Snack Tonight: Beet and Walnut Dip

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beetWhen I think of a food that is a nutrient powerhouse, the deep red-colored beet always comes to mind. Beets contain the powerful antioxidant betacyanin, which several studies have shown helps both to fight and prevent various types of cancer, especially colon cancer. Beets are also an excellent remedy for constipation, act as a cleanse for the liver, and provide overall support for kidney, gallbladder, stomach, and intestinal problems.

Rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus, as well as vitamin C, carotene, and B vitamins, beets nourish the nerves, aid lymphatic function, and increase energy.

And… aside from the many healing properties beets have to offer, they simply taste great. This recipe combines all the wonderful properties of beets and walnuts to make a tasty dip that no one will be able to pass up.

Beet and Walnut Dip

2 medium beets, peeled
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
4 oz firm tofu
1 Tbsp walnut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and sliced
2 Tbsp warm water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cilantro
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tsp parsley chopped

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Steam beats using this method: place steamer basket in small saucepan. Fill saucepan with water until just below the steamer basket. Bring to a boil. Cut beets in half and steam until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure to check periodically that the water has not all evaporated. Remove beets from steamer and let cool slightly.

Place walnuts on baking sheet and bake until slightly toasted, about 8 minutes. Make sure to check often so they don’t burn. Let them cool and set aside about 1 tbsp of the walnuts. Grate beets and add to a food processor along with remaining walnuts, tofu, oil, garlic, water, salt, cilantro, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Blend until smooth. Season to taste with black pepper and more lemon juice, if desired. Transfer to serving dish and garnish with toasted walnuts and parsley.

Serve dip with whole wheat pita crisps, alongside your favorite cheese, olives, and some dried figs and apricots.

Photo from here, with thanks.

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January 2015
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