We’ve made it through another winter, many systems of healing believe that living with the seasons is a core practice for overall good health. Living in balance with the seasons isn’t some mystical act we need a manual for. Instead, it’s something many of us naturally do. We crave watermelon and lemonade in the hot summer months and hearty stews and crackling fires during the winter. In Chinese Medicine winter is the time of the Kidneys. Rest and nourishment are accentuated so that we can restore our energy reserves for the busy months ahead. These practices include eating warm cooked foods, especially nutrient-dense root vegetables cooked with warming spices. Beets are an incredible food. They support liver health (one of our main detox organs) and are full of nutrients and antioxidants. Beets unique combination of phytonutrients and antioxidants have been shown to be especially helpful in reducing chronic inflammation. Beets have a special pigment, betalin, which strongly supports the body’s phase 2 detoxification process. Phase 2 detoxification is when the body neutralizes and removes potentially harmful substances from the body by making them water soluble. Beet greens are some of the healthiest greens available at your supermarket and have a similar nutrient profile to kale. If you buy beets with the greens attached you’ll know you are buying recently harvested beets, which can also have greater nutrient levels. Pepper has been in common use for thousands of years in the old world and is the most popular spice of our modern day. Besides adding a pleasant taste to our food, black pepper is a warming stimulant that promotes good digestion. I think the most amazing ability of black pepper is its ability to increase the bioavailability of our herbs and foods. Adding a bit of black pepper to herbal formulas or to our dinner plate means that we have increased the qualities and nutrients available to us.
Today’s beet borscht recipe is a beloved and traditional soup from Russia. Borscht soup is a fantastic way to support your body’s natural detox abilities while enjoying a delicious winter soup. There are lots of different borscht recipes out there. In this version I included beet greens, shitake and pepper.
- 2 tablespoons butter/ olive oil
- 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 cups potatoes, diced
- 2 cups beets, diced
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup chopped beet greens
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 3 cups coarsely chopped purple cabbage
- 1 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper (adjust accordingly)
- a couple handfuls of shitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 cup tomato puree
- Salt to taste
- sour cream (optional)
- Sliced green onions for garnish.
- Heat the butter in a large pot.
- Add the bay leaves, caraway seeds, onions and Sauté the onions until they are translucent.
- Add the garlic, pepper and salt .
- Sauté for a minute.
- Add the celery, carrots, cabbage, beets, potatoes, mushrooms and stock.
- Simmer until all the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
- Stir in the balsamic vinegar, beet greens, honey and tomato puree.
- Cover and simmer for 5 more minutes.
- Serve with a dollop of sour cream (optional) and green onions for garnish.
Credit : LearningHerbs