Beet Hummus

Beets

Beets

I know beet hummus probably sounds a little strange.  That is what I thought when I first came across the recipe below, but it is actually quite good.  My husband had made a beet dish and we had a few beets left over.  I was searching for a recipe to use the rest of them without having to buy another bundle.  For me beets have been an acquired taste, but made the right way they are delicious and very good for you.  All I had ever had growing up was canned beets and that just didn’t endear me to beets.  I was skeptical about them being good at all until I had my first bowl of borscht.   Now I am a convert.

Beets can help lower your blood pressure, sometimes in just a matter of hours.  Just drinking one glass of beet juice may lower the systolic blood pressure by an average of 4-5 points.  Beets have naturally occurring nitrates that convert into nitric oxide in the body.  This in turn helps to relax and dilate blood vessels which improves the flow of blood and lowers blood pressure.  This same conversion of nitrates into nitric oxide in the body may help give you more stamina during exercise.  People who drank beet juice prior to exercise were able to exercise for 16% longer.

Beets help fight inflammation, protect internal organs, and improve vascular risk factors.  Beets contain betaine, which is a nutrient that helps protect cells, proteins and enzymes from environmental stress.  Beets also contain phytonutrients which give them their dark crimson color and is thought to help reduce the chances of getting cancer.

Beets contain vitamin C, fiber, potassium, manganese and the B vitamin folate.  The betalin pigments in beets help in detoxification.

Also, don’t throw those beet greens (or stems) away.  They contain protein, phosphorus, zinc, fiber, vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium,  copper, and manganese.  They also have more vitamin A, C, calcium and iron than spinach.  We chopped them up and sauteed them in a little olive oil but they would be great added to your smoothie as well.

To get the recipe for beet hummus, just click on this link.

Enjoy!