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Celebrate Sochi with Borscht

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Since we’re right in the middle of the Olympics, held in Sochi Russia, it might be interesting to investigate Russian cuisine. The focus here will be on soup since the recipe of the day is Borscht, a chilled soup made with root vegetables. The beautiful color comes from beets.

That healthy beet: Source.

Beets work as a blood purifier, and may help prevent various forms of cancer (Journal of the American Nutrition and Dietetics). Beets are high in vitamins and minerals.

Beets and Beet Juice:
Magnesium - Beets have nutritionally rich tops and like other greens, contain ample amount of magnesium.
Potassium - Keeps our heart, kidneys, muscles, nerves, and digestive system healthy.
Fiber - Very rich in fiber. Maybe natures laxative?!
Phosphorus - For strong teeth and bones.
Iron - Don't look to spinach for your iron, grab some beets!
Vitamins A, B, and C - healthy eyes.
Beta-carotene - an anti-oxidant.
Beta-cyanine - gives beets their color and is a disease-fighting antioxidant. Believed to help fight cancer.

As for the soup...

Soup plays an important part in the Russian meal. One of traditional staple of soups such as borscht (борщ), is part of the seven largest soup groups for Russians.

◾Chilled soup (Botvinya)
◾Light soups and stews based on water and vegetables.
◾Noodle soups which include meat, mushrooms, or milk.
◾Cabbage based soups
◾Thick soups made with meat broth and a salty-sour base.
◾Fish soups.
◾Grain and vegetable soups.

Botvinya is another type of cold soup. The name of the soup comes from the Russian word botva, which means "leafy tops of root vegetables" because it’s made with the leafy tops of young beets, sorrel, scallions, dill, cucumbers, Mustard, garlic, and horseradish are then added for flavor. *Make sure to check out SOURCE for more on Russian Cuisine.

BORSCHT – watch the Olympics and feel like your there while eating dinner (don’t spill any or you’ll be “in the pink”. )

Maybe you don’t like cold soup or maybe you don’t like bright colored soups or maybe you just don’t like soup? It’s time to change! Turn over a new leaf. Let your taste buds come alive while your eyes pop and the excitement mounts. All that excitement might be due to the Olympic games and not the soup but…The brilliant ruby red color of this soup will make it hard to resist.

Makes about 4 servings *Use a Cuisinart Blender Soup Maker. SO EASY!

Chilled Borscht3
◾1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
◾6 – 8 green onions, chopped
◾3/4 cup baby carrots, peeled and chopped small
◾2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
◾4 small to medium beets: peel, wash well and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
◾1/2 tsp sea salt
◾about 15 grinds of a fresh black pepper grinder
◾1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

Put oil into the blender, set timer for 6 minutes and heat on medium.
Add the onion, cover and stir 2 times. Set heat on high for 1 minute.

Add the carrots, stir 3 times, set heat on medium for 4 minutes.

Add the broth, set timer for 8 minutes on high. Add the beets, salt and pepper. Set to medium heat, timer for 30 minutes. After time expires, set timer again for 3 minutes on high.

Once the time expires, make sure beets are tender. Add the lemon juice. Blend on setting number 1 for 1 minutes. Move to setting 2 for 1 minute and finish on setting 3 for 1 minutes.

Enjoy with a dollop of fat free Greek yogurt. *Crème Fraiche is standard.

Only about 100 calories, approx. 16 g carbs, 4 g protein, 3 g fat and about 5 g of fiber. *Nutritional estimates do not include yogurt.

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