Growing up in Australia meant one thing. Beetroot was a regular part of my childhood diet. And I hated it. Which was a shame, as the health benefits of beetroot are many.
However as a child, all I knew was the beetroot that came in a tin. Evil and revolting stuff that tasted more of vinegar than of beets. I still clearly remember the first time I tasted fresh beetroot – I had no idea it could be so fresh, clean and delicious. And SO VERSATILE! If you haven’t tried roast beetroot, you are missing out.
More recently I’ve discovered that beetroot is a superfood. Yeah I know. A regular food from the greengrocer that won’t cost you half an arm to purchase!
Health benefits of beetroot
Some of the health benefits of eating beetroot include:
- it can lower blood pressure
- it’s a good source of iron and folate and also contains nitrates, betaine, magnesium and other antioxidants.
- it can improve athletic performance
- it contains soluble fibre, which has also been shown to reduce cholesterol absorption
- eating fresh beetroot helps support your liver function.
How to eat beetroot
Beetroot can be bought and prepared in so many ways.
Fresh beetroot – make sure you give it a good scrub and peel it before eating or cooking. It’s delicious raw in salads or dips, cut into chunks and roasted for salads, in juices or smoothies added into soups (although my childhood memories of borscht still haunt me…), and you can even make a beetroot risotto! I usually pop raw beetroot into my spiraliser and add it to salads.
Tinned beetroot is still evil as far as I’m concerned, but many people love it. My parents certainly did, judging by the number of cans of it in the cupboard when my brother and I packed up their kitchen a few years ago – the local food bank was a happy recipient of about a half a dozen tins of beetroot and a similar amount of its equally awful cousin, tinned pineapple! The ubiquitious way of using tinned beetroot seems to be on the Aussie hamburger. Or as an accompaniment to a BBQ.
Pre-cooked and vacuum-packed is my new favourite way of buying and eating beets. Thanks to the Love Beets® brand, you can now buy 100% all natural, Australian grown beetroot, peeled and cooked ready to eat. I particularly like that there is no added salt or sugar and all the hard work is done. I’ve been adding a small beetroot to my smoothie most days, and making gallons of beetroot, walnut and mint dip. Soooo good!
Beetroot, walnut and mint dip recipe
Recipe adapted from Love Beets®.
This is seriously easy and as we were eating a batch in two days, I’m now making a double batch a couple of times a week.
What you need:
- 1 x 250g packet of Love Beets®
- 1 clove of garlic
- 50g walnuts
- 1 large handful of fresh mint – leaves only
- 1 tbs red wine vinegar OR fresh squeezed lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
What you do:
Place everything in a food processor and blitz until smooth-ish. I use a Thermomix and it takes 3 seconds on speed 9. Scrape down the sides and blitz for another second or two until it’s the consistency you like. I like it a little chunky.
Serve with crackers, bread, on salads, dolloped into soup.
Do you eat beetroot? What’s your favourite way to cook with it?
Disclaimer: This post isn’t sponsored, but I was recently invited to an event hosted by Love Beets, and given some sample packets to take home.