Jeweled Chocolate Cake

My book club, fancifully named “The Alta Vista Friends Reading Salon,” recently discussed Ruth Reichl’s memoir Save Me the Plums, about her time as editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine. The book appealed to me not only because of the inside stories Ruth reveals about the world of food… but also because of her fascinating experiences working as a writer, editor and publisher, a field in which I spent my own career, although in much less lofty positions.

Her relaxed, straight-forward writing style is a pleasure to read and very entertaining. But this is far from a cook book. Ruth regales us more with the quirky personalities of the people she encountered during her time there than with the 1000s of recipes her team developed.

I can’t resist, though, giving you here my favorite Gourmet recipe from Ruth’s book, exactly as it was printed. How could I ever have hoped to improve on something Goumet had tested in its kitchens so many times?

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Battling Alzheimer’s disease – Part 4: Beets are a good bet

Fend off those “senior moments”

Vinny’s grandparents have told him that living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia is one of the scarier prospects of growing older. So he has done a series of posts about some lifestyle choices that could make a positive difference to our mental health in later years. He’s all for starting these habits early, for a longer and more active life. Read on for his forth and final installment.

Super beets: Beets are the ideal brain food. These ones are large enough to use as weights in your exercise class. But for best effect, we suggest you eat them.

Part 4 – Beets are a good bet

Beets may be our best defence against Alzheimer’s disease

You might be surprised to know that beets are one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat. Their bright red color signals a wealth of antioxidants, which are potent fighters of inflammation in the body and, specifically, in the brain.

But beets offer the brain even more useful benefits. Betanin, the compound that accounts for the red hue of beets, disables a protein that contributes to Alzheimer’s disease. It is so effective that researchers are looking into betanin as a possible drug component for sufferers of this serious brain disorder.

Beets help keep the brain healthy in other ways, too. The rich red root contains nitrite, which when converted to nitric oxide, increases blood flow. More blood flowing into the brain means more oxygen, which increases the brain’s efficiency.

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