Sunday, 9 February 2014

RECIPES: 3 Things To Do With Beetroot


If you’ve been following me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram you will have seen that I posted a photo of the beetroot dip that I made a while ago. I promised to publish the recipe in the mini recipe e-book that I was going to publish, but that didn’t happen…..instead I’m sharing it here with you in this blog, as well as the other things I made with the lovely vibrant nutritious beetroot. 



This was the first time I bought organic raw beetroot. I usually buy the cooked version from the supermarket which we make into a salad at BBQ’s or the strips that come with rocket salad in the plastic packets. So, when I went Chatsworth road market one Sunday afternoon and I saw the raw beetroot in its organic form; with remnants of soil and full green leaves still attached to it, I knew I had to buy it and get experimenting!

I was a bit weary of how it would taste raw and what I could do with it but once I started researching and trying it out for myself I was happy! Some of you may be wondering, why beetroot? What’s so good about it? Well, here I have highlighted some health benefits of the lovely deep red/purple coloured vegetable; 

HEALTH BENEFITS:

- Great cleanser and detoxifier.
- Full of antioxidants.
- Packed with vitamins and minerals; vitamin A, B6, C, folic acid, manganese, calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium.
- Low in fat.
- Strengthens the immune system.
- Improve blood circulation.
- Fights infection and inflammation.
- A great energiser.
- Overall, great for the body! Protects, Strengthens and Cleanses! 
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WHAT TO DO WITH RAW BEETROOT:

Cooked Beetroot. 
- First Note! – Beetroot colours!! Keep away from light coloured clothing. If you don’t want your hands to go pink, wear gloves when handling beetroot. Otherwise you can simply wash it off with some lemon juice. 

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- Cook it! - So easy. Wash and boil whole, without peeling, for 15-20 mins until soft (stick a knife through it to check). Then drain and run under a cold tap, the skin will just slip off. 
- Grate it! – Grate raw or cooked beetroot, which can be used in many different recipes.
- Juice it! - Add to your juicer to make a great detox juice. Goes well with carrot, apple and mint.

Below I have shared with you the recipes of what I made with my £1 bunch of fresh beetroot; healthy and cheap!

1. BEETROOT SALAD

Beetroot adds colour and flavour to the usual salads that can become boring. Simply grate raw beetroot or peel into long thin strips and add to your salad. Goes well with; rocket, carrots, cucumber, pepper and a sprinkle of feta cheese and mixed seeds. You can even add some cubed apples or pineapple for a fruity twist.



2. BEETROOT DIP

Sometimes having vegetable sticks by itself can be a bit boring, that’s why we usually have it with hummus. But what about a beetroot dip? I was so surprised with how light and yummy this tasted. The colour was so vibrant it made it even more appealing.

How I made it:
  • Roast some a handful of walnuts and 2 garlic, sliced, in a little olive oil for about 5 mins. It will smell lovely!!
  • Wash and boil a whole bulb of beetroot as directed above (Cook it!). 
  • In a small blender add; cooked and cooled beetroot, roasted nuts and garlic, 1 tablespoon of Greek style yoghurt, fresh mint leaves and fresh black pepper to season. Blend until it is roughly smooth, taste it to check if you need more seasoning.
  • Voila! You are ready to use your dip as a side with veg/bread sticks or why not try spreading some in a sandwich.

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I also like to have hummus on Ryvita so I tried it with the beetroot dip, here’s a creative picture of it. I have even put it in a sandwich with some falafel and salad. YUM! What do you think?



3. BEETROOT BROWNIE

Yes, I know what you are thinking, have I gone crazy??? Why would I put beetroot in a brownie?? Well, calm down, it’s not that bad… you can hardly taste it I promise. It just adds colour, nutrients and an added depth of flavour to it. It may not be the healthiest, but it’s a compromise and a healthy indulgence. Don't worry its been done before. Just try it out and see for yourself.

How to make it:
  • Wash, peel and grate 2 medium raw beetroots.
  • Melt 250g of good dark chocolate with 100ml canola oil (or you could use coconut oil) over a pan of simmering water, mix until the sugar has dissolved. Take off the heat and let it cool.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together 2 eggs and 150g of muscavado sugar. Add to the chocolate. – Make sure the chocolate isn’t too hot otherwise the eggs will cook.
  • Fold in 250g wholemeal self-raising flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder and the grated beetroot.
  • Pour into a lined tin 20cm x 20cm. Sprinkle on 100g of lightly broken walnuts.
  • Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for 20 minutes. Make sure you don’t overcook it (like me). You still want it a bit gooey.*
  • When you take it out the oven, let it cool on a wire rack and dust with icing sugar.
  • Cut into squares or bars and enjoy!
*I think I overcooked mine slightly, as it seemed a bit dry and too cakey. I will try it again soon. 


Be Happy!  Be Healthy!

By Ayshabibi H.
A H Nutritionist
9th February 2014