Loving the BITE: Baked Beet Chips

01
Mar
2012

This week’s Loving the Bite recipe can’t be beat.  As a true SuperFood vegetable with a beautiful color, it’s hard to beat beets.  They can be intimidating, I know.  But, once you get used to adding them to salads, smoothies, and even snacking on them with our Recipe of the Week, you’ll find them a wonderful addition to your meals and snacks.  And, as an athlete, you’ll certainly enjoy the cellular and whole-body benefits for your eyes, blood, and heart!

Recipe of the Week: Baked Beet Chips

(from www.fixmeasnack.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 or 3 medium beets, at least 3 inches wide to decrease shrinking
  • Salt (optional)

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Wash the beets thoroughly. Cut off both ends and peel. Keep a towel on hand or do your peeling under running water in order to keep the juices under control.
  • Slice the beets very thinly (about 1 millimeter) with a mandolin. (The mandolin is actually necessary. Uniform thickness in the chips is required in order for them to bake evenly.)
  • Lay the sliced beets out onto parchment-lined baking sheets. They can be placed close together as they will shrink during baking. Sprinkle with salt, if desired.
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes keeping a close eye on them after 20 minutes as they burn easily. The beets will still be pliable when done and will crisp up as they cool.

Comments:

When you put down the bag of tortilla chips, and pick up some beet chips instead, you get the “Big 3”
wellness punches: antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and detoxification nutrients.  Specifically, beets contain:

Belatins:  These phytochemicals (remember, phytochemicals fight disease) provide the beautiful reddish-purple hue known to beets and contribute to all 3 wellness punches at a cellular level.  They fight free radicals, fight inflammation, and support detoxification of the cells.  Like other superfoods, they support the production and work of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant our cells make to fight damaging substances.  And, in lab studies, they have successful slowed the growth of tumor cells.

Carotenoids: Beets are an awesome source of both zeaxanthin and lutein.  These antioxidant vitamins go beyond everyday free-radical-fighting to support eye health, especially fighting against age-related eye diseases.

Betaine: Made from choline (a B-vitamin), betaine is a nutrient that specifically works to decrease bodily inflammation.  By decreasing inflammation, betaine may decrease risks of cancers, heart disease, plaque build-up in arteries, diabetes, and obesity.

Super Fiber:  While all fiber is good, not all fiber is the same.  Beets and carrots contain specific fibers and pectins that provide special benefits to our digestive tract and cardiovascular systems.

Minerals: Beets contain a variety of minerals.  Two in particular, copper and iron, work to “build your blood” and make it healthy and strong.

And, you might just experience colorful urine.  No joke!  About 5-15% of adults in the US are estimated to experience beeturia, urine that is red or pink, after eating beets.  So, if you try our Loving the Bite recipe this week, don’t be too alarmed by beeturia.  There may be some connection with this condition and an issue with iron metabolism, though.  If you experience beeturia, and suspect iron deficiency, iron excess, or iron metabolism to be a problem affecting your health, please consult with your healthcare provider.

Bonus Recipe: Beautiful Beet Smoothie

Mix ½ cup Greek yogurt, 1 cup berries, 1 small banana, 1 cup spinach, 1 small beet (1-2” diameter) in blender.  Add ice and water to desired consistency.  Beautiful.  And yum.

If you’re a cyclist interested in optimal health, it’s hard to beat beets.  This week, start adding them to your mix.  Throw raw beets in smoothies and salads, or add them to meals.  Maybe you already do.  If so, let us know how you enjoy beets!

Fuel Your Ride. Nourish Your Body. 

Enjoy Your Ride
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  • http://www.wet-works.net/ Heather H

    Beet chips! Great idea! we do kale chips at home, they’re yummy, but kinda fragile, I bet beet chips will hold up better. Although my whole kitchen is going to turn red trying to slice beets thin!

    • Kelli, RD

      Hope these worked well for you Heather!  I just saw something online for butternut squash chip…hmmm, we’ll have to see about that one, too!

    • Kelli, RD

      Hope these worked well for you Heather!  I just saw something online for butternut squash chip…hmmm, we’ll have to see about that one, too!

  • http://twitter.com/myrnacgmibus Myrna CG Mibus

    Can’t wait to try this recipe! I just made a beet soup (ham borscht) that tasted so good. And a friend of mine introduced me to putting canned beets on sandwiches. I think the canned variety I found had some sugar added but I may make my own for future sandwich additions. The beets add a great flavor and texture!

    • Kelli, RD

      Hi Myrna!  Make sure to use the larger-diameter beets b/c the smaller ones shrink up to much with baking.  Beets on sandwiches sounds great! Thanks!  Kelli, RD

  • Pamela

    You always seem to make such simple things sound so good.  I’ve never heard of either of these ideas before, but would like to try these.

    • Kelli, RD

      thanks Pamela!  I’ve definitely been on a beet kick lately – throwing them in everything.  I hope you enjoy!  Kelli, RD

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Sugar Alternatives for Energy and Hydration

Question: I am using the homebrew sugar formulations (sometimes added to green tea).  I am also trying to wean myself off 1/2 dose adrenalean “lip tonic delivery system” (biorhythm brand- caffeine, hoodia g, synephrine, yohimbe) capsule for energy.

My question is other than juice, can you suggest modifications in lieu of table sugar for energy and hydration.

Answer:

Both raw/organic honey or agave can work great in the homebrew (substitute in the same quantities for the sugar, or to taste), but you do have to shake well in order to make sure they don’t settle out.  Have you tried either of these?  Also, make sure to use at least the minimum amount of salt recommended in the homebrew as the temps rise, you need the sodium replacement if you’re sweating.

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