I made this dip a lot last year after Isabelle was born…along with some other things, it was something I found myself craving during those first few months of breastfeeding and settling into our ‘new (& wonderful/sleepy/crazy/love filled) normal’…
I’m not sure if it was the lovely fats and protein from the nuts, feta cheese and olive oil or the comforting, sweet but savory slant from the beetroot, but it was on high rotation for a while there and still regularly makes an appearance on cheese boards, platters and wraps nowadays.
It’s a simple and back to basics whole foods recipe and you will know by now that these are my favourite – quick, easy, yummy and nourishing foods/meals.
· 250g cooked beetroot (approx. 4 small beetroots)
· 150g feta cheese
· 1.5 cups walnuts
· Olive oil, salt & pepper to taste
Combine in food processor and whizz till your desired texture.
Serve with crackers, spread on toast or wraps, dollop on salads or goodness bowls and enjoy!
A bit about beetroot…
I’d like to take a minute here to touch on the hero of this dip, the beetroot – nutritionally, beetroot is a good source of phytonutrients which are responsible for it’s beautiful colour and provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties along with important nutrients such as potassium, iron, folate magnesium and fibre.
Studies have also shown that being nitrate rich, regular beetroot consumption can assist in maintaining normal blood pressure thanks to the nitrates which are converted to nitric oxide in the body – nitric oxide has a relaxing and dilating affect on blood vessels which improves blood flow and can have a lowering affect on blood pressure temporarily after intake of a dietary nitrate such as from beetroot.
Some studies have also looked at the effect of nitric acid from beetroot in regards to improving athletic performance & found that it may reduce the oxygen cost during exercise and assist with energy production. It is worth noting that beetroot consumption would take place a few hours prior to exercise, and that most of these studies relate to beetroot juice ingestion, however there has been benefit shown from nitrate intake from beetroot as a whole food as well, which I love, as in my opinion; whole foods are the best way to obtain nutrients where we can – to this end, as a nutritionist, I work from a ‘food first’ perspective, and utilize nutritional supplements if and when necessary.*
Beetroot is also very versatile – it’s great in dips such as this one or it can be added to hummus, roasted, pickled, grated raw over salads, included in juices and smoothies or as an ingredient in a yummy beetroot chocolate cake.
I’d love to know your thoughts – is beetroot a vegetable that you enjoy?
If so, how do you like to include it into your weeks?
Let me know your thoughts and tips below!
*Always chat with a qualified practitioner when making dietary changes for specific reasons and to find out more about specific dietary and supplementation recommendations which would suit your individual circumstance.