by Anouk Booneman, Co-Founder of Spring Into Health
I am now completely over winter. We had our snow days,
cozy fires, turmeric lattes, and snow; and now I am done. I have been in this part of the USA long enough, however, to know that we still have a few weeks left. No greens yet in my farm box. I am so looking forward to the summer vegetables. I have lots of beets to work with for now and I also finally made baked oatmeal. Recipes and pictures of this have appeared for a while on my feed and it seemed a good dish for a Sunday morning crowd.
Beets are a great food source for runners and they are very versatile and healthy. I prefer my beets in a salad, but I have also made some great chocolate cake with it. While looking for recipes I came across a Ensaladilla Rusa variation from a previously mentioned book, “Vegetables Unleashed” by Jose Andres. This salad is a famous Spanish salad served at almost every tapas bar. It’s usually a mixture of potatoes, carrots, tuna, eggs and peas with mayonnaise. This variation is made with beets, chickpeas and a vegan allioli. The salad will hold well for a few days. After you make the beet version, it’s easy to move on to other colorful vegetables. The following quantities are easily adjustable.
While the beets are cooked in this recipe, I prefer to roast mine in the oven at 350 degrees until they are soft (about 45 minutes). The carrots are cooked as well but I prefer to shred them raw in the salad. To cook the beets put them all in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Add the carrots and cook until the vegetables are tender. Carrots will be done in about 15 minutes. The beets will take about 45 minutes. Remove the vegetables and cool at room temperature.
Peel the beets and the carrots by rubbing them with a paper towel to remove the skin. Cut the carrots and the beets the way you like. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl with the peas and the chickpeas. Add sherry vinegar and allioli and mix well to coat the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a saving plate and sprinkle with parsley.
Allioli is traditionally an emulsion of olive oil and garlic. In this recipe Jose Andres uses the liquid from the chickpeas.
Pour the chickpea liquid into a small saucepan, bring to a simmer, and cook until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.
Transfer the reduced chickpea liquid to a blender, add the garlic, lemon juice and a pinch of salt and blend on low speed until the garlic is finely chopped. With the blender running.
Beets are also great in smoothies and they are great before and after a workout. They are known to improve oxygenation and blood flow. There are beet powders available, but it’s a lot cheaper to use whole fresh beets. You don’t have to cook the beets to use in a smoothie, but cooked beets are easier to blend, and I think that the taste is milder. Mixed berries pair well with beets. You can add dark leafy greens as well or combine with raw cacao.
I don’t use recipes for my smoothies. I like them on the liquid side, so I use more liquid than most people. The following recipe is from the Minimalist Baker
Baked oatmeal has been around for a while. I just never made it, and when I did it was a revelation. It’s a lot easier than making it on the stove. No more burned oatmeal. I burn most of my oatmeal because I usually forget that I am making it. Making it in the oven is easy, versatile and makes a very good pro run breakfast or snack. Make it in advance and be done for the week. There are countless recipes on the web, but I like the vegan version from Food 52. The Smitten Kitchen has a fancy variation with caramelized pear that I will definitely try.
Preheat the oven to 350° F and lightly oil an 8- or 9-inch square baking dish. Mix the flax meal and the water together in a small bowl. Allow them to thicken for a few minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the rolled oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla powder or vanilla bean (if you are substituting vanilla extract instead, add it to the wet ingredients).
Whisk together the prepared flax mixture, the maple syrup, almond milk, and oil. Add the wet ingredients to the oat mixture and stir to combine. Fold in the berries.
Turn the mixture out into your baking dish. Top with a few additional berries. Transfer the oatmeal to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Sprinkle the almonds or pecans and brown sugar over the top and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the oats are spongy, but solid. Allow them to cool.
You can serve the baked oatmeal either warm or cold. Cut the oatmeal into squares and drizzle with additional non-dairy milk and some fresh jam or maple syrup, if desired.
Anouk is co-founder of Spring Into Health, was a baker at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies and a language teacher before moving to Clifton Park. She believes that industrialized eating has created major health crises all over of the globe and that food can be the strongest medicine. She is also a yoga instructor.