What if I told you that over time you could come to find beets every bit as delicious as cookies and cupcakes. That eventually you would be able to march right by the pastry stand at the farmers market, straight over to the farm stand to proudly claim your bunch of beets. You would laugh at me right? I know this because if someone had once said that to me, I would have laughed too. I am a sucker for all things sweet, in fact, ice cream tops my list of all time favorite foods. But I’ve learned through trial and error, that indulging my sweet tooth too often leads to some pretty serious repercussions. Some of the sugar induced behaviors I’ve observed in myself are; restless sleep, difficulty paying attention, low energy, and significantly worsened PMS. Totally not worth it! So, in order to satisfy my desire for sugar I have found ways to incorporate more naturally sweet foods into my diet. Fruits are always great, but I find that veggies such as sweet potato’s, squashes, and beets really hit the spot! They are so energizing and nutritious that after awhile of this kind of supplementation, you won’t really crave the junk food sugar anymore. Plus they are so beautiful to look at that manufactured baked goods seem to lose their appeal.
As a fun experiment why not try eliminating all refined sugar from your diet for a week or two. When the craving kicks in, choose to create a meal around one of the more naturally sweet vegetables I’ve listed above. Pay attention to what kind of shifts take place for you psychologically and physically as you eliminate processed sugar and add more wholesome versions. I think you’ll find it pretty transformative!
1 head of organic gem or butter lettuce, 2 handfuls of organic baby arugula, 5-10 small beets (here I used a variety of golden and red), pine nuts, sea salt and pepper, olive oil, lemon juice, (optional, goat cheese).
preheat oven to 400 degrees. scrub beats under running water to remove any dirt from skin. chop into bite sized cubes or into thin circular pieces as I did here. drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and a sprinkle of sea salt. cover pan with lid or tin foil and bake for 1/2 hour. remove from oven and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. return to oven uncovered for another 15 minutes. remove from oven and set aside to cool.
thoroughly wash and dry your lettuce. tear into bite sized pieces and place in a large serving bowl. drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. add sea salt to taste. lay beets over the top of the greens. sprinkle 3 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts over top. plate and serve!
*a note on the goat cheese.
we stumbled upon a place a few blocks away from us in Boston that sells the world’s best goat cheese, Monterey Chevre, so of course I couldn’t resist throwing some on my salad. the farm is located quite close to where we used to live in Great Barrington and is a cool place to visit if you’re in the area. if it happens to be springtime, baby goats abound and the little dudes absolutely love visitors! here is a cool piece on the farm.