I confess – I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. However, I do celebrate amazing food. And I do that everyday. At least three times – usually more. And what better way to celebrate deliciousness than to make a fun appetizer?? So, today I did just that.
Beets are all around awesome. They contain high amounts of antioxidants, phytochemicals, iron, magnesium and fiber. Recent scientific studies have even shown that beets are high in nitrates, which are converted to nitric oxide in the body. This helps maintain blood vessel elasticity and lower blood pressure. Cashews are high in protein and heart healthy fats. Neither contain any cholesterol. More importantly, they are both delicious.
1 large beet
1 dash extra virgin olive oil
1 pinch sea salt
1/3 c raw cashews, soaked overnight
2-3 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp freshly minced thyme
1 tsp white miso, or nutritional yeast
1 tsp minced chives for garnish
1. Slice off both ends of the beet. Thinly slice into rounds either with a Japanese mandolin, or by hand. Then, cut the beet slices into heart shapes. (Dinosaur shapes would be pretty neat too.) You can use a cookie cutter, or free hand your heart. I free handed my heart with a paring knife, then used the first beet as a guide to cutting the rest of my beet slices.
2. Drizzle a teensy bit of olive oil over the hearts and add a dash of sea salt. Carefully massage the olive oil and sea salt into your hearts until they are slightly softened. This step is not to be confused with open cardiac massage.
3. If you forgot to soak your cashews overnight, you can pour boiling water to just cover them for about 15 minutes. Then place the soaked cashews, 3-4 Tbsp of soaking liquid, lemon juice, thyme and miso in a blender or Vitamix. Blend until smooth and add salt to taste. You may have to add a tiny bit more reserved cashew soaking liquid, depending on your blending device.
4. Place a small amount of cashew mixture on each beet heart and cover with a second heart. Place your hearts on a plate and sprinkle with chives. Enjoy!
Soundtrack: Gotta Have You by The Weepies