Beetroot and Dill Dip

Beetroot and Dill Dip/Topping/Spread   makes 1 ¼ cups

Paleo; no gluten, dairy, legumes, onion, garlic or nightshades; with option for vegan

Fabulous colour that shouts nutritious good looks.

Excellent dip with sliced carrot, kumara chips or corn chips. Or for a hearty Chef Salad, you can toss pasta, quinoa or rice, cubed tofu  or back beans, or steamed veg – or a mixture – with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a platter. Make a depression in the middle and fill with the beetroot topping. Sprinkle with fresh dill or parsley. Surround with leafy greens.

Or use as a tomato or hummus alternative in tacos or wraps. Rectangular sheets of nori seaweed (in supermarkets) can be used as a wrap. Fill with rice or quinoa or kumara, then salad, protein (fish, chicken, egg, legumes, grated tofu) and choice of dip/topping/spread.

Nutrient Levels

Beetroot is a good source of fibre, folate (vitamin B9), manganese, potassium, iron and vitamin C. It can help lower high blood pressure. Its natural nitrates are converted into nitric oxide in your body. This helps relax and dilate blood vessels, improving blood flow and blood pressure. Beetroot is a good source of antioxidants thanks to polyphenols, betaine and other boldly crimson anthocyanins. These can help lower inflammatory markers such as C reactive protein. If you have the beet leaves, chop, steam and use them like spinach. They are even higher in antioxidants, plus vitamins A and D.

250 grams cooked beetroot (steam, or buy cooked in vacuum-pack from supermarket)
¼ cup toasted* pistachios
¼ cup homemade mayonnaise (or buy vegan mayo)
3 dates, washed
1 Tbsp grated lemon peel
¼ cup lemon juice (peel and juice from 1 medium lemon)
1 Tbsp dried dill leaf (or 3 Tbsp fresh dill)
2 tsp sea salt with kelp*
about 20 twists of freshly ground black pepper

To a food processor add the beetroot, pistachios, mayonnaise, dates, lemon juice and peel, dill, salt and pepper. Process briefly until semi-smooth.
Use at room temperature over pasta, fish or tofu (see ideas as above). Or cover, chill and use as a dip. Keeps well.

Shopping & Preparation Tips*
• Sea salt: is sea water dehydrated by sun. When mixed with seaweed or kelp (containing iodine and other minerals low in our soil) it is ideal in terms of flavour (interesting, but not too strong) and mineral balance. Try Pacific Harvest or Harker brands; both in health and gourmet stores. NOTE these are less salty in taste than other brands. Ordinary salt is taken from mines or sea and so highly refined over extreme heat that it contains nothing but sodium chloride. All other minerals are stripped away, such as potassium and magnesium which help regulate fluid balance and blood pressure. Bleach as a whitener and chemicals to prevent clumping may be added to table salt.

• To toast coconut, other seeds and nuts: simply place in a sturdy cast iron pan (no oil is necessary) over low-medium heat about 3 minutes until lightly brown and fragrant. Or put on a baking tray in a low-medium oven (no more than 180°C or 350°F). Stir frequently and watch carefully to prevent burning.

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