Food for Runners: B-E-E-T-S

>> Tuesday, December 31, 2013

This time of year, we often roast veggies for dinner . . . like every single night. And there's something especially satisfying about making a good side of beets. Before a couple years ago, beets were this mysterious veggie I avoided because I had no idea what to do with them. They were dirty and seemed complicated . . . and I'm so glad I gave them a chance.

I like roasting them in my dutch oven. Here's how. Aside from the taste and texture, I've recently discovered beets are also a great food for runners. Who knew?

Psst: If you're catching up, we've covered tomatoes, almonds, pumpkin, cucumbers, bananas, eggs, garlic, quinoa, berries, peppers, mushrooms, and kale -- and included our favorite recipes from across the web.

"A study by researchers at Saint Louis University shows that eating cooked beets 'acutely improves running performance.' The key, the study says, is nitrate." Runners were tested on a 5K course -- and after eating beets -- "went an average of 3 percent faster and shaved 41 seconds off their times. And their biggest speed gains came over the final 1.1 miles of the race." (Source)

Yup! "Beets are a great source of inorganic nitrate [which] ends up in your saliva, when friendly bacteria convert it to nitrite. Elsewhere in the body, the nitrite is converted to nitric oxide, which does... well... a whole bunch of things related to blood flow, muscle contraction, neurotransmission, etc." (Source)

Our favorite recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, etc.

Our Apple-Beet Muffins
Gina's Beet Juice The NYT's Mixed Berry + Beet Smoothie
Our Roasted Beets w/ chutney
Susan's Raw, Vegan Beet Tea Sandwiches
Sally's Roasted Beet + Pear Salad
Food 52's Bright Red Beet Hummus
The Vegetarian Ginger's Easy Beet Soup
Our Beet Pizza Dough -- yeah, it's a thing
Yelena's WW Linguine + Beet Puree
Susan's Beet Chips
Our Veggie Beet Burgers
Kitchen Rhapsody's Beet + Chocolate Pots
Cosmo Cookie's Beet Ice Cream
Our Black Bean + Beet Brownies

What's your favorite way to use beets?

Don't forget to read up on these other healthy ingredients:

Foor for Runners: B-E-E-T-S
Food for Runners: T-O-M-A-T-O-E-S
Food for Runners: A-L-M-O-N-D-S
Food for Runners: P-U-M-P-K-I-N
Food for Runners: C-U-C-U-M-B-E-R-S
Food for Runners: E-G-G-S
Food for Runners: B-E-R-R-I-E-S
Food for Runners: B-A-N-A-N-A-S
Food for Runners: G-A-R-L-I-C
Food for Runners: Q-U-I-N-O-A
Food for Runners: K-A-L-E
Food for Runners: P-E-P-P-E-R-S

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