Roasted Beet and Greek Yogurt Dip
Beets are a rich source of antioxidants and phytonutrients. The most widely researched and medicinal compounds in beets are betalains, shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxification support. Scientist have identified these compounds have the ability to fight tumors in the body. They are also said to increase nitric oxide in the body which dilates blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. In fact a 1/2 cup serving of beets can lower blood pressure by several points in just an hour! The actual beet root is not the only nutrition part of this plant in that both lutein and zeaxanthin are two carotenoids found in the greens or tops of the beets. Save the greens to toss in the skillet or put in a salad or smoothie to gain vitamins, minerals, folate and carotenoid benefits of disease prevention, especially eye health!
4 medium beets, roasted (shortcut option to use 1 cup prepared beets or 1 package Love Beets)
2 garlic cloves
1 cup plain Grass Fed Greek Yogurt (I like Siggi's)
1 tsp cumin
1 pinch cayenne
1/4tsp sea salt
2 tbsp Sesame Seed Oil
1/2 -1 tbsp Raw Honey to taste
Juice and Zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp Trader Joe's Everything but the Bagel to garnish OR black and white sesame seeds
¼ cup fresh goat cheese to garnish
Roast Beets by cutting them into quarters, lightly coating in sesame seed oil (about 2 tbsp) and roasting at 375 F for about 30 minutes or until tender. Let beets cool in fridge for at least an hour or ideally overnight. If you are short on time or just looking to avoid red bloody beet hands and finger nails you might want to use the Love Beets option listed above or you can likely find already prepared beets at your local Whole Foods in the prepared foods section. If roasting the beets yourself your dip will likely be thicker and if using steamed prepared beets the dip will be thinner so keep this in mind if you desire one consistency over the other...
Once beets have cooled or if using already prepared beets add beets and garlic to your food processor using standard metal “s” blade and blend until smooth. Add the lemon juice , lemon zest, yogurt, cumin, salt, cayenne and honey. Top with goat cheese and sprinkle with black and white sesame seeds or Trader Joe's Everything but the Bagel seasoning mentioned above. Serve with Jicama, Broccoli, Multi Colored Carrot sticks, Red and Yellow Bell Peppers and or Zucchini cups for a total spectrum of color and antioxidants.