Veg of the Week...Beetroot
Each week I’m aiming to highlight a ‘Vegetable of the Week’, not only for me but to encourage others to try something they may not normally eat that often. To hopefully encourage a new recipe or dish to be made at home and served at the family dinner table for everyone to enjoy.
This week the spotlight is on beetroot and I couldn’t be more chuffed about it. Beetroot is prized for its rich purple hues and is as beautiful to look at as it is nutritious for your body. I love the earthy taste of beetroot and the fact that you can roast it, grate it, juice it and even add the leftover pulp to baking. Beetroot also pairs beautifully with three of my favourite foods…avocado, feta and nuts. So I really, like beetroot. Like really LOVE the stuff!
Beetroot is a wonderful source of antioxidants; in particular Anthocyanins which have been shown to prevent age-related cognitive decline (brain function) as well as potentially helping to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer. Beetroot is also a great source of fibre for regular digestive function, potassium for blood pressure regulation and muscle function and folate for healthy cell development. It’s also found to be effective at aiding athletic performance through its provision of nitrates and the conversion to nitric oxide within the body.
I have included a few beetroot ideas that I have tried over the last wee while and absolutely loved including this Roasted Beetroot Hummus by Secret Squirrel. It is absolutely delicious! It makes the best little lunch or entrée layered upon wholegrain toast and then adorned with chunks of avocado, feta and fresh coriander. The colours alone are enough to send you to foodie heaven, let alone the flavour of them all working harmoniously together.
I also served the beetroot hummus alongside a simple lunch of leftover cauliflower and leek gratin, pesto baked mushrooms and a side of avocado all topped off with a fried egg. Such a superb homemade lunch that’s ready in a matter of minutes. It would be just as delicious with leftover roasted chicken and steamed greens.
A few months ago, I made this Beetroot Risotto with Blue Cheese and Hazelnuts and if you have beetroot at home, I‘d highly recommend you tuck yourself away in the kitchen for a small portion of the weekend to make it. It definitely tastes as good, if not better, than it looks! The recipe can be found here.
While it’s cold, roasting beetroot seems like an obvious choice being both warming and delightful but if you happen to find yourself on a hot sunny day craving something cooling and refreshing, try adding raw grated beetroot to a layered salad such as this Spring beauty.
Beetroot is also one of my favourite additions to a vegetable juice, not only for its colour but also that sweet earthy flavour. I love beetroot, carrot, apple, lemon and ginger. Once I have enjoyed the pretty pink concoction nature has so kindly provided, I pop the leftover pulp in the fridge to add to cakes and baking such as this Beetroot Chocolate Cake. It’s great way of amping up the nutrient content of homemade baked goodies without fussy kids or adults even knowing they contain vegetables. Trust me, I’ve done it.
I hope you enjoy celebrating the deliciousness of beetroot as much as I have…I still have beetroot hummus in the fridge to enjoy over the weekend and I’m so excited about it!