March is National Nutrition Month, when the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reminds everyone to return to the basics of healthy eating. It is also the time of year when the Academy celebrates expertise of registered dietitian nutritionists as the food and nutrition experts.
Although it's an unconventional combination, beets and carrots unite to produce an exceptionally interesting and comforting flavor. Beyond that, these colorful vegetables can fill your soup bowl with a variety of nutrients and phytonutrients, as well as fiber.
Tip: For the freshest flavor of all, plant beets and carrots in your garden in the spring — or find them fresh at your local farmers market.
Vegetable oil cooking spray
5 large carrots, peeled and sliced (3 cups)
1 pound fresh beets, peeled and chopped*
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced (1½ cups)
1 large onion, quartered (2 cups)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon black pepper
3 14-ounce cans low-sodium chicken broth
¼ cup reduced-fat sour cream for garnish**
Fresh chives, chopped, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with the cooking spray. Combine the carrots, beets, celery and onion in the dish. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and pepper. Toss to coat vegetables. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and roast for 1 hour, or until the vegetables are fork tender. Cool slightly.
- In a food processor or blender, puree the roasted vegetables with the broth in batches until smooth. Combine the batches in a heavy 2-quart saucepan. Heat on medium-low until warmed through.
- Garnish with sour cream and chives.
*Substitute 1 15-ounce can beets, rinsed and drained. Instead of roasting, puree them with other vegetables in food processor or blender.
**Substitute Greek yogurt.
Serves 8 as an appetizer
Serves 4 as a main dish
Calories: 240; Calories from fat: 70; Total fat: 8g; Saturated fat: 2.5g; Trans fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 5mg; Sodium: 280mg; Total carbohydrate: 35g; Dietary fiber: 8g; Sugars: 19g; Protein: 10g
Credit: Napier, Kristine, MPH, RD, Editor for the Food and Culinary Practice Group, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, American Dietetic Association Cooking Healthy Across America. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2005.