During American Heart Month in February, there's lots to love, including incorporating different foods into your lifestyle.
Beetroot, commonly referred to as beets, is a root vegetable used in cuisines internationally. They are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, and low in calories. 1 cup diced (2.5 beets) is about 55 calories, and has vitamin C, B6, Magnesium, Potassium, Phosphorous, Iron, and Folate! Beets are also packed with dietary nitrates and pigments that can help lower blood pressure and enhance athletic performance. Plus their high fiber content helps with bowel regulation, digestion, weight management, and decreasing risks of chronic diseases such as heart disease!
Choose beets that are heavy for their size and have fresh, unwilted leafy greens. Did you know they are an incredibly versatile vegetable? They can be roasted, steamed, pickled, juiced, or even canned. When cooking, try to avoid boiling beets in order to maximize the effect of the dietary nitrates. My preference is to roast them and throw them in a salad!
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Peel washed beets and cut into 1-inch chunks.
- Spread on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
- Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt-free seasonings: Try turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne, and pepper for a flavorful warm taste.
- Roast for 35-40 minutes, turning the beets once or twice until tender.
- Serve or use in another dish, like this salad.
Roasted Beet Salad with a Mandarin Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 2 cups mixed leafy greens
- 1 cup roasted beets
- 1 oz goat cheese
- 1 oz walnuts
- Mandarin oranges, drained (save juice)
- Optional toppings: onion, cucumber, carrots, tomatoes, avocado
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup mandarin orange juice
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- Pepper to taste
- In a bowl, mix salad in desired ratio of ingredients.
- In a mason jar or a bowl, mix dressing ingredients together.
- Add desired dressing amount to salad and enjoy!
Devin Brittain is a Registered Dietitian and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist in the state of Louisiana. Born and raised in California, Devin obtained her Bachelors of Science in Food and Nutritional Sciences with an emphasis in Dietetics and Food Administration from California State University, Fresno. She then moved to Louisiana and completed her Dietetic Internship at Tulane’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Devin is currently the Outpatient Dietitian for the Cancer Center at West Jefferson Medical Center where she assists patients and teaches healthy cooking classes. She is serving on the board for the New Orleans Dietetic Association where she strongly advocates for the dietetic profession and the health of her community. In her free time, Devin enjoys attending festivals, reading, developing recipes, dancing, and cheering on the Saints! She is passionate about utilizing her food and nutrition knowledge to benefit others and believes in finding innovative ways to encourage a healthy lifestyle that works for each individual.