By: Angela Simpson
It took me a long time to jump on the beet bandwagon, but my kitchen has seen a ton of beet action this fall. This nutrition packed veggie is a superfood for runners, and one that you might want to consider adding to your diet for optimal running performance. Extensive research has been conducted on runners who drink beet juice, and findings suggest that consumption can lead to better endurance and faster times. Credit for this performance-enhancing effect is attributed to nitrate, which can also be found in cauliflower, spinach, broccoli, and collard greens.
While beet juice is the focus of most of these studies, eating the whole vegetable will also provide you with plenty of disease-fighting antioxidants, fiber, iron, magnesium, and calcium. (Just don’t wear a white shirt when you peel them!)
5 small/medium beets, washed and peeled and cut into chunks, about 4 cups
1 small winter squash such as acorn, buttercup or delicata, peeled, seeded and diced (about 3 cups)
1 tbsp each olive oil and maple syrup
1/3 cup dark balsamic vinegar
1/8 tsp each coarse sea salt and black pepper
1/2 tsp herbs de provence (or your choice of dried mixed herbs)
1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
2. Heat some water in a pot and place a steamer basket over top. Put the beets and squash pieces in the basket and steam for 5 minutes. (You can skip this step if you like, but you will need to roast the vegetables for 30-45 mins.)
3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
4. In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil, maple syrup, and balsamic vinegar.
5. Transfer the vegetables into a large bowl and pour the balsamic mixture over top. Toss to coat and allow the vegetables to soak up some of the liquid for 5 minutes.
6. Spread the squash and beets in an even layer on the parchment paper. Sprinkle with sea salt, black pepper, and herbs.
7. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, then remove and flip the vegetable pieces over. Insert them back in the oven for 3 minutes on the high broil setting.
8. Serve hot.
Makes: 4-6 servings, as a side dish
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 18 mins
Angela is an avid runner, fitness instructor, foodie, healthy living blogger, and owner of her business, Spin 360 Health Coaching. Having been overweight, unhappy and insecure as a teenager, Angela took control, changed her unhealthy habits, and adopted a clean eating lifestyle that she continues to maintain today. Her goal is to support, inspire, and motivate others to improve their health and be their best.
You can learn more about Angela on her blog, Eat Spin Run Repeat. You can also get your hands on her free e-book, Creating a Whole Foods Lifestyle (complete with 10 squeaky-clean recipes!) by subscribing to email updates.
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