Beetroot is an underrated vegetable. I use it all the time as it is quite versatile. Eaten raw, roasted or pickled are my favourite ways to enjoy beetroot.
You can also eat the green, leafy portion of beetroot. It is probably most similar to spinach or chard in taste. A lovely way to prepare beet greens is as a collection of wilted green with a beautiful organic roast chicken or piece of rib eye.
Beetroot is an excellent source of folate and a good source of both manganese and boron. There have been several preliminary studies that demonstrate the link between beetroot juice and lowered blood pressure. This is thought to be due to the high nitrite content of beetroot. Another study found positive effects beetroot may have on human exercise performance, showing that distance runners ran 5% faster times after consuming baked beetroot
The red colour compound in beetroot is called betanin. It is not broken down in the body so may temporarily cause both urine and stools to become reddish in colour. I had to research this after my husband got a fright after I did a lot of cooking & baking with beetroot! So don’t worry, it is quite temporary & will stop as soon as the beetroot has passed through your system. It is this reason that also makes beetroot an excellent natural food colouring.
This is a very quick and easy salad, especially if you have a Thermomix. You can also make it in a food processor, but just ensure that you cut the veggies into smaller pieces.
(recipe adapted from the thermomix cookbook)
- 400g raw beetroot (peeled & quartered)
- 100g carrots, quartered
- 1/4 small red onion
- 1 green apple, quartered & deseeded
- 1 large handful of fresh coriander
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Pinch salt
- Place roughly cut vegetables in Thermomix/food processor and chop on medium speed (sp. 5) until evenly chopped (2-3 seconds in Thermomix). Scrape down sides and chop again for a couple of seconds until desired consistency.
- If you accidently process too much, or you have leftovers, add some raw cashews or almonds, process until finely ground, and use as a dip!