I love beetroot. There, I’ve said it, it’s out there. Beetroot gets a bad rap but I’m not really sure why – it is so versatile and vibrant, and so very nutritious, I feel more people should give it a second chance. Fun fact about beetroot – did you know it is related to spinach and quinoa? So if you have all three in a dish it’s like a family reunion!
Beetroot is packed (more than 15% of your daily requirements per serving) with nutrients such as folate (for reproductive health and foetal development), manganese (for healthy skin and bones, and regulating blood sugar), potassium (for maintaining a healthy blood pressure and kidneys, and preventing cramps), plus 14% of your copper and fibre needs. Depending which colour you have your beetroot will also be brimful of various phytonutrients including betalains and carotenoids, which act as antioxidants in the body and have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties too. All this for less than 75 calories per serving.
So, now you know how wonderful it is, how are you going to cook it? I find beetroot’s earthy sweetness pairs well with good quality pork or venison sausages, roast beef and horseradish, puy lentils, balsamic vinegar, goats cheese, lemon, watercress, mackerel and salmon. But it doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact my favourite beetroot dish is a simple soup, served with goat cheese toasts, based on one from Love Beetroot.
To serve 4 you will need:
500g raw beetroot (or if you can’t get raw, get the cooked beetroot without vinegar)
150g sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 large onion, diced
1 bay leaf
750ml good vegetable stock
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Roast the beetroot whole (45-50 mins at 200 C) and add the sweet potato for the last 30 min of cooking. Once cooked, peel the beetroot and cut into chunks.
Sweat the onion with a drizzle of olive oil in a large saucepan on a low heat with the lid on for about 10 minutes until soft but not brown. Add the garlic and bay leaf and cook for 2 minutes. Add the sweet potato, beetroot, stock and balsamic vinegar and simmer together for 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and allow to cool slightly then blend with a stick blender until smooth.
For the goat cheese toasts you will need:
4 slices bloomer or baguette bread
125g goat cheese (I used Soignon), sliced thinly
Brush one side of each slice of bread with olive oil and toast in the oven for 10 minutes. Spread the slices of goat cheese on the un-toasted side and put under the grill for 5 minutes. (Basically, make cheese on toast!)
Serve them together for a match made in heaven…mmmm nomnomnom!
|Amount Per Serving|
|% Daily Value *|
|Total Fat 14 g||22 %|
|Saturated Fat 6 g||28 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 6 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g|
|Trans Fat 0 g|
|Cholesterol 14 mg||5 %|
|Sodium 385 mg||16 %|
|Potassium 598 mg||17 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 48 g||16 %|
|Dietary Fiber 7 g||26 %|
|Sugars 13 g|
|Protein 14 g||28 %|
|Vitamin A||113 %|
|Vitamin C||9 %|