A message from beet street
What makes beet-red different from berry-red?
Turns out that beets get their colour from plant nutrients called betalains, pigments that are structurally and chemically distinct from the anthocyanins that make berries red. While berries have gotten a lot of positive press for their antioxidant effects in recent years, studies have shown that betalains have similar properties, as well as being anti-inflammatory and detoxifying.
But do you really need a scientific reason to eat more of such a vivid and versatile vegetable?
Beetroot hummus seems to have become one of those "global cafe" foods you find everywhere these days, even here in Prague. But because I can't eat chickpeas anymore, I came up with my own twist on a savoury spread by combining beets with almond butter, lemon and cumin. To me, the earthy-sweet nutty taste is a little like grownup PB&J. Also: it’s super easy to make and delicious on everything from crackers to cooked grains.
You will need:
1 jar of pickled beets (or steamed beets), approx. 300-400 g
1-2 tablespoons of almond butter, approx. 17-35 g
Juice of half a lemon
1-2 teaspoons cumin, approx. 5 g
Salt to taste
Drain the beets, put them in a food processor with the almond butter, lemon juice and cumin and blend on high until smooth. If the beets remain piece-y, you may need to add more almond butter. Blend again until everything is the same consistency, and add salt per your own taste (or honey, if using plain steamed beets). That’s it!