March is National Nutrition Month and Wednesday, March 9, is Registered Dietitian Day.

If you know a Registered Dietitian (RD) give them a hug or at least acknowledge that you even know what an RD is.

In my opinion, RD’s are some of the most undervalued, underpaid, and misunderstood members of the medical community.  Did you know that we too have to go through an internship? That we have to pass a national exam in order to be registered?  That we have a code of ethics?  That we have to take entirely too much chemistry?

Where can you find us?  Roaming the halls of hospitals making sure your loved ones get the food they like, that they are on the appropriate diet, and even determine the appropriate tube feeding and parenteral feedings for them.  We also run hospital kitchens and school/university dining programs making us responsible for understanding and executing hundreds of laws, state regulations, and ensuring that people get safe food on top of managing personal.  We work in community clinics with our nations poor, teaching them how to eat, take care of themselves, and raise healthy children.  We work in doctor’s offices begging reluctant people to manage their diabetes, loose weight, lower their cholesterol, remove gluten from their diet, or simply take a flight of stairs instead of the elevator.  We check on the elderly in nursing homes, children at Head Start, and work in prisons trying to juggle the impossible task of feeding inmates on $.50 or less a day.  Some gyms and grocery stores hire us to guide you to make better food, exercise, and lifestyle choices.

We specialize in nutrition support, diabetes, fitness, bariatrics, dialysis, oncology, breastfeeding, and even culinary arts.

Each and every one of us has had a conversation like this.

To boil it down, I think every dietitian out there would wish, on this day, that all of you just consider the benefit of fruits and veggies, a 30 minute walk, or skipping that third helping at dinner.  Believe me, I have never met bigger food lovers and dessert freaks than dietitians, but we are also ridiculously obsessed with vegetables.  So, even just for one day, join us in loving food of all kinds, treat your bodies well, and amuse this dietitian by making this healthy cake, because you can have your cake and eat your veggies too.

Vegan Beetroot Chocolate Cake

Makes 1 bundt cake

Adapted from The Vegan Table Epicurious June 2009

Note:  I’m not gonna lie, you can taste the beets in this cake, but if you are a beet lover like me, that is definitely a good thing.  Even my husband who hates beets liked this cake!

1/2 cup canola oil

1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar

2 cups beet puree from 3-4 beets that were steamed or roated

1/2 cup nondairy chocolate chips (or regular chocolate chips if you aren’t vegan), melted and cooled slightly

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 375°F and lightly oil a Bundt pan.

In a mixing bowl, cream together oil and brown sugar. Add beets, melted chocolate chips, vanilla, and almond extract and mix well.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt. Add to wet beet mixture, and stir until just combined.

Pour into prepared Bundt pan, and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Cool completely. Before serving, dust with powdered sugar.