“ Share your favourite recipes and preparation tips for this colourful root vegetable... „
A friend of mine who is in her seventies has grown a wide range of vegetables for most of her life. She is a sheer inspiration but not a person who attempts to convert others into growing vegetables with expert knowledge, she simply shares what she does and also gives away an awful lot of vegetables. One day a few years ago she was doing just that, chatting away about beetroot and walked me over to her large patch of beetroot plants. She pulled up and gave me a handful of plants explaining how she eats them as a sliced hot vegetable or grates raw for salads.
The usual way we find beetroot presented for sale in the supermarkets is cooked and preserved in jars of vinegar or packed into vacuum sealed bags with vinegar or water. I'm not a big fan of pickles so have mostly passed it by. The cold whole beetroots packed in water I've found to be rather strong in flavour, tough at times and generally unappetising to be honest. So I'll always be grateful to my friend for introducing me to seeing beetroot in a whole new way and now beetroot is one of the main vegetables I grow each year and a favourite to eat.
There are many varieties of circular beetroot including 'Burpees Golden' with dark orangey yellow roots. I recommend 'Boltardy' and 'Pablo' as reliable to grow and delicious in flavour. There are also cylinder shaped beetroot which are great to slice. Beetroot can take quite long time to mature, usually around 3 months from sowing the seed. I succession sow starting in early Spring. Young very tender leaves can be picked for use in salads whilst you wait for the roots to grow, a nice little extra.
As a cool climate crop, intense heat during the summer can cause beetroot to bolt ('Boltardy' is less inclined to do so) but beetroot can remain in the ground until the first frosts begin.
Fresh beetroot are delicious boiled and simmered for approximately 30 - 40 minutes and served hot. My family like beetroot to be slightly firm when served. It really doesn't need to be simmered away for hours unless you like it very soft, but a certain amount of flavour will be lost. Grated raw is probably the healthiest way to eat beetroot and it can add vibrant colour to salads. I'm especially impressed with how well beetroot retains it's flavour and shape after freezing, you can freeze small whole beetroot or slices of larger roots. Why do we not find frozen beetroot in the shops?
Nutritionally beetroot provides vitamin C and B6, iron, folic acid and magnesium. It can help to detoxify the liver and is believed to reduce high blood pressure. The flavour of fresh beetroot is earthy mellow and sweet, the golden variety sweeter still.
When I'm cooking or harvesting beetroot my friend usually comes to mind, although she didn't set out to do so, she converted me into becoming a dedicated beetroot grower and my whole family adore eating it.
Thank you for reading this review x
© Lunaria 2012
Beetroot Jelly might not sound like everyone's cup of tea but it is lovely and so far of the people I have introduced it to everyone has liked it. It is a tasty sweet but sharp addition to a meal.
I got the recipe from my Mother in law but have adapted it to suit my tastes and slack attitude to cooking!
Ingredients you will need:
1 x pack of longlife beetroot (usually four beetroot per pack)
1 x blackcurrant jelly
1/4 pint of vinegar
3/4 pint of water
equipment you will need:
1 dish that holds over 1 pint of liquid (preferably a pie dish or casserole dish)
This is so easy to make and it takes hardly any time at all.
1. Boil the kettle
2. Break up the jelly and place it into the jug
3. Slice the beetroot and place in layers in the dish
4. Add 3/4 pint of boiling water to the jelly chunks and stir until dissolved.
5. Add 1/4 pint of vinegar to the jelly and stir
6. Pour the jelly over the layered beetroot until it starts to float or until it is completely covered.
7. Place in the fridge until set
Once it has set the jelly can be served as an accompaniment to salad or with cold meat and potatoes and it is great all through the summer with BBQ's.
As I said this is my slacker's version. If you really wanted you could grow your own beetroot or buy fresh beetroot and cook it and peel it and then slice it up and use it.
I use blackcurrant jelly but you can use strawberry or raspberry for a slightly different flavour.
I only use ¼ of a pint of vinegar so that it isn't too sour but you can mix it half vinegar half water if you prefer the sharper taste.
**Please note that this is NOT the category for which I suggested this article! Dooyoo have put it in 'Recipes'.**
Beetroot's brilliant. It's low in calories, it's packed full of powerful antioxidants and nutrients and is rich in cleansing and detoxifying properties. Since the 16th century this humble root vegetable has been used to treat a number of ailments.
Beetroot offers a rich source of proteins, carbohydrates and contains high levels of important vitamins and micronutrients, including A, B6 and C. It contains silica, which turns into calcium when and where it is needed within our bodies, and is also a rich source of folic acid and iron. There are many benefits associated with a diet rich in beetroot.
Research has shown that beetroot can help lower blood pressure. Experts at the London School of Medicine and Dentistry conducted tests that showed the blood pressures of healthy volunteers were reduced within an hour of drinking 500ml of beetroot juice. Other preliminary studies have shown that beetroot can help prevent lung and skin cancer.
Beetroot is one of the richest sources of folic acid, something that is essential for normal tissue growth. Folic acid also crucial to the development of a baby's spinal cord during the first three months of pregnancy and can help prevent spinal cord defects such as spina bifida. Women who are pregnant or trying to conceive can get 75% of the Recommended Daily Allowance of folic acid from just three raw baby beetroot.
The bioactive agent betaine, which is essential for the liver to function healthily, is heavily present in beetroot. When the liver is functioning properly, fats are broken down efficiently, aiding weight loss, and preventing fatigue and nausea. Recent studies point to betaine as also contributing to the prevention of coronary and cerebral artery diseases. It is also important for cardiovascular health.
Betacyanin is the pigment that gives beetroot its colour, and is an antioxidant. Antioxidants are believed to help reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, protecting artery walls and reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. They also help to cleanse the gall bladder, kidneys and spleen.
Beetroot contains soluble fibre, which has also been shown to have cholesterol lowering capabilities. It also contains virtually no fat. It has a Glycaemic Index (GI) of 64 which makes it 'medium' on the index; this means that it is converted into sugar slowly which helps to keep your blood sugar levels stable and stop 'spiking' and 'crashing' which can cause fatigue and mood swings.
There's really no end to the benefits of beetroot. Beetroot should be provided free of charge on the National Health Service. It truly is a Superfood!