Falling is besetting us. Only mere days away from my personal favorite season. Like many others, I swoon over fall foliage, warm apple cider, and fall seasonal foods like pumpkin pie and roasted root vegetables. Fall flavors are deep, earthy, spiced, and reminds us that snuggle weather is fast approaching. Beets are one of those vegetables I didn’t really grow up eating. But as I have tasted, tested, and gotten creative in the kitchen, I found beets to be versatile and delicious. Inspired by fall, read more about how to make Beet Pesto Gnocchi w/Goat Cheese & Pecans.
This is a disclaimer: the content of this article is not meant to treat or diagnose any physical or mental health illness. The article is meant to inform and present information. The author is a trained mental health professional but does not claim to be licensed. Please discuss any of your concerns with a medical professional. Additionally, this article may contain affiliate links which aim to help support the author of this blog, although does not cost anything additional to the reader if a purchase is made through a link in this post.
Just Beet It
Pesto is a traditional summertime favorite. Fresh basil handpicked from the garden, blended with Parmesan cheese, fresh garlic, and olive oil. The final result, a green sauce bursting with flavor. But pesto isn’t just for green leafy herbs. There are many ways you can recreate pesto sans basil. In theory, anything could become pesto (if you put your mind to it). The combination of ground nuts, garlic, olive oil, salt & pepper becomes the foundation. Once you have those ingredients, add another base, such as spinach & pistachio or arugala & mint. The possibilities are endless.
Beets are an excellent base for pesto. Beets have a complex flavor. If roasted, beets have a nice, carmelized taste, though certainly still earthy. Yet some would say beets taste like dirt. Hence, partnering with fresh garlic in a beet pesto is an excellent solution to temper the strong flavor.
Trying to up your veggie intake? Beet pesto is a great addition to any pasta, smear it on some bread, or mix it to make a salad dressing. Whatever you choose, it will feel like a splurge but really it’s a serving of vegetables. For this dish, Beet Pesto Gnocchi w/ goat cheese and pecans is a well deserved grown up treat. The tanginess of the goat cheese helps to balance the spice of the garlic. And the pesto has an almost sweet, beet flavor that is easy to Fall for (ha!).
Beets for Wellness
Beets, like other root vegetables, are very nutritious and rich in vitamins and minerals. As they grow underground, root vegetables absorb the minerals in the soil. Beets are rich in folate, manganese, potassium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin C, B6, and iron (1). While these essential minerals and vitamins are important for your physical health, our nutrition also impacts our mental health. Manganese, for instance, is necessary for normal brain and nerve function (2). There are indications that deficiencies in vitamin B (folate) and magnesium contribute to depression (3). Potassium deficiency is linked to a variety of mental health symptoms such as depression and psychosis (4).
Beets are also high in fiber, which act as a prebiotic, feeding the healthy bugs in our gut and helping these microflora flourish, impacting our overall health and mood (5). Gut health has been directly linked to mental health. For more information, you can read more here.
Like other root vegetables, it is recommended to eat organic, if at all possible. Root vegetables absorb whatever is in the soil, thus absorbing potentially harmful pesticides and fertilizers. Thus, avoid the chemicals and splurge on organic roots.
Earlier this week, I made a quick decision to whip up a batch of Beet Pesto. I had recently bought a small bag of pre-cooked organic beets that I had no plan for. I wanted to quick prep for a meal the next evening without having to cook a lot of food.
The beet pesto was easy to make and took about 10 minutes using a food processor. Using basic ingredients that most people would have in the pantry, pesto is easy and affordable to make. Pesto can be made in advance and kept fresh in the fridge for 2-3 days or placed in a freezer bag and frozen for up to a year.
Other fall flavors that I wanted to highlight was deep, earthy, rich tones. Gnocchi, potato pasta, is a hearty meal. It’s filling and tasty. I opted for Gluten-Free Gnocchi which is just potatoes and rice flour. I’m also a huge fan of goat cheese and pecans to add tangyness and crunch. This combination is a winner in pretty much any dish. Not to mention you are adding a punch of protein for this meatless meal. If you have any doubts about eating more plant based meals, I talk a bit more about this in another post.
This meal is easily a 30 minute meal from start to finish. Start heating your water for the gnocchi first, and prepping the beet pesto simultaneously, this meal is perfect for a quick weeknight vegetarian delight. Beet Pesto Gnocchi be a great seasonal meal to enjoy throughout the cold months to come.
Thanks for reading, friends! Wishing you a happy Fall season full of nutritious, yummy food! Feel free to leave your questions, comments, and feedback below!!