I absolutely love how vibrant this dip is. Refreshing mint, salty feta, sweet beets, earthy walnuts and tangy lemon, this dip hits every mark on the taste scale. I love eating it with carrots and cucumber but it is also delicious on crackers (such as these salt & pepper crackers seen in the photos). For anyone following the paleo diet or unable to eat cheese, you can replace the feta with 2/3 cup soaked cashews to mimic the creaminess of feta and increase the salt to ¼ teaspoon.
I have to admit that I had always assumed beets were good for you, but I never realized just how long the list of health benefits is. Beets are rich in fibre and one of the best sources of glutamine, an amino acid which helps maintain a healthy intestinal tract. They aid in detoxification of the body, help reduce inflammation and can lower blood pressure thanks to their high concentration of nitrates. Although they have the highest sugar content of any vegetable, the sugar is released gradually into your system giving you continued energy rather then a peak and crash like many other foods.
If you want to save time preparing this dip, many grocery stores sell precooked beets in vacuum packed bags. I prefer to roast the beets in the oven, which takes 30 to 45 minutes, but gives the dip a much richer beet flavor. After cutting up the beets your kitchen may begin to resemble a crime scene. The red dye (betacyanin) can be removed from kitchen counters using a cleaning spray and from your hands by rubbing them in lemon juice. Although this dip can also be made using golden beets, red beets are the only variety that contains betacyanin, a cancer fighting compound which has been found to slow the growth of tumors by up to 12%. A gorgeous colored dip that tastes delicious and is really good for you? I think its time to get dipping!
- 2 cups chopped beets (3 medium sized beets)
- ½ cup walnuts
- 1 cup feta *
- ¼ cup mint
- ½ walnuts
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius (375 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Wash and peel the beets and cut them in half to reduce cooking time. Wrap the beets in tin foil and place them on a baking tray. Bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes, until they feel soft when pierced with a knife
- Once the beets have cooled, cut them into cubes and measure out 2 cups.
- Place all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- Can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days.