Roasted Beets and Butternut Squash Salad!
For years I hated beets. As a child I use to eat Borscht and loved it, but then one day I had a bad batch and well, I don’t even want to tell you what they tasted like, let alone smelled like.
It wasn’t until this past year that I had the pleasure of tasting fresh Roasted Beets. They’re delicious and highly nutritious. It’s been found red beets help lower blood pressure the same way nitroglycerin does –by relaxing blood vessels lowering it by as much as 10.4 points within one hour of drinking 2 cups of beet juice and maintaining that over a 24 hour period.
Nearly half of all adults have high blood pressure, putting them at risk for developing heart disease. If you have high blood pressure, you may be able to avoid the use of drugs by including blood pressure-lowering foods like beets in your diet. You can do that by drinking beet juice, eating canned beets or best of all roasting your own.
In addition to being heart-healthy beets contain vitamin A, C, K, E and small amounts of vitamin B. They also host a list of minerals and are high in essential amino acids. Despite having the highest sugar content of any vegetable, beets are low in calories, at about 35 calories per half cup. As you can see this unpopular vegetable should find a place on everyone’s table.
Below is a simple recipe for a Roasted Beet & Butternut Squash Salad with Arugula, Goat Cheese and a simple Champagne Vinaigrette.
If you’re not a fan of beets please give them a try anyway…. from one who detested them until trying fresh roasted beets. The blend of both veggies with goat cheese makes for a very light, nutritious lunch or side salad.
How to Roast Beets
Rinse beets and trim off the leafy tops (save tops for other uses).
Wrap each beet loosely in aluminum foil and place in the oven. You can rub the beets prior to placing in the oven with olive oil or simply wrap dry, in foil. Roast until tender and easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 1 hour.
Remove from the oven and take off foil. Set aside to cool.
When cool enough to handle, slice off leaf end and remove skin. If skin doesn’t pull away easily place in oven for an additional 10 minutes.
Your fingers will get stained with beet juice but it does wash off with soap and water. However, I highly recommend wearing an apron when doing this. Removing beet juice stains from clothing is difficult!
Slice beets in strips or cubes like I did and place on greens.
I didn’t measure ingredients for this salad so just eyeball it. Use your favorite greens or a blend. I used Arugula topped with the cubed Roasted Beets, cubed Roasted Butternut Squash, Goat Cheese and a simple Champagne Vinaigrette.
3 tbsp. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 tbsp. Champagne Vinegar
1 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. Grey Poupon
salt & pepper to taste
Blend and serve over salad.
Note: Beet greens and stems can be used in pesto, soups, smoothies. They can be sauteed, braised, steamed, boiled and pureed. The list is endless with 100s of recipes to be found online.