This creamy dip is intense in colour due to the natural pigment betacyanin. Betacyanin is very rich in antioxidants that prevent formation of cell damaging free radicals in the body and may also protect our artery walls, thus reducing risk of heart disease and stroke. Beets also contain nitrates, which are converted to nitric oxide in the body. This improves oxygen uptake to tissues, with beneficial effects on blood flow, blood pressure, and can help with dementia. Although the beet has one of the highest sugar contents of the vegetables, thanks to nature it releases its sugar slowly into the body. It has a very low GL (glycaemic load), therefore aids in keeping blood pressure and sugar levels stable. It's a healthy way of satisfying our sugar cravings!
Equipment: Food processor or high power blender.
Makes: approx. 500ml jar of dip
40ml olive oil
1 medium avocado
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 ½ tsp Dijon mustard
3 dill sprigs
1 tsp Himalayan salt
1 medium garlic clove
Fresh ground black pepper
1. Wash the beets very well - remove the skin if you prefer - chop in small pieces. Place into the food processor with water and olive oil. Blend well.
2. Cut the avocado in half, deseed and add to the food processor along with lemon juice, Dijon mustard. Blend it well once more.
3. Add the remaining ingredients: dill sprigs, Himalayan salt, garlic and ground black pepper. Blend again until you reach a very smooth texture. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
This tastes delicious with crudités, crackers, bread, goat cheese, capers, and nutritional yeast.
Notes: Unfortunately the majority of the mustards and other processed foods - such as dried fruits, baked goods, beverages to name a few - contain additives and preservatives such as Sulphites (these can also be referred to as Potassium Metabisulfite, Sodium Sulfite, Sulphur Dioxide - spellings can vary). It is best to try to limit or avoid intake of sulphites as much as possible, especially for those with allergies, so check product labels. For those who are Sulphite-sensitive, it can provoke hay fever like symptoms, difficulty breathing, and skin reactions like hives or minor irritation. Organic brands may be an option, but still aren't guaranteed to be Sulphite free. Homemade mustard is easy to make and will last long in the fridge. At the moment I haven't shared a mustard recipe, but there are plenty of recipes online to try.
Homemade food can take longer to make but it's definitely worth the effort for increased nutritional value, prevention of diseases, and taste!
Allergy advice: mustard
Source: Patricia Nunes - Natural Chef in training