Use herbs to avoid the blood-sugar roller coaster.
Great Beginnings Crudité Platter
Crudité trays distract people from sweets while adding fiber. The beans in the dip are high in soluble fiber. Preliminary research shows that a unique compound in celery may control blood-sugar levels and reduce cholesterol. In animal studies, burdock root lowers blood sugar and increases carbohydrate tolerance. Burdock is sold as wild gobo root in Asian markets and health-food stores.
Red Velvet Dip
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 sweet red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped, or
- 2 canned peppers
- 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 11/2 tablespoons sweet paprika
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- With the food processor running, drop the garlic cloves through the feed tube and process 10 seconds.
- Remove the top and add the red peppers. Replace the top and puree thoroughly. Pour in the beans and sprinkle the salt and paprika around evenly. Pulse until blended.
- With the processor running, pour the oil and broth through the feed tube at an even pace. Stop the processor, remove the top, and scrape down the sides. Process again until smooth.
- Place the dip in a serving bowl and refrigerate or set aside until use.
- 1 burdock root (about 8 inches)
- 3 quarts water
- 1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 pound snow peas
- 2 large carrots
- 1 parsnip
- 6 large lettuce leaves
- 4 stalks celery, cut into 3-inch pieces
- 1 sweet red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 3- to 4-inch strips
- Peel the burdock with a vegetable peeler. Slice it on the diagonal into 1/4-inch ovals. Place the slices in a 2-quart pan with 1 quart of water and the vinegar; soak for 15 minutes. Drain the liquid and add another quart of water and the baking soda. Place the pan over medium heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain again and add another quart of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Drain; cool and chill.
- Wash the remaining vegetables. Drain well and pat dry with a towel. Snow peas can be served raw, but some people may prefer them cooked slightly. Either steam, microwave, or blanch for 30 seconds in boiling water. Chill before serving.
- Scrub the carrots and parsnip with a vegetable brush and cut them on the diagonal, like the burdock.
Line a large serving platter with the lettuce. Place the bowl of dip in the center. Arrange the celery and red pepper evenly around the outside of the platter in a radial pattern. Do the same with the snow peas, burdock, parsnip, and carrots.