Braised beet greens with toasted walnuts

As my previous post has pointed out, we can never have too many beets for good health. And the leaves of beets are just as magical as the rosy roots. Because beets contain a compound that oxygenates the blood, they can improve athletic performance and keep our little gray cells working in top order. These properties become even more important as we age. In fact, beets are probably the best food we can eat to help ward off the onset of Alzheimer’s and other age-related brain disorders. It’s never too early to incorporate new and healthy foods to our diets. I hope you and your family will try these easy recipes.

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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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Zoë’s Perfect Christmas Borscht

borscht

Borscht at Christmas

Continuing with my holiday plan this year, I bring you again a favorite family recipe we always make at Christmas, in one form or another. Festive, traditional and delicious, here’s the version we made last year, which we’ve christened: Zoë‘s borscht.  Merry Christmas, one and all!

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Borscht with Zoë

borscht

Borscht at Christmas

I’ve posted many times about my favorite veggie. “Do you know what it is, Zoë?” I asked.

It’s usually red but sometimes yellow, and some people swear it tastes like DIRT. Ha! To me it tastes like the salt of the earth. Our favorite time of year to cook with this veggie is Christmas… partly because it’s red, and partly because at Christmas time, like all root veggies, it is available locally.

If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m talking about that fabulous storehouse of antioxidants, minerals, and vitaminz (no, Zoë, you can’t help me type)… BEETS. Yay!

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Jack Spratt’s breakfast beets

beets and eggs for breakfast

“Oww. Yikes! Moan…” said Jack, clutching the source of his agony with greasy hands… his bloated belly.

“Hey, Man,” said a worried Vinny. “What in heck did you eat this time, to cause all this grief?”

“All I had was a bite of Mama’s fish and chips. You know I don’t usually eat fried stuff, Vinny. But Mama’s fish and chips? I just couldn’t turn that down, and…” Just then another cramp hit, sending Jack into spasms of pain.

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How Olive Oyl and Popeye became an item

Olive Oyl is heart friendly

Olive Oyl is heart friendly

Olive Oyl, a popular comic strip character of the 1920s, is named after olive oil… a healthy choice for vinaigrettes. Early newspapers  also featured  Olive’s brother, Castor Oyl, and his wife, Cylinda Oyl… as well as my personal favorite, the intrepid explorer Lubry Kent Oyl.

Lubry Kent’s gift to Castor and Olive led them into the adventure where they met Popeye, the sailor man. As it turned out, Popeye was mad for spinach. And the perfect match for spinach is none other than the lovely Olive Oyl!

But why did Olive Oyl’s creators choose spinach as Popeye’s passion?  It all hinged on one little mistake, a mistake that launched the first modern super-food. More

The Night Circus: Black-and-white torte with raspberries at centre ring

The clock chimes 4a.m. at the Night Circus and bonfire is burning strong, fed by Marco's book of charms.

The clock chimes 4 a.m. at the Night Circus. Her bonfire burns strong, fed by Marco’s book of charms.

“What’s black and white with red in the middle?” Vinny asks.  “Give up? It’s the cake I made for my book club, when Erin Morgenstern’s novel “The Night Circus” was up for discussion.

On the surface, Morgenstern gives us an enchanting love story about magic. The circus, open only at night, shimmers in black and white. It is the venue for a desperate competition, as two wizards older than time pit themselves against one another through their best students. The light and the dark signify their two opposing ways of manipulating reality. Which will win out, Vinny wonders. More

Using pomegranates in drinks and salads

Rita Borger - pomegranate

Last time, I told you about the powerful benefits offered by the lovely Pomegranate.

Here I focus on how to use this wonderful fruit. First and foremost,  let’s see how to get past the blushing hard skin to the juicy seeds, or arils, inside. More

Hummus is Pretty in Pink

DSCN1688_edited

Awhile back, we roasted  up some tasty garbanzo beans to zap our good health with fiber and minerals. That bland little bean, which is part of the legume family… comes into its own, though, in the near Eastern dish known as hummus.

Let me introduce you to the Cinderella of the hummus crowd, a beet and garbanzo duo that knocks your slippers off! More

The Queen’s Beets – Let Them Eat Cake

“Woe is me!” sighs Marie.

How Queen Marie learns to dance

Marie Antoinette found herself  bored silly. She had everything she wanted. If she clapped once, her servant would come with a tray full of chocolate cake. Twice got her steaming mugs of cocoa and cream. Three times and she went mad over baskets of truffles and éclairs. But she wasn’t happy. More

Beetniks: a winning formula

the beet goes on

Sonny and Cher’s coded message: Beets help you run faster!

What’s old

People who are into sports could take a winning tip from Sonny and Cher’s top-100 hit of 1967:  The beet goes on. Yeah. They’re saying, like: Eat your beets, man, and you’ll run harder, longer, faster. Crazy but true! More

Pickled Pink! Eggs Make a Great Snack

Pink up your pickled eggs for even more pizzaz!

Like pickles? Then maybe this easy recipe from Auntie Marlene will tickle your taste buds. Pickled eggs make a healthy snack, whenever hunger fangs sink their teeth into you and dinnertime isn’t anywhere in sight. More

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