Beetroot – you can’t beat it as a super-quick, nutritious, colourful and tasty salad
Scrumptious Beetroot - every which way!
I don't ever recall disliking beetroot, but I never loved it as much as I have done since realising how delicious it is raw and without the vinegar. Now it is a staple food for me and I use it in warm and cold salads, smoothies and soups. There are only two considerations: Firstly, whatever you make with it (including your hands) will pick up its colour. And, secondly, on the same subject - don't be alarmed at the red'ish colour of your stools or urine up to 36 hours after eating it. Nutrition-wise beetroot is very good for us with plenty of vitamin A &C. It is a great source of Folic Acid, fibre, manganese and potassium as well magnesium, phosphorus, iron and B6. Being a sweet root vegetable, they contain carbs, of which the sweet part is of course sugar, which is likely one of the reasons I love them so much. Most importantly they contain betacyanin, which is known to be a cancer-fighting agent and they have long been used medicinally for liver detoxification, as well as having been shown to have a positive effect on bowel function, and protect agains colon cancer. What more reason do you need to enjoy this wonderfully versatile and colourful vegetable?
- I mainly use peeled, raw and grated beetroot for salads or peeled, raw beetroot in chunks for smoothies and soups. For smoothies you can also freeze the raw, peeled beetroot if you want to avoid using ice cubes for frozen smoothies - and assuming you smoothie-maker is strong enough for the job (smaller pieces is the solution to this)
- My favourite SIMPLY BEETROOT salad is with grated beetroot, toasted pine-nuts and crumbed feta cheese (optional), with a dressing of equal quantities olive oil and vinegar (I mix white balsamic vinegar with cyder vinegar) with chopped root ginger. The dressing is ideally made several hours (or days) in advance (I tend to make a large quantity to last me for the week), so the ginger has a chance to 'do its thing' and flavour the dressing.
- You can then eat the beetroot salad as is, or add it to green leaves and other raw vegetable salads, if you want a variation on a theme.
- For a WARM BEETROOT SALAD, grate the beetroot, add halved baby tomatoes and hot tender-stem broccoli spears that you have zapped for 1-2 minutes in the microwave and chopped into sensible pieces. Use the same dressing as above and serve on its own or on a bed of leaves. Adding some halved walnuts adds good fats (they are the main non-fish source of Omega 3 fatty acids), protein, more minerals and a lovely crunch! Super-simple, full of vitamins and minerals, delicious - especially for those with a sweet tooth, and easier to digest for some people than using raw broccoli.
- Or try a BEETROOT DIP, with beetroot, walnuts, garlic, olive oil and red wine vinegar, seasoned to taste, made in your food processor and decorated with fresh chopped parsley and / or coriander. An alternative I partly 'stole' from Jo Wicks (his has cooked beetroot and I use it raw) does not use vinegar, but adds ⅓ of a pack of feta cheese, a handful of walnuts and thick kefir (yoghurt or cream cheese), and seasoned to taste. Also very 'moorish'.