Beetroots lower hypertension – enough said, now try this recipe!
There is a large body or research showing that eating nitrate-rich vegetables lowers high blood pressure drastically. Beetroot is a great source of nitrates, which when consumed, is converted to nitrites and nitric oxides. Both components help widen the arteries and lower blood pressure.
Researchers have also found that having just about 500 grams of beetroot every day reduces blood pressure in about six hours. Since beets are high in fiber, potassium, vitamins A and C, and folate, they are also thought to protect against the development of cancer, coronary artery disease and stroke, lower cholesterol and have anti-aging effects.
Beet Green Gratin (Serves 6)
Here is a recipe that combines golden and red beets and is delicious served hot or cold. Per serving it contains: 167 calories; 8 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 118 milligrams cholesterol; 14 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams dietary fiber; 290 milligrams sodium (does not include salt added during cooking); 10 grams protein.
- 2 bunches (6 to 8) beets (preferably one red and one golden or Chioggia), with the greens (about 2 pounds beets and 3/4 pound greens)
Salt to taste
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup low-fat milk
- 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 cup chopped chives (1 bunch)
- 2 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Roast the beets. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Cut the ends off, slip off the skins and slice across the equator.
- Boil a large pot of water while you stem and wash the greens in water twice. Fill a bowl with ice water. When water boils, salt generously and blanch greens for about one minute. (You can also steam the greens until they wilt, 1-2 minutes). Transfer greens to ice water, drain and squeeze out water. Chop coarsely.
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium skillet, and add the garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds, stirring, until fragrant. Stir in greens. Stir together for a minute, season greens with salt and pepper, remove from the heat.
- Preheat oven to 375⁰. Oil a 2-quart gratin or baking dish with olive oil. Beat together eggs, salt (about 1/2 tsp.), pepper, milk, chives and Gruyère. Gently stir in greens and beets. Scrape into gratin dish. Bake 35- 40 min. until set and lightly browned on top. Stand for 10- 15 min. before serving. Serve hot, warm or room temperature.