Roasted Beets and Honey Crisp Apple, a delicious and healthy choice for a fantastic lunch that will leave you energized and satisfied.
Roasted Beets and Honey Crisp Apple, are two produce that could fulfill most of your nutritional needs, and are so versatile in cooking methods, add in the ease of preparation and we have an all rounded dish, ready in minutes to be savored for a lunchtime break.
Roasted beets may not be on many people's favorites. Raw, the look is a little rugged and that earthy smell, but beets are great. Not only are beets packed with sweet flavor and nutrients (i.e. antioxidants and nitrates) but the way they can be used is amazing. They can be shaved raw on salads, pickled and jarred, made into a soup, blended in a smoothie or in the batter for cakes and cupcakes, and like we did here, roasted together with a delicious honey crisp apple. Beets are really an all around power food.
If you're concerned about the footprint you are leaving, beets are one of those vegetables that can be eaten from root to stem. Not any of it wasted, of course after it has been pulled from the ground and washed. Beet leaves are great for cabbage rolls and even raw in salads. Boiled and sauteed with garlic is another great way to enjoy these wondrous creations of mother nature. Some believe that boiling them causes some loss in nutrients, but studies have shown that even cooked they have an immense amount of good in them to make them very appealing to the health-minded person.
Beets have a wonderful reputation for being a tremendous source of minerals and vitamins. University studies show that even roasted beets have an excellent source of folate and manganese. Folate helps in synthesizing and repairing DNA and aids in cell division and growth, especially during pregnancy and infancy. Folate also helps produce red blood cells and prevents anemia. These morsels of goodness are also known as "crimson spinach" especially in the nutrition world and are similar in nutrients to a power food "spinach" containing high levels of iron, and folate.
Plus, don't throw out that beet juice! It has been known to reduce high blood pressure. Wow the more I get to know this vegetable the more I am intrigued, now knowing it can be good for combating cardiovascular disease! This may be the number of nitrates beet juice contains transforming into nitric oxide which helps relax the blood vessels, hence lowering blood pressure. If you are not sold on beets yet hold on. Dieticians have found that beets even roasted here as we have done are high in anti-inflammatory properties with natural sources of betalains and betaine, responsible for battling high and dangerous levels of homocysteine reducing the risk of heart disease. Betaine is unique to beets and is said to also give us stamina of all things increasing oxygen flow and athletic performance which all of us food bloggers need especially with our outrageous schedule, climbing on tables for the best shot, and leaning in angles taking us into difficult plank positions, lol, another wow factor! Just when you thought this Beet 101 class was over, in comes the detox principal, aiding the liver in its functions. I could go on and on but I think everyone gets the idea. Beets are "GOOD FOOD", and in my eyes is very flavorful especially the way we prepared Roasted Beets with Apples.
So let's get to these wonderful Roasted Beets and Honey Crisp Apple!
I know people always say I don't like that earthy flavor of the beets. I say roast them with some good quality extra virgin olive oil, thyme and sage leaves and some salt and pepper, and these babies are going to caramelize and sweeten and absorb some of that fantastic herb flavor. Add in the cubed apple and it just is a match to be reckoned with.
For a nice finish, they were topped with some bread crumbs to add some dynamic to the texture, and I have to say I love the look of roasted beets. The caramelization that happens as you see the sugars surface and crust with the bread crumbs. That marbleization pattern that is on the inside of these Chioggia beets making you feel amazed at nature's creation, and those apple cubes giving the beets a great canvas to shine on!
Nicoletta, who was not familiar with these wonderful vegetables, and not a great fan of them per say, decided to try them when she was back in Italy. We were on the phone together as I gave her step by step instructions on how to prepare them, something that I find myself doing not only for Nicoletta but many people that know me, asking for cooking ideas and guidance on recipes and ingredients. I should start up a 1-900 let's cook line, MasterCard, debit, Paypal accepted, lol. Nicoletta was pleased with the outcome, and as we began to do more and more dishes featuring these lovely morsels called beets, she became a fan! Now for the best part, TASTING!
Your tongue gets that first explosion of flavor as you bite in. The sugars dancing on your tongue and the sage and thyme strolling in ever so gently as not to startle you. The earthiness subdues with the aid of sea salt and pepper, and these beets bathed in that delectable rich olive oil coming in like a true trooper that honey crisp apple beautifully sweet and subtly crisp texture giving joy to every morsel of the beets as they dance in unison. This is a great dish on its own with a nice piece of rustic bread, or even as an accompaniment topper to a salad, and for sure, as a side dish to any meal. Its amazing nutrition and mysterious look offers a unique yet utterly enjoyable experience at the table. If you're health conscious and want something delicious, try our Roasted Beets and Honey Crisp Apple.
Song of the day: "Loveless" by Said the Whale.Print
- 2 cups Chioggia beets
- 1 Honeycrisp apple
- 1 tsp thyme (fresh or dried)
- 4 sage leaves (fresh or dried)
- 2 Tbsp green onion, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp natural cane sugar
- 2 Tbsp e.v.o. oil
- 2 tsp breadcrumbs
- Trim, peel and wash beets, then boil for about 9-10 minutes. Drain and place on a roasting plate.
- Peel and chop the apple, then add it to the beets in the roasting plate.
- Sprinkle with thyme, add the sage leaves and chopped green onion.
- Season with salt and pepper and dust with sugar.
- Add the e.v.o. oil and mix well.
- Sprinkle with bread crumbs.
- Place in preheated oven at 400 ° F and roast for about 25-30 minutes, or to desired consistency.
- Serving Size: 2-3 side servings