March 6, 2018


Beets are rich in minerals and aid in liver detoxification. As we prepare for spring, they are an excellent ingredient to include in roasted vegetable dishes, soups, and in baked goods, too. They lend an earthy sweetness to any dish.

These beautiful root vegetables come in red, pink, yellow and striated varieties. They are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains. These plant nutrients provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. They are an excellent source of manganese and vitamin C, which support nervous system health.

Foods belonging to the chenopodium family — including beets, chard, spinach and quinoa — are also high in carotenoids, which support eyesight.

Beets are high in betaine, an essential nutrient made from the B-complex vitamin, choline. Choline reduces inflammation in the cardiovascular system by preventing unwanted build-up of homocysteine, an inflammatory compound.

Here is a beet-based recipe to inspire you.

Beet Brownies

You will need:
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups brown rice flour or millet flour
2 eggs or 4 tablespoons flaxseed meal
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup boiled, blended beets
1/4 cup unsweetened almond or rice milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
a pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Coarsely chop beets and place them in a pot. Cover them with water and boil for 15 minutes, or until fork tender.
Strain off water and place beets in a blender or food processor with almond/rice milk.
Blend well.

Add all other ingredients and blend well.
Oil a glass baking dish or pie plate with coconut or sunflower oil.
Pour batter into it and bake for 30 minutes.

Cool for 20 minutes, slice, and enjoy!

March 1, 2018

Spring is coming: food for liver renewal

Today marks the last full moon before March 21st, the Spring Equinox. The earth is rife with purpose, ready to push up the myriad of seeds that will green our landscape for the season to come. Similarly, our bodies are ready to eat more green foods and move more to harmonize with the coming change of season. Mornings and evenings may feel chilly, but the sun shines longer each day and brings the warmth that heralds this season of renewal.

In my native Italy, the word for spring is 'primavera', meaning 'first truth'. May you find time to slow down as you eat, listen to your body's messages for nourishment, and savor the green flavors of the coming spring.

Here are some recipes to inspire your dietary transition from winter to spring.
They feature ingredients such as beets, parsley, lemon and millet to support the liver's natural renewal process.

Beet Sauce

You will need:
3 medium-sized red beets, sliced in half
2 tablespoons olive oil1 shallot, minced
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
½ cup water
½ teaspoon each: allspice and salt
1 teaspoon each: cinnamon, ginger, coriander

In a small pot, boil beets for approximately 20 minutes or until tender. Once done, drain them and set aside to cool.

In a small sauté pan, over low-medium heat sauté shallots in olive oil and add spices and salt. Once shallots look caramelized, set aside.

In a blender, combine beets, shallots, vinegar, and water. Blend until smooth.

Use as a topping for millet bread.

Parsley Basil Pistou

In a blender, combine:
2 cups flat leaf parsley, rinsed and de-stemmed
1 cup basil leaves, rinsed¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup water

Blend well and enjoy on kasha biscuits.

Simple Kasha

You will need:
½ cup dry kasha (toasted buckwheat groats) 
1 ½ cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon nutmeg

Place kasha and water in a stock pot.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until kasha begins to thicken.

Add oil, spices and salt.
Stir vigorously until grain reaches porridge-like consistency.

Enjoy as it is or make into kasha biscuits.

Kasha Biscuits

You will need:
¾ cup cooked kasha from recipe above
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup flaxseed meal
1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a bowl, mix olive oil and flaxseed meal.

Incorporate the cooled kasha and then the lemon juice.

Drop mix in heaping spoonfuls on a greased baking dish.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until the edges have turned dark brown. Let cool before serving.

Millet Bread

You will need:
1 ½ cups millet
4 cups water
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon dry thyme leaf
½ teaspoon coriander powder

Place millet in a cooking pot with  water.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer.

Simmer until millet begins to thicken (about 20 minutes). Stir well, as though cooking oatmeal.

Add all the other ingredients and stir well.

Cook on low heat and keep stirring until millet thickens.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Pour millet into a baking dish and flatten it evenly.

Bake it for 15 minutes.

Slice and eat as you would polenta.
You can also make it into fries - see photo. Let the millet cool before slicing it.

Add toppings! If spread out in a thin layer on a baking sheet, this also makes an excellent pizza crust.
Click this link for more spring recipes.

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