Beetroot is Nature’s little purple present to us all. We absolutely love beetroot in our household and we eat them raw, roasted, boiled or steamed. We like to make batches of pickled beetroots every couple of weeks & eat these straight from the jar with olives as a snack (also straight from the jar & lucky for us homegrown chemical-free organic olives grown right near us – sorry for the boast moment but personally I think property prices should rise in the area the olives here are sooo good!) Beetroots are so sweet and delicious and so versatile. We like to use beetroot in dips, salads, juices, burgers, curries and even cakes or muffins.
Beetroots are such a wonderful colour and anything with this purple colour is rich in antioxidants that can prevent free radical damage in the body. It is also rich in nitrates and is said to be good for building intensity and endurance when exercising by increasing nitric oxide production and therefore giving you more energy and available oxygen during workouts. A much recommended vegetable for athletes particularly as a juice before workouts. Beetroot is high in folate which is vital in pregnancy, B vitamins, vitamin C and potassium. Beetroot is known as a great vegetable for liver health because of the nutrients it contains.
You can eat beetroot raw, just peel off the skin & grate or slice very finely on a mandolin. If you cook beetroot leave the skin on and boil/steam or roast until they soften & can be pierced easily with a skewer. If using beetroot as part of a roasted vegetable medley I always peel them before roasting and sprinkle them with some vinegar. A good trick to know is that if you want to eat the cooked beetroot cold or room temperature then allowing them to cool first makes it super easy to peel the skins off. For pickled beetroots I make the syrup and cook the beetroot and allow them both to cool in the refrigerator overnight before peeling and slicing the beetroots and immersing in the pickling liquid. The leaves of beetroot can also be eaten, the smaller ones in salads and the larger older leaves cooked like spinach. Be warned if you do eat or drink a lot of beetroot then it may affect your digestion in that things may come out a little “pink” in colour including your urine but this is harmless so don’t panic.
Apple & Beetroot Cake (makes 10-12 pieces)
I was inspired to make a cake like this because I thought about how much I love beetroot and apple juices. Everyone knows beetroot and chocolate make a wonderful combination and I thought so do apple and beetroot. Recipe inspired by tinned tomatoes blog.
1 organic free-range egg, beaten (1tbs ground flaxseed + 3tbs water for vegans)
2/3 cup keffir or yoghurt
4 tbs coconut oil
2 green apples, peeled, cored & finely chopped
1 lge beetroot, cooked & very finely diced
½ cup raw sugar/your favourite sugar
1 tbs honey
1 ¼ cups wholemeal spelt flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 heaped tsp cinnamon
1 heaped tsp raw sugar
Preheat oven to 200˚C. Grease & Line a 20cm cake tin. Beat the egg in a bowl and add keffir/yoghurt, oil & sugar & stir well. Add the finely diced beetroot, the apple, & the honey. Mix well. Sieve over the spelt flour & baking powder & gently fold into mix. Spoon this mixture into prepared cake tin & sprinkle over the cinnamon & sugar. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until firm to touch and not wobbly.
TIPS&TRICKS – * This mix also makes muffins just divide into 6 large muffin cases in a tin & bake 30 minutes * This cake/muffins freeze well * Especially tasty served warm * If you do not have keffir then you can use almond/organic – soy milk just add 1 tbs apple cider vinegar to it and set aside for 10 minutes OR just use yoghurt.
Pickled Beetroots (makes 2 small tubs)
Be warned these are so yummy and sweet that sometimes we eat them all before they get a chance to be included in salads and on burgers or sandwiches.
4 large beetroots cut in quarters (so they cook quicker)
¼ cup raw sugar/rapadura sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
3 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 tbs soy sauce/tamari
½ tsp chilli oil/ginger oil (optional)
Steam or roast beetroots with the skins on until cooked through & can be pierced with a skewer (might take 20-30mins). Allow beetroots to cool and put them covered in the refrigerator overnight. To make the pickling liquid place vinegar, sugar, salt and water in a saucepan & bring to the boil. Once liquid is boiling, turn down & simmer uncovered until reduced by one third. Remove liquid from the heat and set aside to cool. Store the pickling liquid in a container in the refrigerator overnight. When cooled peel beetroot & slice thinly and layer in Tupperware or clean sterilised jars. Cover beetroots with cooled pickling liquid making sure they are fully submerged then add a little of the soy and the chilli/ginger oil to each batch.
TIPS&TRICKS – * You can add some whole cloves, a bay leaf & 2 strips of orange peel to the pickling liquid and omit soy & oil for a different flavour * Don’t waste the pickling liquid when you’ve eaten all the beetroot it can be reused several times (as long as not too many dirty fingers go into it!) or use it up in salad dressings with some olive oil, mustard & garlic
Beetroot & Millet Burgers (makes 10-12 burgers)
Thanks to the fabulous Green Kitchen Stories for this wonderful recipe which makes a very different kind of burger. Check out their website if you get the chance especially all the info they provide on how they are raising children – amazing and inspiring!
1 cup water
½ cup millet (rinsed)
4 sml / 2 lge beetroot, peeled
1 lge carrot
1/2 red onion
4 organic eggs
salt & pepper
Bring water to a boil in a saucepan & add millet & salt. Reduce heat to low & cook for 10 minutes. All the water should be absorbed & millet cooked. Set aside. Grate beetroot, zucchini, carrot & grate or finely dice red onion (you can do all this very quickly in a food processor with the grater attachment if you like). Mix grated vegetables, eggs, millet and seasoning together in a bowl. If the mixture feels to wet you can strain the mixture over a bowl to remove the moisture or add some flour or quinoa flakes. Don’t worry too much though they work out fine with a fair bit of moisture. Heat some oil in a frypan & then scoop mixture into pan in burger size shapes. Fry on each side until golden & crunchy & warmed through. Serve with a nice big green salad with avocado. We think they are so tasty they don’t even need sauce!
TIPS&/TRICKS * Keep any leftover mix in a bowl in the refrigerator or fry up all the burgers & freeze them * Make these into works burgers by serving them on your favourite bread/roll with caramelised onions, lettuce, tomato, a fried egg & mayo * Add a serving of homemade fries or sweet potato or zucchini fries
Have a great week everyone…. oh and don’t forget to like foods-kool on facebook!
Linda and Sophie