Browsing Tag

Vitamin C

Healthy Food of the Week: Beets + Beet Green Smoothie Recipe

October 14, 2014

Aw-wee-oo, Killer Tofu!

Eee-aw-wee Iee-oo, Killer Tofuuuu!!!

– Killer Tofu, The Beets

(Please, please tell me one of your recognizes those famous lyrics from one of the best Nickelodeon shows of all time without me telling you the answer).

Ah the beet. The gift that keeps on giving all year round. Even after you’ve put your liver through hell.

The beautiful beet is a high antioxidant vegetable that is amazing at flushing the toxins from your body so that they DON’T reabsorb into your body (a VERY good thing because it allows your liver to work at an optimal level).

The beet is composed of two parts – the beetroot and beet leaf. Both are edible. Both are awesome for you. If you’re like me, you avoided using beets for a long time because they looked a little too complicated to work with. This is a perfectly valid excuse. But just so you know, you CAN get roasted and ready-to-go beets at Marianos, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. All you have to do is slice them up, toss them in a salad, a juicer or some awesomely creative recipe you saw in a magazine. 

These little convenient gems worked great for me until last week when my boyfriend did the grocery shopping and – BECAUSE MY LIST DID NOT SPECIFY (rookie mistake on my part) – he picked up the bona-fide, straight-from-the-dirt beets. When I went to chop one up for my morning smoothie, I was more than a little disappointed to find hard work waiting for me.

HOWEVER, I’d like to thank him now for helping me discover this whole other side of the beet that’s even more nutritious than its root AND is much easier to prepare – the greens. Let’s go to the breakdown.

Part 1: The Beet

Have lots of:  

Nitrates, betaine, vitamin C, fiber, potassium, manganese, B vitamin, folate

Which help you:

  • Relax and dilate your blood vessels, lowering your blood pressure (nitrates)
  • Support liver function (plant flavanoid and beta carotene)
  • Boost your stamina (betaine)
  • Fight inflammation (betaine)
  • Improve stomach acid production
  • Break down toxins and bind to other molecules so they can be excreted from your body

Tastes like:

An earthy but sweet fruit with a juicy peach-like texture

Suggested use:

Baked, boiled, steamed, or shredded raw

(Baking is the best option in my opinion; just wash, wrap in foil, and plop on a baking sheet for 50-60 minutes at 400 degrees)

For storage:

  • Trim the leaves from the root as soon as you bring them home (the leaves will sap the moisture from the root). Do not trim the cute little tail at the bottom of the root.
  • Store them in a plastic bag and put in the crisper drawer for 7-10 days.
  • Cooked beets can be kept for in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Or kept in the freezer for up to 10 months. (Make sure to peel before you freeze).

Part 2: The Beet Green

Have lots of:

Protein, phosphorous, zinc, fiber, calcium, iron, vitamin A, vitamin C – overall, the green has a higher nutritional value than the root

Which help you:

  • Supports healthy skin, bones, teeth and blood vessels (vitamin K and calcium)
  • Strengthen the immune system (vitamin A)
  • Stimulate production of antibodies and white blood cells (vitamin A)
  • See better (Vitamin A plays a role in light absorption in the rods and cones of your retina)

Tastes like:

A milder, sweeter version of kale or swiss chard, but with even more of the nutritional benefits. Awesome sauce.

Suggested use:

Salads, smoothies/juices, soup stock

For storage:

  • Store the leaves in a sealed storage container and use within 3 days.
  • If you keep them in the produce bag with the beet, they will go bad much faster (I speak from experience).

Beet Green Smoothie Supreme Recipe:

I just got a NutriBullet and this concoction was my 5th smoothie attempt. I am not a big fan of adding sugar to my juices, especially because their whole purpose is to serve as a healthy way to start my day (I save sugar for later in the day when I really need it). Problem is, without sugar or honey, many of my concoctions have been less than tasty. THIS is the first time that I truly enjoyed my morning drink – no sweetener necessary. All thanks to those awesome beet greens.


  • 2 cups beet greens
  • 1/2 frozen berries
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon goji berries
  • 1 cup coconut water


  1. Toss all ingredients in a blender
  2. Power it up for about 30 seconds – 1 minute (the goji berries take a bit to get pulverized)
  3. Drink up!



Healthy Food of the Week: PUMPKINS

October 1, 2014

I’m not a huge fan of exclamation points. Especially when they appear in long rows, one right after the other. It’s not that I’m not an excitable person. I just like to think of the exclamation point as sacred. We must only use it when we really mean it.

Well brace yourself people, because I am breaking out the exclamation to kick off the best season of the year with the best food of the season.

As soon as the first chilly day hits, I promptly make a trip to the store to pick up the following:

  1. Pumpkin candles
  2. Pumpkin body wash 
  3. Pumpkin lotion
  4. Pumpkin soap

Yes, I am that crazy pumpkin girl. When I walk through the door on an October evening, I want the smells of the season to hit me like a ton of bricks wrapped in leaves and steeped in pumpkin. And that doesn’t stop with the candles. Let’s not forget what pumpkin was originally intended for: EATING! That's right. Pumpkin not only smells and tastes fantastic, it also is ridiculously good for you!

Holy Hay Rides & Halloween, DOES IT GET ANY BETTER?!

Okay. I'm done yelling at you. I think. Here is the breakdown on pumpkins.

Pumpkin puree is filled with: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Beta Carotene, Fiber

Pumpkin seeds are packed with: Protein, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc

Look like: Cinderella’s carriage

Taste like: An earthy, rich, soft and buttery explosion of fall that gives you warm fuzzy feelings when eaten

What pumpkin can do for you:

  • Help your heart (Vitamin A)
  • Help digestion (Potassium) and keep you fuller longer (fiber)
  • Keep you from getting sick by supporting your immune system (Iron, Vitamin E, Vitamin A)
  • Keep your eyes, bones and teeth healthy (Vitamin A)
  • Keep you looking younger by improving your cell renewal process (Vitamin A)
  • Reduce inflammation (the compounds that give them the bright orange color)
  • Block the enlargement of the prostate gland, lower the risk of bladder stones, and help prevent depression (Nutrients in pumpkin seeds)

Suggested use (for pumpkin puree):

  1. Stir into soup, stew, spaghetti sauce or chili.
  2. Use in place of the oil in bread and muffin recipes.
  3. Add to a bowl of oatmeal or yogurt, sprinkle with cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice.
  4. Add to hummus and dip in veggies.
  5. Make a REAL pumpkin spice latte by combining 1 cup of whole milk and 1.5 tablespoons pumpkin puree in a saucepan, sprinkle in a touch of pumpkin pie spice, then add mixture to a shot of espresso or 1/4 cup of coffee. 
  6. Remember frobanas? There IS a pumpkin version. Throw the following into the food processor or blender: 2 frozen bananas, 1/2 cup of puree, 2-3 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup, and a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice.

My mouth is seriously watering right now. So I am going to go light my pumpkin candles, wash my hands with pumpkin soap, bust out my pureed pumpkin and make a pumpkin recipe for you fine people. (I know this sounds like one of those things you just say to sign off, but I am literally jumping out of my seat to go do this. When it comes to pumpkin, I don't F around).

To be continued…





Healthy Food Of The Week: PARSNIPS

September 18, 2014

Awesome for: Fiber, Folate, Potassium and Vitamin C

Look like: White-yellow carrots

Tastes like: Carrots, but sweeter and heartier

What they can do for you:

  • Improve digestive tract and keep you fuller longer (fiber)
  • Lessens risk of depression, increases energy and promote red blood cells (folate acid)
  • Decrease risk of birth defects for pregnant women (folate acid)
  • Lower risk of stroke and high blood pressure (potassium)
  • Supports bone, skin, blood vessel, immune system and teeth health (vitamin C)
  • In Medieval Times, they were considered an aphrodisiac. Bow chica bowow.

Suggested Use:

  • For storage: Wrap in a paper towel and cover in plastic. Store up to two weeks in the veggie bin of the fridge. (The vitamin C content decreases with increased exposure to heat, light, air and water).
  • Peel or slice thin like a carrot and eat raw in salads (make sure to scrub clean before you do this).
  • Roast in oven by themselves or with other root vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes. Cut up into bite-size pieces. Drizzle with coconut oil or ghee. Sprinkle with herbs and seasoning. And roast at 400 degrees F for 10-15 minutes. 

All facts aside:

Parsnips are like this slightly sweet, herby treat that I can’t believe I did not discover earlier. I don’t know why people don’t use them more. When roasted, they are the perfect warm, comforting veggie for the fall. They taste so good, you might think they aren’t good for you. But they are. Duh. Why else would they be the healthy food of the week? 

p.s. Yes. I called this post “Healthy Food of the Week” as if there have been other weeks. But you weren’t mistaken, this is the first one of its kind. There are so many great unprocessed foods out there that I figured the best way to talk about them with you is to feature a new one every week. I am totally looking forward to reading and writing about real food on a regular basis. I don’t you understand how much joy it brings me (I’m weird, I know). Please leave your thoughts below! (just type in the big box and click POST COMMENT).