February is American Heart Month, to raise awareness of heart disease, the leading killer for both men and women. Prevention is the best medicine, and delicious eating is a delicious way to better health! For this month, I am highlighting beets.
Beets, besides sharing the crimson hue and shape of the heart, also have several benefits for boosting your heart health. They are a good source of folate and betaine, which lower blood levels of homocysteine, which can increase your risk of heart disease by causing artery-damaging inflammation. They also provide nitric acid, which helps increase blood flow throughout your body, as well as lowers blood pressure. Plus, their earthy and naturally sweet taste and vibrant red pigment make them a culinary delight! Try them in this recipe for crunchy beet and turnip pickles. Love beets as much as I do? Then try out my recipes for borscht, in a winter salad of chicories and citrus, or make beet tzatziki.
Quick Pickled Beets and Turnips
This simple recipe produces pink pickled turnips, naturally dyed from the beets, and red beet pickles.
3 cups water
1/3 cup coarse kosher or sea salt
1 bay leaf
1 cup white vinegar
1 1/2 pounds turnips, peeled
1 pound red beets, peeled
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1. In a saucepan, heat about one-third of the water. Add the salt and bay leaf, stirring until the salt is dissolved.
2. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, add the vinegar and the rest of the water.
3. Cut the turnips and the beet into batons, about the size of French fries. Put the turnips, beets, and garlic slices into a large, clean jar, then pour the salted brine over them in the jar, including the bay leaf.
4. Cover and let sit at room temperature, in a relatively cool place, for one week. Once done, they can be refrigerated until ready to serve.
What are your favorite beet recipes? Feel free to share in the comments!
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