Beet Hummus Recipe + 17 Week Pregnancy Update

Beet Hummus Recipe + 17 Week Pregnancy Update

Beet HummusHey friends! Thank you so much for your comments, emails and messages to my and Mr. Italicano’s baby announcement last week! We are over the moon about becoming parents and starting this new beautiful, challenging and rewarding adventure. First let’s talk about this amazing beet hummus recipe that has been rocking my world lately, and for those of you who aren’t interested in all the intimate pregnancy details you can then skip to the written recipe below {I definitely don’t want to bore you!} For all of you who want the in’s and out’s about my growing belly and Baby Italicano/a’s first sailing adventure last weekend, you’ll find that in the second part of the post.

Video Recipe

This video was made in collaboration with Smeg. I created the recipe, photos and video—which you can also find on their website along with many other delicious homemade recipes. The writing and opinions are my own.

3 Things I Love About Beet Hummus

1. I can easily add a delicious beet flavor and pink color to my original hummus recipe.

2. I’m able to benefit from all the health benefits of beets like cancer fighting antioxidants, anti-aging properties and boosting my stamina (which is great because I find with the summer heat and being pregnant even climbing stairs make me tired!)

3. I can whip up a vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan-friendly, dairy-free appetizer in a matter of minutes to serve at dinner parties and please a large group of friends who have different eating restrictions. Plus, appetizer boards are one of the prettiest things ever! Just be sure if you have gluten free friends, divide the hummus into two bowls and keep one for the veggies and on another board put the bread/crackers to avoid someone dipping their cracker inside and contaminating the spread. Little chalkboard signs are also a good idea as a little reminder.

Ready to try this delicious beet hummus? Scroll down to the recipe.

Now onto baby news…. 

17 Week Pregnancy Update

17 Weeks Pregnant

How Big is Baby Italicano/a?

Baby Italicano/a is the size of a pomegranate!

It seems so surreal to have a baby this size in my belly. I still can’t feel this little pomegranate, but I had a doctor’s visit and my obstetrician said I would start to feel baby’s first movements in about three weeks. I can’t wait! Although, if he/she is anything like me when I was little, my tummy is going to get some wild kicks. When I was a kid none of my friends wanted to sleep in the same bed as me, I was an active sleeper and usually kicked them before the night was through. Luckily for Mr. Italicano, I’ve become a calmer sleeper and he doesn’t get any rude awakenings (unless constantly stealing the covers and hogging the entire bed count? Oh, how he supports me. )

How Big is Mamma?

So, I was really quite lazy the first 4 months about taking photos. I only took one about a month after I found out I was pregnant. Here it is:

Now that I’m seeing differences weekly, I want to document my expanding belly! Here’s me at 16 weeks.

And, yesterday, at the start of 17 weeks.

This is the last week of 4 months and next week I’m be officially starting five months! Nine months is a long time, but man is it flying by!!

Baby Italicano/a’s First Sailing Adventure

Every since Mr. Italicano got his sailing license two years ago, we’ve been taking every chance we can get to explore the Mediterranean Sea. We’ve been to Greek Islands and various coastal ports, towns and islands in Italy. This past weekend we went sailing around Elba Island where we recently unplugged for a truly relaxing weekend.

So, you would think that I would be ecstatic about this weekend sailing getaway! I mean, if there is some kind of outdoor activity and new location involved, I am in heaven. I consider myself an adventure-seeking soul and love exploring new places and countries. In 2008, I even took a 10 month around-the-world trip, backpacking to over 13 countries while sharing my journey and experiences on a travel blog. From riding elephants in the jungles in Asia to hiking the Himalayas in India, I pushed myself to live life at full momentum and without fear.

Yet, as I stood on the dock looking at the passerella, or gangplank, that separated myself from the boat and solid land, a million fears popped in my head as I watched a friend cross the wobbly wooden board in front of me. What if I lose my balance and fall in the water? Or worse, what if I slip and fall on the slippery boat floor when we start to sail and…*gulp*… I lose my baby? 

Fear.

Lot’s of it.

Rushed through every cell in my body.

I’ve already taken on the responsibilities of becoming a mom in the past 4 months as I’ve made many sacrifices for my sweet pea on what I eat and drink. I’m extremely, and at times excessively, strict. Yet, this is the first time I’ve ever felt the panic-mode that I’m sure most parents experience when they realize how many dangers there are in the world and all they want to do is keep their child safe.

As I watched others climb aboard, I took a deep breath and let logic take over. Nothing in this world is ever “safe”, the worst can always happen. On the contrary, the “best” can happen too, like enjoying a relaxing weekend with friends, cuddling with Mr. Italicano under the stars, feeling the wind on my face, letting Baby Italicano/a be kissed by the sun and cooled by the salty sea.

I don’t want to miss out on life’s beautiful moments because I’m afraid something bad will happen, yet, I can’t be reckless either. There is a little human growing in my body that I need to take care of and protect. So I gave my self some rules.

How to Sail Safely in Your Second Trimester

1. Let people help. Instead of being the independent-do-it-all that I normally am. Before I walked across that wobbly wooden plank, I passed my heavy bags to my friend Sara, and then took her hand as she helped me across. I felt like a little old lady, but that’s fine. 🙂

2. Minimize movements around the boat. I would find myself a comfy spot and stay there, especially when the boat was in movement. If I absolutely had to move around I made sure that I always had a tight grip on something in case the boat jerked unexpectedly.

3. Act like a pregnant lady. Use your get-out-of-work pregnancy card. At first, I felt guilty not being the proactive helper on the boat when there was something to do. It’s not that I didn’t do anything, but I limited activities when the boat was anchored or when we were in port, like cooking or washing dishes. As for helping with setting sail and mooring I simply let others do it so I wouldn’t risk rushing up and down the boat and potentially falling.

In the end, pushing the fear aside and taking extra precautions allowed mamma and Baby Italicano/a to have a good time.    Oh, and my favorite part? The hammock on the sail boat! What a genius idea. 

Where is Baby Italicano/a off to next? Today we’ll leave again for Tuscany, but this time for the hillsides where we’ll meet our client Poggio del Farro to have him taste some products I’m developing for his company that will appear soon on supermarket shelves (umm, how exciting!!) and to see the farro harvest firsthand. I’ll be posting videos and photos on Facebook and Instagram or you can check back next Thursday here for the highlights on the blog.

Hope you all are enjoying your summer. Hugs from Mrs. Italicana, Mr. Italicano and Baby Italicano/a!

Beet Hummus Recipe + 17 Week Pregnancy Update
 
Prep time
Total time
 
This beet hummus is the perfect vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan-friendly, dairy-free appetizer that you can whip up in a matter of minutes to serve at dinner parties and please a large group of friends who have different eating restrictions. Put a spin on the classic hummus dish by adding color, flavor and healthy beet nutrients.
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • For the hummus:
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 small cooked beet (100g)
  • 1½ cups (260g) cooked chickpeas
  • For the toppings:
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Poppy seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Thyme
  • Bread and/or Crackers
  • Raw vegetables
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients for the hummus in the blender in the order given. Blend until smooth, adding more water or lemon juice if needed to arrive at your desired consistency.
  2. Scrape the hummus into a bowl, use a spoon to make a swirl on top and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with poppy seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and thyme. Serve with toasted bread, crackers and/or raw vegetables. Enjoy!
Notes
If you have gluten free friends, divide the hummus into two bowls and keep one for the veggies and on another board put the bread/crackers to avoid someone dipping their cracker inside and contaminating the spread. Little chalkboard signs are a good idea as a little reminder.

Guess What… I’m…

Guess What… I’m…

Pregnant!

There is a little Baby Italicano/a on the way!

We can’t wait to find out if it’s a boy, which will make him Baby ItalicanO or if it’s a girl, Baby ItalicanA.

Finally, we will have a little helper in the kitchen and I’ll have my own little food critique to make sure that those kid meals are tested and approved first hand. I am so excited to buy our little cook his/her first apron and mini rolling pin to start teaching our sweet pea how to make healthy homemade food with love.   Mr. Italicano and I are ready for this amazing new journey! And, we are so excited to share our bi-cultural adventure with you all!

Quick Baby Details

Due Date: December 14, 2017

Current Week: 16

Baby’s size: Avocado

Our Baby Story – The Beginning

Quite the little globe trotter: 

Baby Italicano/a is already quite a little globe trotter! The sweet pea was conceived in New York City and took his/her first international flight to Italy shortly after. The day after arriving in Italy all three of us (how special it is to say that!) hopped on a domestic flight to Sicily for a much needed 4-day break (Mr. Italicano’s birthday present to me). In the past 3 1/2 months, Baby Italicano/a has gone on road trips to various regions of Italy, took his/her first ferry ride to Elba Island and will go with mom and dad sailing this weekend with friends. Hopefully baby (and mamma!) won’t get sea sick!

Telling Mr. Italicano:

11:30 a.m.: It is Easter Sunday and I am excited for the 3 hour lunch planned with Mr. Italicano’s family and the extensive menu of glorious Italian food.  Since becoming a sommelier, I love being in charge of pairing the wine with the various dishes. As I start looking at wine labels in our cellar, I stop: should I drink wine since we are trying to get pregnant? Wait a minute. I think I’m late. I think I’m really late. I have to know. In this instant.  If I’m not pregnant I definitely want to drink some wine (after all I have some special bottles that I am pulling out for the holiday!) and if I am prego, then there is no way that I am hurting my little peanut. I will go straight into detox/abstinence mode.

I drive to the grocery store, buy a test and as soon as I get home go straight to the bathroom. My hands are shaking the entire time. I cry as I see the positive results. I am going to be a mom! …I am going to be a mom! A rush of joy comes over me and I can’t stop smiling.

Even though the pregnancy was planned, I was still quite freaked out about becoming a mom and taking on such a big responsibility. I mean, I would be raising a little human that depends on me. Am I capable? Am I worthy? Any fear that I had over the past few months dissipates in that instant. I am overjoyed and calm. I’m pregnant. It feels so right.

12:30 p.m.: Let me tell you something about myself. I am quite the sappy romantic. I love creating special moments for Mr. Italicano. When we first started dating I organized picnics, scavenger hunts, surprise dinners and hid lots of “thinking of you” notes in his work bag. Now that we’ve been together for seven years and married for four, he (unfortunately) usually only gets this kind of attention on special occasions. Well, I do have to say, this was quite a special occasion. No, rather, it was the mother of all special occasions. So, my intentions were, of course, to do something super cute to reveal the exciting news to Mr. Italicano…but here it was, 12:30 pm and I was running out of time! Lunch is planned for 1pm. I start to freak out.

1) There is no way I can wait to tell Mr. Italicano the news until after the lunch, I am bursting with excitement.

2) There is no way I can get through the lunch without Mr. Italicano’s entire family noticing and making some comment on why I’m not drinking the wine I am serving. I think fast… Pinterest you are a life saver!  I search for cute ways to tell your partner you’re pregnant and find a sweet note. I copy it word for word in the bathroom in between putting make up on and curling my hair. I stick it in the watch box that Mr. Italicano gave me on our wedding day. Although that box is sentimental, how cute would it be to do an indoor Easter egg hunt with the note hiding in one of the colored plastic eggs? Bummer. No eggs. No time. An idea pops in my mind. I could still hide the box and tell him I got him an Easter present but he has to hunt for it. Perfect!

I rush out of the bathroom door with a dorky grin on my face and the box in my hand and collide right into Mr. Italicano. He asks me what I’m grinning about. Nothing, I say. He asks me what’s in the box. Nothing, I repeat. I try to make my way to the bedroom to hide the box, but he grabs me around the waist and starts tickling me until I am on the ground laughing. What’s in the box? he repeats. Nothing! At this point I am laughing so hard I think I might pee my pants and my grip on the box weakens. He stands up and lifts the lid off. I stand up and watch as he reads the note. Really? He asks with a wide grin. Yes, I reply. Really? He repeats even more excited. Yes! I exclaim.

The biggest hug is followed by the longest kiss and murmurs of I love you. It’s a special moment we will never forget.

Food, Food and Ughh…Food:

Wouldn’t being a food blogger be the best job ever while being pregnant? I thought so, until some of the food I use to LOVE made me nauseous just thinking about it or smelling it! Take avocados and shrimp, I love them! I use them often in my recipes and had at that point even recently created a delicious shrimp and quinoa bowl and mouthwatering pasta with shrimp and avocado sauce for two clients. The week prior I had devoured these dishes with joy. The week I had to remake these into video recipes I about vomited in the aisles of the supermarket as I shopped for these ingredients and again as I made them for the video. My saving grace was that I can breath through my mouth while plugging my nose hands free to block out the odors. I thought this was a normal thing but Mr. Italicano said he can’t do it. Can you? Or am I just weird? Hmmm..or lucky?

Besides this hypersensitivity to smells and a handful of foods I couldn’t be around, I feel so grateful as the first three months passed by quite swimmingly without any morning sickness. Ladies who have been pregnant or are pregnant and suffering from morning sickness, I feel for you! I watched my dear sister-in-law suffer hard and I know how difficult it must be. Hang in there!

First Trimester Cravings

Pizza. Pizza and Pizza. OMGosh, I think being pregnant in Italy is the absolute best for this reason alone. And did I mention that it is typical that a medium sized pizza is eaten by one person!?! Not joking. In the states we get pizzas to share. In Italy, everyone orders there own pizza. #pregnancyheaven

When I wasn’t eating pizza, anything carb based was my best friend. Especially sourdough croissants with homemade organic jam from the local pastry shop. Yum. Yum and lip smacking yum.

I also used my citrus juicer and slow juicer everyday (<—affiliate links because seriously guys these products are amazing. My mornings wouldn’t be the same without a freshly squeezed orange juice or some kind of fruit blend).

Second Trimester Cravings

Luckily my carb-diet has come to an end. Although so good (and necessary) during those first three months, I wanted to give Baby Italicano/a all of the delicious foods and nutrients that I typically eat and love: whole grains, legumes, wild caught fish, fresh salads, nuts and seeds and a lot of fruits and veggies.

Mr. Italicano and I are finally back to eating these nutrient-packed foods and I feel good knowing that I am giving our baby what it needs to develop mentally, physically and hopefully “palate-bly”. According to this interesting NPR article, babies palates and food memories are shaped before birth!

What now?

Baby Italicano/a will continue to grow and so will our anticipation to meet our little sweet pea. Mr. Italicano and I will continue to produce recipes, videos and we will be doing a 1 month cooking class/demo tour in Seattle/Spokane/Cour d’Alene/Portland in August (details and schedule coming soon for those in the area).

I am so excited to share more of our journey and our struggles during this new adventure. It won’t be easy, but oh will it be worth it. 😊

Thank you all for your support, for reading this post and following our work.

A big hug from Mrs. Italicana, Mr. Italicano e Baby Italicano/a. ❤ 

Farro Pancakes with Whipped Cream, Strawberries and Maple Syrup

Farro Pancakes with Whipped Cream, Strawberries and Maple Syrup

Cheers for homemade pancakes!

Farro-PancakesAnd, cheers to video recipes that show you how to make these fluffy little gems in just 47 seconds. Life just got good. 🙂 Ok, well, this video is in Italian so you may have to put your student cap on for a minute but don’t fear, the English instructions and measurements are below!

This post is sponsored by Poggio del Farro. I created the recipe, photos and video—which you can also find on their website along with many other delicious farro recipes. The writing and opinions are my own. 

The great thing about pancakes is that you can make them in a variety of ways: craving a savory version, just try these zucchini pancakes with basil pesto or this version with arugula, gorgonzola, pear and walnuts. Not only are these great for brunch, but they also are a fun appetizer to be eaten in their original size or you can make them mini for to serve during a  buffet. Not to be missed from the pancake line up is a simple and classic whole wheat pancake recipe as well as this special strawberry and blueberry pancake cake. Yes, I did. I made a cake with pancakes. It’s seriously so good. 🙂 The latest addition to my pancake craze are these delicious farro pancakes.  Farro-PancakesI’ve been creating numerous farro recipes lately (just search “farro” on my blog). Once discovering the many nutritional benefits of this Italian ancient grain and how easy it is to replace refined white flours, I was sold. It also has a delicious nutty taste that I adore. Check for being healthy, check for being easy and check for being delicious. I really like Poggio del Farro’s organic farro flour for this recipe. They are just now breaking into the U.S. market. Watch out for them on store shelves.  

Farro-PancakesSpeaking of pancakes, I recently held a pancake cooking class for kids in Parma, Italy at the Gola Gola Food Festival. Most of them had never eaten a pancake before. I loved how curious and excited they were to learn how to cook. It’s so satisfying to see kids at such a young age get interested in making their own food. I hope that this interest for healthy homemade cooking increases for kids as well as their parents.  I hope that through this blog and cooking classes that I can make a difference towards forming good eating habits. ❤️ Here’s to hope for a healthier generation in the future and in the present!

Farro-Pancakes

Farro-Pancakes

Farro-Pancakes

Farro Pancakes with Whipped Cream, Strawberries and Maple Syrup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These farro pancakes with homemade whipped cream, strawberries and natural maple syrup are a great alternative to refined white flour pancakes. You'll love their slightly nutty taste!
Serves: 8 pancakes
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup (175ml) milk (cow or soy)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar or lemon juice)
  • 1 cup (125g) Poggio del Farro Organic Farro (emmer) Flour
  • 2 teaspoons (8g) sugar (white or raw cane sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (3g) baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon (3g) salt
  • 1 organic egg
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter or coconut oil
  • Butter or coconut oil for greasing the pan, as needed
  • Homemade whipped cream
  • Strawberries, sliced
  • Pure maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Stir the milk and apple cider vinegar together in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together: organic emmer flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a separate medium bowl whisk together: egg, melted butter and milk/apple cider mixture.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until combined.
  5. Brush a large nonstick skillet with butter or coconut oil and heat over medium heat.
  6. Add ¼ cup of the pancake mixture to the pan and cook until bubbles form on the top and the bottom is golden; about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook until golden on the bottom, about 1-2 more minutes.  Repeat. (Depending on your size pan you can also cook more than one at a time.)
  7. Serve with homemade whipped cream, strawberries and pure maple syrup.

 

 

Elba Island in May: Unplug and Recharge

Elba Island in May: Unplug and Recharge

This weekend Mr. Italicano and I finally gave ourselves 3 days of rest. We took advantage of visiting our client in Tuscany, then continued south towards the beautiful Island of Elba. On the way we stopped at the picturesque hillside town of San Gimignano–a truly magical place. We ate lunch outside at a small restaurant on the outer walls that overlooked the Tuscan vineyards and rolling hills while listening to the beautiful music of a street musician who played songs from a violin, guitar and an antique looking instrument. We then continued a mere 2 hours south, where we arrived at Piombino, an important Tuscan port, and the departing point for Elba Island.

Did you know that Elba Island is just a 1 hour ferry ride off the coast of Tuscany? This beautiful gem is covered with green shrubs and trees as far as the eye can see, curvy roads built alongside dazzling turquoise water, exclusive white sand beaches and delicious handmade pastas and seafood dishes. In essence, it’s the perfect getaway–at least in the month of May. While June, July, and August are overpriced and overrun with tourists, May and September are perfect for a peaceful and relaxing retreat even it if means risking a day or two of unpredictable weather. Fortunately for Mr. Italicano and I, we had sunshine and warm temps during our two days on Elba Island this past weekend.

Thank goodness! All I wanted for the past two months was a weekend, even simply one day, to unwind, unplug and recharge my batteries. I needed a break from work, from technology, from my million thoughts on how to grow our small business. Lately I’ve been feeling stressed, tired and overwhelmed–to the point that I break down in tears or get angry and snap at Mr. Italicano out of frustration. (Poor Mr. Italicano.) Too much of one thing is never good. For me working two straight months of nights and weekends was too much, no matter how passionate I am about my job or how much I love it. I needed some me time. I need some us time. I needed to recharge. Elba’s charming and deserted beaches were the perfect cure.

Don’t get me wrong, I am so thankful for all of the new projects that are keeping us busy, paying our bills and allowing us to follow our dreams. I put my heart and soul into my job and feel so grateful each day that I have the opportunity to be my own boss and follow my passions. I find it hard to work a 9 to 5 job for someone else; I love being consumed by the entrepreneurial realm where I hustle and keep myself engaged as there is always something to do.  I love having a purpose and a challenge to fight for each day. And, now that Mr. Italicano and I are working together it is even more fun and satisfying… and at times more problematic to take a break.  We’ve become a tight-knit team.

Remember my post on 5 Hard Truths I Learned about Myself in 2016? #4 was about how I put my business first before my relationship with Mr. Italicano. My goal for 2017 was to become a more thoughtful wife and to stop talking about work after 8pm. Hah! If only I could say this was true:

  1. We usually work well past 8pm.
  2. Now that Mr. Italicano and I work together and can offer more services regarding food content creation for companies, he too is absorbed in growing our business. There is no “off button.” Sometimes the last words before a kiss at midnight are strategies about our plans for the following day or our first words in the morning when we wake up. If you were a fly on our wall we may bore you to death. Yet, we couldn’t be happier. 🙂 We are engaged, stimulated and our business is taking flight.

But like all things in life, there is always a need for balance. And, for us it’s 1 weekend a month to hit the work pause button, focus on us as a couple and on us as individuals. To recharge our batteries before embarking on another amazing sprint of work. In Elba, we spent lazy days in the sunshine reading a book while listening to the sound of the waves hit the shore in the background, while every once and awhile taking a stroll on the beach to dip our toes in the cold Mediterranean water. We woke up without an alarm to the sunlight that crept through the white transparent curtains in our room and enjoyed the early morning air on our balcony overlooking the still sea. We walked on dirt trails to remote beaches, listening to the birds sing and enjoying the wafts of sweet wild flowers. We ate lunch on our lawn chairs with our feet in the sand, and for dinner we dined on fresh fish and vegetables. We explored Elba Island with the top rolled down in my little 500 Fiat car and sang along to songs on the radio. We played and laughed in the sunshine and kissed under the moon. Elba is a magic place. It’s the perfect place to recharge. I hope one day you can visit.

Practical Information

Getting There:

Ferry from Piombino to Portoferrario – You can walk on as a passenger or you can take a car. You can also rent mopeds on the island if you walk on but want to explore the island or take the local buses. Ferry cost for 2 people and 1 small car = 157euro. (A little pricy, but worth it. Helps if you stay for a week.) 

Where to Stay:

Booking and Airbnb are two great resources for planning your getaway. We stayed at a clean and simple hotel called Hotel Bel Tramonto in the northwest corner of the island. Our room had a nice balcony with a view of the sea. It’s quite remote and a car is necessary. We spent 79euros a night. We didn’t stay at these hotels, but we walked past them and they were a short walking distance to the beach and looked really nice. Gallo Nero  and Hotel Cernia Botanical Garden

Where to Go:

During our short weekend we spent our time at the stunning Sant Andrea beach, Sansone Beach and La Ghaia (only recommended if you need to kill some time while you wait for your ferry at Portoferrario as it’s a short walk from the port). We didn’t stop there this trip, but absolutely go (and even stay) at Fetovaie. It’s one of my favorite beaches in Elba.

What to Eat:

More than recommend where to eat, I would reccomend what to eat. Definitely try the fried calamari/fish plate which is typical on the seaside (1 portion is perfect to split between 2 or more people as it’s quite heavy.) If you find homemade gnoochi, don’t pass it up. Search for other homemade pastas with seafood (octopus, crab, shrimp etc.) If you want a simple sandwich, try a foccaccina with anchiovies, tomatoes, basil and artichokes.

If you’ve been to Elba and have other recommendations on things to see or places to eat, please leave a comment below!

Thank you for following this blog and I hope you have a wonderful and relaxing upcoming weekend.

More Photos! I couldn’t resist.  🙂

Beet Crepes with Ricotta, Blood Oranges and Pistachios

Beet Crepes with Ricotta, Blood Oranges and Pistachios

Farro beet crepes! As you can imagine, these beautiful crepes are naturally colored with beet puree. They are the perfect dish for Mother’s Day brunch.

Farro-Beet-CrepesEver since I learned how easy it is to naturally color my food, I have been experimenting more and more in my kitchen. I love the esthetic look of colored food—Bright! Fun!—I also love packing in more nutritious vegetables to every meal. Plus, it’s easier than you think—way easier.

This post is sponsored by Poggio del Farro. I created the recipe, photos and video—which you can also find on their website along with many other delicious farro recipes. The writing and opinions are my own.

I remember the first time I made a crepe; I was in high school. My feet on a step stool and my hands reaching  in the far corners of the wooden pantry shelf (where sometimes my older brother hid the best snacks), I ran across an old 1960s box with a crepe pan designed on the front—probably a wedding present. I was intrigued. I pulled it out, dusted it off and opened it up to find a little recipe book on top of the black crepe pan. That night I made cannelloni crepes for my family. I remember they turned out absolutely terribile. I was disappointed. My dad, on the other hand, continued to eat them. “It’s just one meal, Cindy,” I remember him saying. Ahh, my dad’s simple wisdom. He was right. I was just 16. In my lifetime I would have thousands of more meals to make and whole lot of opportunities to get it right.

Farro-Beet-CrepesThe second time I made a crepe was last year, almost 20 years later (wow does that make me feel old). I was recipe testing for Smeg {affiliate link}, an Italian design appliance brand. Since their small appliances have adorable colors, I wanted to create something stylish and colorful as well. My blender spinach crepes were so good that I brought them to my friends house where we created a beautiful outdoor aperitivo (Italian style happy hour).

Farro-Beet-CrepesSince spinach worked so well, I had to try it with beets. I also used farro wheat from Poggio del Farro for these crepes. I have come quite obsessed with Poggio del Farro’s products. Farro has lower gluten content and higher amounts of protein and fiber compared to modern day grains. I use their farro grains to make soups and salads, and their flours to make crepes, pancakes, chocolate chip cookies and homemade pasta, among many other recipes. Farro is pretty much replacing all other flours in my kitchen.

Farro-Beet-CrepesThe beet crepe on its own is not so beet-y tasting, so you can top it with a myriad of fillings from sweet to savory. My favorite for this recipe is fresh crispy arugula, creamy ricotta, juicy blood oranges, crunchy pistachios all drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar (affiliate link) and sweet honey. Pure deliciousness.

Farro-Beet-Crepes

Happy Mother’s day to all and especially to my mom, an extraordinary woman whom I admire.

Beet Crepes with Ricotta, Blood Oranges and Pistachios
 
Prep time
Total time
 
These beautiful farro beet crepes are the perfect brunch recipe to surprise your mom on Mother's Day.
Serves: 6-8 crepes
Ingredients
  • For the Crepes:
  • 1¼ cup (300ml) milk
  • 2 large organic eggs
  • 9 tablespoons(5.3oz,150g) beet puree
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter + more for cooking the crepes
  • 1 cup (130g) Poggio del Farro Organic Farro Flour*
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Toppings:
  • 1 package organic arugula
  • 18oz (500g) ricotta
  • Orange zest from 2 organic blood oranges
  • 2 organic blood oranges, peel removed and chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped pistachios
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Aged Balsamic Vinegar (Affiliate Link)
  • Honey
Instructions
  1. In a blender or a bowl, add all of the ingredients for the crepes then blend or whisk until homogenous. Chill in the refrigerator for ½ hour.
  2. Add a small knob of butter to a crepe pan or frying pan. As the butter and as it melts over medium heat, swirl the pan so that the butter covers the bottom. Pour in ½ cup of the crepe and quickly swirl the pan so that it distributes the liquid evenly. Cook for 1-3 minutes then flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Repeat for the rest of the crepes. Keep the crepes warm by putting them in the oven at a low temperature.
  3. Fill each crepe with some ricotta, arugula, blood orange pieces & zest and pistachios. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar and honey.
Notes
Batter should be chilled in the refrigerator for ½ hour before using.

*If you are not able to find farro flour you can replace with other flour.