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Roasted Beets with Cranberry Goat Cheese on Whole-wheat Pumpkin Seed Bread

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Pumpkin Seed Bread

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Preparation time required: Approx. 30 minutes

Baking time: 15 minutes

Total time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup organic or conventional pumpkin seeds, roasted
  • 1 3/4 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 tablespoon organic honey
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp. organic or conventional hemp hearts
  • 1 cup organic or conventional all-purpose flour
  • 2 3/4 cups organic or conventional whole-wheat flour

Instructions: Dissolve honey in lukewarm water, sprinkle yeast and stir – let bubbles form. Mix dry ingredients; slowly add water and knead until dough is soft. Lightly flour cutting board, knead dough to incorporate air. Let rise for 1 hour. Coat pan with olive oil, form dough to pan, cover with tea towel, and let rise for half hour. Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350° and bake for approx. 5 minutes. Place on wire rack; allow bread to cool entirely before slicing.



Roasted Beets

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Preparation time required: Approx. 10 minutes

Baking time: ~ 15 minutes

Total time: ~25 minutes

Roasted Beets:

  • One bunch of fresh organic beets
  • Organic or conventional Olive oil, 3 tbsp
  • Dash salt, dash pepper

Instructions: Wash and peel beets, cut into thin slices. Using cookie cutters, cut shapes and coat in olive oil, salt, and pepper mixture. Place on baking sheet and bake in oven at 450 F for 5 minutes. Flip beets and bake for another 5 – 7 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool.

Top freshly baked bread with roasted beets and cranberry goat cheese. Sprinkle with pepper and garnish with fresh rosemary. Enjoy!



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Health Check:

“Lettuce” look at the research

Why can’t these red root veggies be “beet”?

I officially dub 2016 the year of beets and root vegetables.

Why?

Because kale had it’s 20 minutes of fame, sweet potatoes are great (but so passé!), and it’s finally time for beets to take center stage.

Without a doubt, the earthy flavours of beets are sure to liven up any plain old salad, not to mention their beautiful bright pink hue will jazz up even the dullest of meals. These modest-looking earth-dwellers may have been hiding underground for quite some time, but it’s time to dig up the dirt on their health benefits.

Sports enthusiasts will rejoice at the thought of adding beet juice to their pre-workout smoothie; studies show that, due to the high concentration of nitrates in beets, the flow of blood to hard working muscles is significantly improved when athletes consume beet juice and engage in high intensity activities (1). Time to exhaustion during prolonged exercise has also been shown to increase upon consumption of beets or beet juice, and supplementation with beetroot may  protect against oxidation damage on a cellular level as well (2, 3).

That bright pink colour of beets? It’s thanks to the phytochemicals called betalains (in the case of beets, they replace the typical anthocyanins of red/pink coloured veggies). These phytochemicals are excellent antioxidants and make this particular root vegetable pretty darn good at neutralizing free radicals (3). Other health benefits of beets include the potential of betalains to bind to LDL-cholesterol (the bad kind!) and prevent LDL-oxidazation as well (4). When LDL-cholesterol is oxidized, it can cause inflammation in the arteries, which is linked to atherosclerosis (5).

Though the research is always evolving and it is best to, as with everything, consume in moderation, the promised health benefits of beets are looking good!



Pairs well with…

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Konzelmann Estate Winery’s

2010 Method Cuve Close Rose (Sparkling)

“The dynamic aroma of this Sparkling Rose is initially a robust, toasted wallop, but quickly develops into a more delicate strawberry scent. Tart flavours of black cherry and raspberry nicely balance the wine’s mild sweetness and are punctuated by generous waves of carbonated bubbles.”



 An organic alternative…

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Frogpond Farm Organic Winery’s

2012 Cabernet Merlot 

“Velvety Merlot softness and spicy, robust Cabernet Franc fruit lend our organic Cabernet Merlot a great deal of depth and complexity. Round and well balanced, with earthy blackberry, ripe plum, and lively cassis flavours, a hint of peppery spice, and well integrated tannins.  Enjoy this full and aromatic wine with roasted meats or vegetables, lamb, steak and game. *Certified Organic”



 References:

(1) Larsen, F. J., Weitzberg, E., Lundberg, J. O., & Ekblom, B. (2007). Effects of dietary nitrate on oxygen cost during exercise. Acta physiologica, 191(1), 59-66.

(2) Lundberg, J. O., & Govoni, M. (2004). Inorganic nitrate is a possible source for systemic generation of nitric oxide. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 37(3), 395-400.

(3)Clifford, T., Howatson, G., West, D. J., & Stevenson, E. J. (2015). The Potential Benefits of Red Beetroot Supplementation in Health and Disease.Nutrients, 7(4), 2801-2822.

(4) Tesoriere L, et al Increased resistance to oxidation of betalain-enriched human low density lipoproteins . Free Radic Res. (2003)

(5) Parthasarathy, S., Raghavamenon, A., Garelnabi, M. O., & Santanam, N. (2010). Oxidized Low-Density Lipoprotein. Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.j.), 610, 403–417. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-60327-029-8_24

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