Friday Focus: Beetroot


After I bought these little beauties at my local fruit and veg shop last week, I had a weekend of cooking solely dedicated to the beetroot.


The beetroot is a powerful detoxifier, blood purifier and cleanser (especially for the liver, intestines, kidneys and gall bladder.) Betacyanin, which gives the beetroot its deep colour, has antiviral and antioxidant properties, and is effective in combating cancerous changes. It also boosts the activity of antioxidant enzymes in the body, which protect the body from free radical damage.


The beetroot contains a high amount of fibre which promotes digestive health and a feeling of fullness, which may help in your weight loss endeavours.


It also contains nutrients essential for boosting the immune system. The iron in the beetroot increases the production of antibodies (which fight diseases), stimulates red blood cells (which supply the oxygen to our muscles and cells) and the beetroot also contains manganese (for its cancer-fighting properties) and silica (for healthy skin, hair, tendons and bones.)




Having reached this point in the blog, I would normally share a recipe, but today I want to direct you towards one of my favourite cookbooks, River Cottage Veg Every Day by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. I use this book SO often and it is full of delicious recipes such as Lemony Guacamole, Curried Bubble and Squeak, Spring Onion Galette and (my favourite) Tahini-dressed Courgette and Green Beans Salad. If you want to add more vegetables to your diet but are stuck for ideas to prepare them, please give this book a try; you will not regret it.


I browsed through the book and found three different recipes using beetroot – one using raw beetroot and the two others using roasted beetroot (which is fortunate as beetroot is nutritionally as effective raw as it is cooked.)


To use the beetroot raw in the Beetroot with Walnuts and Cumin recipe, peel it first. Then, you can either grate it or julienne it with a mandoline (but please be careful as mandolines are extremely sharp; I cannot use mine without being terrified of losing a finger!)


To roast the beetroot, give it a good scrub to get rid of any dirt on the skin, then rub it with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and wrap in foil. Roast at 200C for 1h-1.5h (depending on the size of your beetroot.) It will be cooked when you can push a knife through it.


Please refer to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Veg Every Day for the following recipes:

Roasted Beetroot with Walnuts and Yogurt Dressing


Puy Lentils with Beetroot and Feta Cheese


Beetroot with Walnuts and Cumin


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