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Energy Boosting Red Smoothie

There’s a lot of talk about green smoothies… but red ones are awesome! Try this energy boosting red smoothie!

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Beet Sweet Potato Soup

This Beet Sweet Potato Soup is so creamy and it will boost your energy and keep you healthy!

beet sweet potato soup

Last week I went to my favorite event of the year: The Longevity Conference. It was soooooo amazing! My head is still spinning from all of the awesome new things I learned and of course I came home with big bags filled with new superfoods, herbs, and ingredients to test out for you. I’m bursting at the seams with new info for you… yay!

Each year I feel so lucky to be able to meet so many awesome people at Longevity, and this year was no exception. One of my favorite parts of the weekend was being able to meet Solla Eiriksdottir, a vegetarian chef who I just love. She is so much fun, so creative, and so practical in the kitchen. Beet Sweet Potato Soup is a recipe in her Raw cookbook, so I just had to make a big pot.

First, I have to tell you that beets are one of my favorite ingredients. When I was younger, I used to hate them — I thought they tasted like dirt. Years later, when I became immersed in Chinese medicine and I learned the value of beets, I began playing around with them to make them taste good to me. It’s funny, because my daughter used to say that beets tasted like grass (I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…) and now, she’s a lover too.

Okay, so what’s so great about beets? What am I rambling on about? Well, in Chinese medicine, we know that many illnesses and conditions in the body are caused because the body is not making good quality blood. Beets help the body make high quality blood. Beets are great for energy. They increase athletic performance. They are good for your heart. They help ward of cancer. Need I say more? And, as an added benefit, they just make everything look beautiful — I mean, just look at the color of this beet sweet potato soup!

Now I use beets whenever I can. For this soup, there’s no beet preparation involved except peeling them and cutting them into chunks. Easy peasy. Sometimes I roast them. Sometimes I ferment them. Sometimes I slice them really thin. And, don’t even get me started on beet powder…

Here’s a really simple recipe for the most awesome roasted beets ever: Pomegranate Glazed Beets

beet sweet potato soupbeet sweet potato soup

Here are the healing powers of some of the ingredients in this beet sweet potato soup recipe:

Beets are SO good for you. I try to find ways to fit them into my meals as much as possible. Really… many times a week. Beets nourish blood and tonify the heart. Athletes are starting to drink beet juice as a form of endurance therapy. They are anti-carcinogenic, good for anemia, and relieve constipation. I also think it’s a great idea to eat them raw sometimes because their amazing goodness is even more pumped up this way.

Sweet potatoes are good for your digestive system. They can be good for both constipation and diarrhea. These orange gems also help rid your body of excess water, are good for breast health, help people with diabetes and actually can help ease night blindness. In olden times, it was common in China to rub mashed sweet potatoes on poison insect bites to remove the toxins. I haven’t tried this, but if you see me looking a tad orange, this will be why…

Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. Recently, I recommended that a patient with bronchitis put sliced raw onions in her socks when she went to sleep… she woke up so much better; they actually can rid the body of bacteria. (I know I’ve told you this before, but it really is awesome!) Onion is a superhero in the food world!

Turmeric is actually a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.

When you add olive oil to foods, it actually helps deliver the nutritional benefits of your food to your body in a better way. All of the benefits of the food’s color pigments get transported where they need to go. I drizzle a good quality extra-virgin olive oil on top of everything.

beet sweet potato soup

Beet Sweet Potato Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: soup
Cuisine: vegan, vegetarian, paleo, whole30
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
This is the creamiest, most delicious soup! It's an energy booster that's great for your heart and your digestion.
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling on the individual bowls of soup
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 6 small beets, peeled and cut into chunks
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 Tbs cumin
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ cup unsweetened, plain non-dairy yogurt (I used cashew yogurt)
  • ¼ cup sprouted pumpkin seeds
  • Optional raw Chinese herbs: Shan Yao, Huang Qi
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.
  2. Add onions and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook, stirring often, until onions are softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add beets, sweet potatoes, turmeric, cumin, smoked paprika, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes.
  5. Pour in the vegetable broth.
  6. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45-mins or until the beets are softened.
  7. Transfer the soup, in batches, to a blender and blend until completely smooth and silky.
  8. Ladle into bowls and garnish with a big dollop of yogurt, a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds, and a drizzle of olive oil.
  9. Enjoy!

beet sweet potato soup

Beet Hummus

                           Beets are good for endurance and digestion!
beet hummus

I used to make homemade hummus all the time. I don’t know why I stopped, but stop I did. I think I forgot how easy it is to make it and how much better it tastes than those store-bought containers. But, let me tell you, it is easier to make homemade hummus than it is to go out to the store and buy it! And when you can add in your own flavors, there’s no need to ever buy it. Hmmmm…. I hope I remember this next time. Anyway, this Beet Hummus is delicious! And, look how pretty!

Long, long ago, when I would be preparing for a dinner party, I fixated on the appetizers. I would put out pretty platters of way too many finger foods and dips. I loved to make them and I loved the idea of eating all of my creations with awesome cocktails before dinner.

And everyone would be full before dinner.

Then I got smart. Nobody needs a boatload of appetizers if you are serving a delicious dinner. They may need the cocktails, but not all of that pre-dinner food.

So, now I pick one dip and maybe one finger food and I’m done… OK, so now I feel I have carte blanche to make way too many courses for the actual dinner… but it’s still better…

Last week, when I had some of my favorite people to dinner, I made 2 bowls of this beet hummus and served it with some divine breadsticks, some gluten-free chips, and some fresh carrots and radishes. Yum. That’s all I can say. Just yum.

And if you want a recipe for the best beet side dish ever, you have to try my Pomegranate Glazed Beets!

beet hummusbeet hummus

Here are some of the awesome healing ingredients in this beet hummus recipe:

Beets are SO good for you. I try to find ways to fit them into my meals as much as possible. Really… many times a week. Beets nourish blood and tonify the heart. Athletes are starting to drink beet juice as a form of endurance therapy. They are anti-carcinogenic, good for anemia, and relieve constipation. I also think it’s a great idea to eat them raw sometimes because their amazing goodness is even more pumped up this way.

Chickpeas actually help calm the spirit. They relieve anxiety and soothe irritability… it kind of makes you realize why hummus is so popular…

Sesame seeds have many great nutritional benefits. This recipe is made with tahini (sesame seed paste). They are an anti-aging food. If you have backaches, hair thats graying way too fast, ringing in the ears, weak knees, blurry vision or general weakness, go for the sesame seeds; just sprinkle them on everything. Long ago in China, sesame seeds were ground into honey to form a paste and was taken as a medicine to counter old-age and weakness. For this recipe, you can use store-bought tahini.

Lemons are good for your stomach, they help detoxify your body, they balance your pH and they act as an antibacterial. If you have a sore throat or a cough, go for lemons to make things better. Lemons are great for quenching your thirst, and, in China, many years ago, hypertension was treated by drinking tea made from lemon peels.

beet hummus

Beet Hummus
Author: 
Recipe type: appetizer, dip, hummus
Cuisine: vegan, vegetarian, simple
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
This amazing beet hummus is so easy to make! You just toss everything in the food processor and it's done!
Ingredients
  • 3 medium red beets, peeled, quartered, and roasted until softened or 3 pre-cooked medium beets
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • sea salt to taste
  • juice of 1 large lemon
  • 3 Tbs tahini
  • 3 Tbs water
Instructions
  1. Put all of the ingredients in the food processor and whiz it up until smooth!
  2. That's it! Enjoy!

beet hummus

Vegan Beet & Butternut Squash Chili

This Vegan Beet & Butternut Squash Chili has big chunks of beets in it. Beets are great for nourishing your blood (that’s not a vampire reference…) — I find that they are awesome for fighting off some of those annoying conditions associated with menopause!

vegan beet & butternut squash chili

It’s chili season! Nothing says happy autumn like the fragrant aroma from a big pot of chili cooking on the stove. In our house that chili must be eaten while watching whatever football game is on TV. And the table has to be filled with bowls of guacamole, cheeses (vegan ones too), coconut yogurt, fresh cilantro, and some healthy-ish chips to pile on top of the individual bowls of chili. And even though this is a healthier chili, it still goes great with an ice cold beer…

Oftentimes I make my chili with meat — beef, pork, turkey, bison, lamb… whatever I’m feeling at the moment. But, I’ve been eating vegan more and more these days, so I decided to make this vegan chili. It’s especially awesome because it’s hearty and has big chunks of veggies. You know, it’s not like one of those vegan chilies that seems to be mostly beans. This one’s got moxie. It’s got heart. It’s got substance. It’s really awesome. And it tastes like a traditional meaty chili… for realz.

Every time I make a pot of chili or soup, I add some raw Chinese herbs to the pot so that while the food cooks, the amazing healing properties of the herbs get infused in my food. This time I added Huang Qi and Shan Yao to boost my energy. If you have access to good quality Chinese herbs, I highly recommend this, and of course, if you have any questions, just ask me!

As I sit here and type this post, I keep sneaking a peak at my closed refrigerator door because I know there’s still a bit of this awesome vegan beet & butternut squash chili sitting in the pot leftover in the fridge. Just sitting there. It’s kind of calling my name… OK, as soon as I’m done here, I’m answering the call of the chili…

If you want to eat more beets, you have to try my awesome recipe for Pomegranate Glazed Beets!

vegan beet & butternut squash chili

Here are some of the awesome healing capabilities of the ingredients in this vegan beet & butternut squash chili:

Beets are SO good for you. I try to find ways to fit them into my meals as much as possible. Really… many times a week. Beets nourish blood and tonify the heart. Athletes are starting to drink beet juice as a form of endurance therapy. They are anti-carcinogenic, good for anemia, and relieve constipation. I also think it’s a great idea to eat them raw sometimes because their amazing goodness is even more pumped up this way.

Butternut squash is more than just a delicious vegetable; it’s really good for you. It’s a good fever reducer, it can lessen stomach pain and it can be a comfort during pregnancy when the baby feels like she’s doing acrobatics. It’s also rich in carotenoids and Vitamin B6. This means it’s good for your heart and can help lower bad cholesterol. And, because butternut squash can help reduce inflammation in the body, it benefits almost everyone.

Turmeric is actually a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.

Carrots help strengthen the organs in your body. They also are good for the eyes (this is their claim to fame) and they promote healthy digestion. Many moons ago, people used to make carrot tea to ward off measles and to prevent cancer. Carrots help detoxify the body and in today’s world of Chinese medicine, they are prescribed to ease constipation and
tonsillitis.

In Chinese medicine, red kidney beans are used to aid digestion; they help you if you have diarrhea and they also have a diuretic quality. White navy beans actually improve your memory and they also have a calming effect, so feel free to use a mix of colored beans if you like.

Raw cacao is a superfood. It is packed with magnesium, iron, zinc and other minerals. Not only is it packed with health benefits, but it actually has properties that help the body absorb nutrients better and it’s filled with antioxidants. Cacao can actually be translated as “food of the gods”… Raw cacao can help lower blood pressure, promote healthy heart function, improve digestion, and may even help increase the libido.

vegan beet & butternut squash chili

Vegan Beet & Butternut Squash Chili
Author: 
Recipe type: chili, comfort food, vegetables
Cuisine: vegan, vegetarian, paleo, whole30
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
This is a vegan chili that's as hearty as a traditional meaty one. It's got beets, butternut squash, carrots, peppers, beans, and so much more!
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped (use whatever color pepper you have)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1-1/2 lb large-diced butternut squash
  • ½ lb red beets, peeled and diced (I used pre-cooked ones)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 Tbs cumin
  • 1-1/2 Tbs chili powder
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 15-oz can kidney beans, undrained
  • 1 Tbs raw cacao powder
  • Optional raw Chinese herbs: Huang Qi, Shan Yao
  • For garnish: vegan cheese, coconut yogurt, fresh cilantro, chips
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat and add the onion, bell pepper, and carrots. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Saute, stirring, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the squash, beets, garlic powder, chipotle powder, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, and more salt and pepper.
  4. Cook, stirring, about 15 minutes, over medium-low heat.
  5. Add the tomatoes, broth, beans, and cacao.
  6. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer 30 minutes.
  7. Give the pot a good stir, uncover it, and cook an additional 20 minutes.
  8. Ladle into individual bowls.
  9. Garnish with a dollop of yogurt, some cilantro, more cheese, and crushed chips.
  10. Enjoy!

vegan beet & butternut squash chili

Pomegranate Glazed Beets

These pomegranate glazed beets will make a beet lover out of anyone!

pomegranate beets (vertical on paper)-3736

Every morning Steve and I take our dogs (Maggie and Sadie) to Central Park for a walk. It’s really an amazing thing to do. Before 9:00am all dogs are allowed off-leash in the park. It’s like a sci-fi movie — it’s the dogs’ world and we just live in it. Literally hundreds of dogs are running around playing and sniffing and all of them get along. It’s really quite incredible and awe-inspiring. It’s an hour of pure wonder.

Today, my plan was to go to the gym as soon as I left the park. But, it was one of those mornings… so, here I am still in my kitchen. In my gym clothes. I mean, it’s just sooooooooo hot outside and it’s so cool in here…

And, it may not be logical, but I really wanted to make beets. I know, it doesn’t have anything to do with the park or my lack of exercise, but I really wanted beets.

This recipe for pomegranate glazed beets is delicious! And it’s really, really, easy. And the color is awesome.

The next time, I want beets, I’m going to substitute them for the sweet potatoes in my recipe for Sweet Potato Spaghetti Marinara.

pomegranate beets (horizontal bowl)-3720

Here are a few great reasons to make this recipe:

Beets are SO good for you. I try to find ways to fit them into my meals as much as possible. Really… many times a week. Beets nourish blood and tonify the heart. Athletes are starting to drink beet juice as a form of endurance therapy. They are anti-carcinogenic, good for anemia, and relieve constipation. I also think it’s a great idea to eat them raw sometimes because their amazing goodness is even more pumped up this way.

Pomegranate seeds nourish the blood. In Chinese medicine, we know that many illnesses and conditions are caused by the body making poor quality blood. Pomegranates and their seeds are great at helping the body make good quality blood. They are also good to combat diarrhea, anemia and incontinence. These beets are glazed with pomegranate molasses… if you are going to go sweet, go pomegranate!

pomegranate glazed beets

Pomegranate Glazed Beets
Author: 
Recipe type: vegetables, root vegetables, side dish
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
These beets are so easy. They are sweet and tart and simply delicious. This has become my favorite side dish!
Ingredients
  • 4 medium/large red beets, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 Tbs pomegranate molasses
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Toss the beets with the oil.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Now toss them with the molasses.
  5. Spread the glazed beets out on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, making sure they are not touching each other.
  6. Bake until tender, about 50 minutes.
  7. Enoy!

pomegranate glazed beets

Butternut Squash And Apple Soup With Beets And Kale

I make this butternut squash and apple soup with beets and kale so often — you’ve got to try it!

butternut squash soup w kale overhead (less clarity)-1

Yay, it’s full-blown soup season! I eat soup all year round but now that Thanksgiving’s almost here, I feel better posting my soups because who doesn’t love soup when the weather gets all crisp and chilly?  I know when I post soups in the summer, some people wonder what could possibly be going on in my head… This is the soup I’m going to serve for Thanksgiving. The base of it is an amazingly warming butternut squash and apple soup but it’s kicked up with fresh turmeric. Turmeric makes it so good for you and it gives it a little spice and just look at the gorgeous color!  And the toppings (because you have to have toppings, right?) are shredded beets and garlicky kale… OMG, it’s so good…

This year, we are having Thanksgiving for the first time in our new apartment. I’m used to cooking in a big kitchen, so there are some challenges, but it will be so much fun. I’ve been testing out recipes that are great to make in advance because of working with less stove and oven  space and this one is a big winner — you should try it too. I will make it Tuesday or Wednesday and hide it in the back of the fridge til Thursday.

I make a soup every year for Thanksgiving. I don’t serve it with the meal though. I like to keep it in a pot on the stove all day for those who get hungry before the meal. I keep the soup on the burner and the toppings next to it on the counter with a stack of bowls and people just help themselves. It works out so much better than making separate appetizers and it’s really really delicious.  And, it’s really easy to hold a bowl  or mug of soup (just not those shallow bowls) in your hands while you are screaming at the TV while watching football.

This year, the soup toppings will include shredded raw beets and thinly sliced warmed garlicky kale…
kale and tongs-1

OK, now I have to tell you why this soup is a must; why it is SOOOOOO good for you.

Butternut squash is more than just a delicious vegetable; it’s really good for you. It’s a good fever reducer, it can lessen stomach pain and it can be a comfort during pregnancy when the baby feels like she’s doing acrobatics. It’s also rich in carotenoids and Vitamin B6. This means it’s good for your heart and can help lower bad cholesterol. And, because butternut squash can help reduce inflammation in the body, it benefits almost everyone.

Turmeric is actually a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric. When you combine turmeric with cinnamon (yup, another Chinese herb — Rou Gui) the pain relief can be amazing.

It really is true that an apple a day is a good thing. Apples help to strengthen your heart. They are also good for your digestion and they can help eliminate mucus when you have a cold. So, the combination of apples and cinnamon and turmeric together are great for this time of year when everyone seems to be getting sick.

Kale is everywhere these days. It is extremely nutritious, and because it to so popular you can find it already washed and prepared in lots of markets. My cheat for this recipe was that I bought this kale already shredded and washed at the market. If you are using a whole bunch of kale, make sure you clean the leaves thoroughly and remove the center thick stems if they bother you (me… I don’t really mind them if the kale is cooked). This dark leafy green is a great source of fiber and calcium. It’s also rich in many minerals, including magnesium, iron and potassium. One serving contains 200% of the daily requirements of Vitamin C and 180% of Vitamin A.

Beets are SO good for you. I try to find ways to fit them into my meals as much as possible. Really… many times a week. Beets nourish blood and tonify the heart. Athletes are starting to drink beet juice as a form of endurance therapy. They are anti-carcinogenic, good for anemia, and relieve constipation. I also think it’s a great idea to eat them raw sometimes because their amazing goodness is even more pumped up this way.

butternut squash soup side-1

Butternut Squash And Apple Soup With Beets And Kale
Author: 
Recipe type: soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Butternut squash combines with apples and turmeric for the most amazing and healthful soup ever. And, as if that wasn't enough... the toppings are garlicky kale and shredded beets!
Ingredients
  • For soup:
  • 1 Tbs ghee or grassfed butter
  • 1-1/2 lb butternut squash chunks
  • 1 med onion, roughly chopped
  • 1-inch piece of fresh turmeric root, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 large apple, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1-1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 large sage leaves, chopped
  • For kale:
  • 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic gloves, sliced
  • 2 cups finely shredded lacinto (black) kale leaves
  • shredded raw beets (for topping)
  • extra sage leaves, chopped (for topping)
Instructions
  1. In a large soup pot, over medium-high heat, melt the ghee. Add the squash, onion, cinnamon stick, apple, and curry powder. Season with salt.
  2. Season with salt and stir for about 5 minutes, until the veggies start to soften a bit and everything is coated well.
  3. Pour in the broth. Stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and let cook about 30 minutes, or until the squash is soft.
  4. Meanwhile, make the kale: In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat, and saute the garlic until it is just starting to brown (but don't burn it!).
  5. Add the kale to the skillet, Raise the heat to high and with your tongs, toss the kale continuously until it's all coated with the garlicky oil. Then turn off the heat. This should only take about 1 minute. Season with salt.
  6. When the soup is done cooking, discard the cinnamon stick and transfer the soup to a blender (my Vitamix made this soup like velvet). I did this in 2 batches so as not to overfill the blender with hot soup. Cover the blender tightly with a clean dish cloth and whiz it up until it's velvety smooth. Use a dish towel instead of the blender cover, so the steam can escape.
  7. Transfer the cooked soup back into the pot.
  8. Ladle the soup into bowls or mugs.
  9. Put the kale and beets in separate bowls.
  10. Put a big dollop of beets in the center of each bowl and sprinkle with extra sage.
  11. Serve the kale alongside and let people choose whether to put in in their soup or eat it on the side.
  12. Enjoy!