Raw Beet Smoothie

I don’t like or NOT like beets. For me, they land somewhere in between, “Oh, this is disgusting! Why do I even have this on my plate?” and “Wow!! This is better than chocolate!”

My mom used to bring home beets and force them on us at dinner.  We’d all take 1 or 2 slices of boiled beets and push them around our plate until we knew we couldn’t avoid eating them any longer. It wasn’t the way the beets looked. But more so of how they tasted that made us kids not like them so much. The taste of a beet can be described as, well…. “beety.”  If you’ve had beets before, you know what I mean. You can’t really describe it, but you can certainly recognize the flavour.

So why post a recipe with beets if they’re not you’re favourite vegetable, Hinna? Well, a few weeks back, I got pretty sick and couldn’t eat anything. In the first few days of recovery, I was limited to rice cakes, crackers and water.  As the days passed, I was able to reintroduce yogurt, broth, mushy rice with lentils, fruits and vegetables into my diet.  Refined sugars, chocolate, milk and coffee were off limits while my stomach lining healed.  In those 1-2 weeks of healing, I discovered that a lot of my joint pain and old-injury pain had dramatically reduced or had disappeared. The refined sugars, chocolate, milk and coffee were increasing inflammation in my body, causing aches, pains and literally making me sick to my stomach.  With this knowledge, I have started shifting my focus to eating my healthy, whole foods…and well that means adding beets to my diet.

This raw beet smoothie comes from the Choosing Raw blog.

Raw Beet Smoothie

Raw Beet Smoothie

Raw Beet Smoothie

1 raw medium beet, peeled and cut into small pieces (you will need a high-speed blender to break down the beet)
1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled and cut in half
1 peeled orange, whole
1 cup homemade almond milk

Put everything into a high-speed blender, cover and let it blend until smooth.  Pour into a glass and let it chill in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.  Enjoy!

Strawberry Sauce

If you opened my fridge this past summer, the first thing you would see is the abundance of organic berries.  I would make a run to the grocery store for one or two things and I would almost always come back with 1-2 cartons of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries or raspberries.  Most of the time, these delicious gems would end up in a smoothie, but one pint of organic strawberries had a different destiny.

A few weeks back, I came across a recipe for strawberry sauce (can’t remember where I got it from…will try to look for the blog to give credit). I wasn’t sure if I would want to make it or not, but after checking that I had the ingredients and of course, the Belgian waffles and chocolate gelato (ahem) that it would be drizzled over, I got Amina busy with an activity and started to make some strawberry sauce magic.

The sauce is straight-forward and will be ready in about 10-15 minutes.

Strawberry Sauce

Strawberry Sauce

1 pint of organic strawberries, washed, hulled and chopped

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp maple syrup, grade b

Place ingredients into a saucepan and cover. Simmer ingreidents and stir occasionally.  Reduce heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes until desired strawberry mushiness is met.  Spoon over yogurt, ice cream or eat as is.

Red and White

Before I start blogging about my lemon poppy seed cake disaster, I thought it would be wise to wrap up my Canada Day posts.  Since Canada Day fell on a Friday, we had a 3-day long weekend that proved to be jam packed with things to do.  It started off with me prepping for the roasted steak lunch with vegetable and pasta sides for my in-laws.  A couple of weeks prior I had gotten some flank steaks and marinated them in some masala, and minced ginger and garlic, before sticking them into the freezer for a rainy day. That so called rainy day turned out to be a sunny Canada Day!  I thought I would make some fancy dessert, but didn’t have time, what with my husband flying in from a business trip, the sides to make for lunch, and a commitment to make dessert for my mom’s barbecue. So I opted for something that would be simple yet would fit the colour scheme of the day.  I decided to mix fresh Ontario strawberries with California raspberries on a white dish that one of my students had given me and sprinkle them with powdered sugar!
Strawberry and Raspberry Medley
1 pint Ontario strawberries, washed
1 pint raspberries, washed
1 tbsp powdered sugar
2-3 mint leaves (optional)
Wash and drain the strawberries and raspberries. First, layer the strawberries on the bottom of a white dish and then place the raspberries around the strawberries and in the crevices.  Put the powdered sugar in a small sieve and begin to “dust” the sugar over the berries**.  Tuck in a few mint leaves for garnish.  Serve plain or with a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt.
**  Make sure your berries are dry before dusting them with powered sugar.  I hadn’t drained all the water off the berries when I sprinkled them with the sugar, and so the sugar was sucked into the berries…that’s why my berries look naked.