BEETS #3: BETA VULGARIS

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I’m not going to lie this month has been a little rough to blog about and to eat so many beets. However, researching beets and learning about their health benefits has motivated me to add them into our diet.

To continue this learning process today we look at the pigment in beets called betalain. Which is named after the red beet (beta vulgaris)

Here is what betalain can potential help with:

Inflammation: All studies stated that this needs to be further researched, however, what has been found so far has been promising. For example, one study looked at using betalain-rich beet concentrate to reduce pain for individuals with knee pain. It showed that the individuals had reduced pain while taking the supplement. (2) Other studies have found betalains to have a high antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties. (1.)

Detoxification: Betalains also help the body to detoxify by increasing enzymes supporting the liver. They aide in improving enzymatic activity and to stimulating bile flow. When the liver is supported then other functions in the body can improve, such as; helping energy levels, hormone balance, and cholesterol regulation.

Anti-cancer properties: Most of the studies to date have been done on rats or human cells but based on these studies beets can help to reduce tumor cell growth. One study in particular looked at prostate and breast cancer and beet extract was found to reduce the growth of cells. (3.)

This week’s recipe is Red Flannel Hash. A veggie recipe that can definitely be used for breakfast!  In fact I have eaten a lot of it for breakfast as I test out different ways to prepare it. 

To start preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Next dice a sweet potato, 2 yellow potatoes and 2 beets. 


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Place the potatoes and beets into a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 tsp of sage, smoked paprika, or thyme and salt and pepper. I usually pick a type of spice depending on what type of left over meat I have available. This week we had pork chops left over that already had sage in the chops so I added sage to the potato/beet mixture. Other weeks when I had just chicken cooked up I added smoked paprika. Pick which ever spice you prefer.

Next, place the potatoes and beets onto a cookie sheet.

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Roast for 20 to 25 minutes.

During the last 10 minutes of roasting the vegetables, start on carmalizing the onions. 

Place 1-2 Tablespoons of butter, ghee or bacon fat in to a large skillet with low to medium heat. Add the onions. Cook for 8-10 minutes. 

Add the minced garlic. Followed by the potato/hash mixture. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes.

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At this point you can add in your protein of choice.  If you have a left over meat such as corned beef, chicken, sausage, steak dice and add it now.

You can also prepare an egg anyway you like and add the hash.

I tried this once with bacon, placing the bacon on a baking sheet and cooking it at the same time as the vegetables were roasting. Then sliced it and added it to the hash. 

Don’t feel limited by the recipe. Add in things you like such as hot sauce or extra veggies. 

This recipe makes for great leftovers and if you are in a rush every morning like I am this recipe is very handy to have a healthy veggie breakfast.

Next week is our conclusion on beets and a discussion on pickled beets! 

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