Recipe & Photo by Lauren Glucina ASCENION KITCHEN
This recipe is rather simple. Beet chips…Probably the equivalent of telling a Raw Foodie how to boil an egg. But, I want to talk about a concept today that will help you look, not just at these chips, but food – all plants and herbs in general, with a new curiosity. The idea for this post came during the weekend, listening to David Wolfe speak about how you can get to know the personalities of plants to get a feeling for what their special traits are and what they have to offer. So here we go…
The Doctrine of Signatures – There is a hugely profound, ancient wisdom we are taught in Herbal Medicine, known as the Doctrine of Signatures. Put simply, it is the belief that the physical appearance of all plants gives clues as to the healing, nourishing magic they contain within. Their unique shape and form is in fact a signature. Herbalists and wise women of the middle ages took care to examine a plant, paying special attention to its shape, colour, and structure. Healers believed that those that resembled parts of the human body would help to cure an affliction of that body part. This theory was greatly popularised by the 16th century Renaissance physician Paracelsus…‘Nature marks each growth…according to its curative benefit.’ He was an alchemist, botanist, astrology and wandering nomad, regarded as the Father of chemical pharmacology. So let’s hook you up with some examples…Marigold…that beautiful bright yellow flower you have growing in the garden…her yellow petals express the potential to help treat jaundice.Walnuts look like a brain, and are high in the omega-3 fatty acids that support brain health. Carrots look like eyes when you slice them, and are high in Vitamin A , an essential nutrient for eye health. Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos…like…you got it! So how can you interpret these plant clues for yourself? Pay close attention to the habitat of the plant – if it grows in a swamp, perhaps it can help with damp, respiratory conditions. Appreciate the colour – reds and purples relate to the blood and circulatory system, pink to body tissue, yellow represents the liver, bile, gallbladder and spleen, white – our bones and connective tissue, orange – vitality and energy, and blue – antiseptic. Does it have a scent? Perhaps it deodorises the body. Analyse the shape too – an avocado looks like a womb. Look at the texture of the plant, does it have thorns? Perhaps it helps with pain. And finally, look for any individual quirks – these quirks are the greatest clues.
Well, beetroots are easy to interpret. Their deep red colour indicates that it deeply nourishes the blood and circulatory system. They are high in nitrates which help to relax blood vessels, helping to lower blood pressure and increase blood flow throughout the body. The pigment that gives beets their beautiful colour, betacyanin, is powerfully anti-cancer. Beets also grow in the dirt – in amongst all kinds of microbes – so they are also powerful immune protectors. So now to finish, here is the world’s simplest recipe for some tasty, crispy, blood boosting beet chips:
SERVES: Makes a good stash
PREP TIME: 2 Minutes
COOKING TIME: 6 – 14 Hours in Dehydrator
DIETARY CONSIDERATION: Raw, Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo, Sugar Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Gluten Free
2 Large Beets
Peel the beets and slice into chips using a mandolin. Lay them flat on a teflex sheet on a dehydrator try, and baste lightly with coconut oil. Sprinkle with sea salt. Dehydrate at 115˚F till the desired crispiness is reached.