completely tender when you test by cutting into the center with a knife.
In the meantime, gently heat the cognac in a small saucepan. Place the dates in a glass bowl, and, when just hot, pour the alcohol over the dates. Jostle around a bit, and soak for at least 10 minutes.
When the beets are cooked and cool enough to peel, remove the skins and chop into cubes. Place in a food processor with the dates, cognac, and garlic. Puree until the texture is to your liking - I left a bit of texture here, but you can go smoother if you prefer.
Transfer to a serving bowl before adding the lemon juice, walnuts, and salt. Taste, and adjust the seasoning if needed. Serve swirled with the creme fraiche, and finished with chives.