Guest post by Krista A. Parr, R.H.N.
If the thought of dipping carrot sticks into a bowl of bright pink paste seems peculiar, I urge you to give beets a chance and try this dip! It is smooth, creamy, and surprisingly not overly ‘beety’ in the taste department. Of course, it is also ridiculously nutritious, bursting with too many health benefits to name in this blog post. Iron is just one of the many nutrients that this recipe has going for it, with both the beets and sunflower seeds rich in the important mineral. While trying to conceive, it is a good idea to load up on iron-rich foods in order to prevent iron-deficiency anemia, which is very common during pregnancy.
¼ cup olive oil
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided
½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
½ cup raw sunflower seeds
¼ cup hemp seeds
¼ cup loosely packed fresh dill
1 ½ cups beets, chopped
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Place the sunflower seeds in a bowl and cover with plenty of filtered water and the ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar.
The water should cover the seeds by at least 1 inch. Loosely cover with a clean tea towel or cheesecloth and allow the seeds to soak for about 7 hours or overnight. Then drain and rinse with cold tap water, and drain again.
Roast the beets for about 45 minutes at 375F along with a dab of coconut oil, 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar, and a small splash of water (I did this in my toaster oven). About 10 minutes into baking, stir. Repeat after about 30 minutes.
Place the olive oil, lemon juice & zest, 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, dill, beets, sea salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, adding a bit of water or oil if needed to thin out.
Serve with veggie sticks, crackers, or pita wedges, or use as a sandwich spread. Keeps in the fridge for 1 week (but I’m sure it’ll all get eaten before then!)
Krista A. Parr is a Vancouver Registered Holistic Nutritionist and founder of Root to Fruit Nutrition, specializing in fertility and women’s health. www.RootToFruitNutrition.ca