Beet Yogurt and English Cucumbers

Beet and Cuke lighterWhat a perfectly cool and refreshing hors d’oeuvre for spring and summer! Cook up two beets and add some Greek yogurt, fennel seed, a touch of lemon and fresh ginger and you have your dip. And it travels so easily, even for an after-work function. Pack up an English cucumber(s) to slice at the party and bring your beet dip in the morning in a thermal bag and store in the refrigerator. No peeling necessary with an English cucumber! A tiny baggie of fresh fennel seeds can provide a simple garnish. Finish with some salt flakes over the cucumber. Make a double batch and have some left for you during the week.
Beet roots are one of the healthiest common vegetables in the grocery store and have nine times more antioxidants than a typical tomato and fifty times more than orange carrots. Eating on the Wild Side, Jo Robinson, (p.123). Ranking only second to spinach in terms of highest betaine content of any vegetable, this vitamin helps support proper liver function, and according to the USDA it can also have anti-inflammatory benefits. And, despite their sweet taste, beets have a very low glycemic load.
Directions:For quick cooking, cut beets into quarters, leaving skin in tact, and in place in water on medium heat in a covered pan until done. Save the beet liquid for juices. You may peel or leave skins on (skins of vegetables often contain the highest level of nutrients and fiber) and place in a food processor and chop into small pieces. Add the Greek yogurt, 1 tsp of fennel seeds, minced ginger and run food processor until mixture is smooth. Add lemon and salt to taste. I used about 1 tsp lemon juice and 1/2 tsp Maldon salt flakes in mine.It’s best to slice an English cucumber just before serving. Sprinkle the cucumber with salt and use additional fennel seeds as a garnish. Because this is dairy, do not leave beet yogurt out in heat, or unrefrigerated for too long. Placing the dip in a second bowl of ice can keep if chilled if weather is warm or it will be out for more than a half hour.

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