When I was a child instead of broccoli my mum used to give me beetroot. Many Eastern Europeans, Russians and Central Europeans grew up on this vegetable. And no wonder why, Beetroot is now considered one of the super foods as it contains large quantity of beneficial vitamins and nutrients.
Beetroot comes from the same family as sugar beets. However, it is genetically and nutritionally different. Sugar beets are white, and manufacturers tend to use them for extracting sugar and sweetening processed foods. It's not possible to extract sugar from beetroot, which is mostly red or gold.
Beetroot was first found in Mediterranean region about 400 years ago and made its way to Chinese cuisine soon after. It gained popularity since then and is now considered as a main ingredient to be added to soups, salads and even in pickles. It’s been said that Romans used to use it as aphrodisiac and Hippocrates is said to have advocated using beet leaves for binding wounds.
It wouldn’t be so wrong to say that beetroot is an all-rounder vegetable. From indigestion to maintaining a healthy liver, this deep purplish-red vegetable can treat various problems. It prevents osteoporosis, helps treating anemia, slows down tumour growth and is wonderful for lowering your blood sugar levels.
Beetroot is not only healthy and nutritious but also very accessible to buy and doesn’t cost much money.
Here at the MoaAlm Mountain Retreat we love making dips with it, beetroot ketchup, salads, soups, burgers or just eat it raw thinly sliced with some olive oil and lemon juice on top.
Beetroot is also great in baking. Due to its natural sweetness and amazing colour it makes cakes moist and rich in flavour. I highly recommend trying making chocolate brownies as combined with chocolate it enhances the flavour and makes it taste super chocolatey.
If you feel creative, try painting with beetroot. Juice it, grab your paint brush and let your imagination flow. It is an amazing natural colourant.
This week why not to try our warming beetroot soup or delicious zingy beetroot salad.
To make one big pot of soup you will need:
• 1 leek
• 3 cloves garlic
• 4 bay leaves
• One big beetroot, grated
• 2 carrots
• 2 ½ l veg stock
• 3tbsp tomato paste
• 2tbsp Dijon mustard
• 1 tsp caraway seeds
• 100 g lentils, we use green lentils
• 2tbsp apple cider vinegar
• Good splash of olive oil
• Pinch of salt and pepper
First, sauté leek in olive oil. Then add the garlic, caraway seeds, tomato paste and mustard. Stir fry
for few minutes. Make sure to mix it thoroughly so it doesn’t get burnt. Then add veg stock and the
rest of ingredients. Heat it until boiling, then reduce the heat and cook for 20-25 minutes.
We like to serve it with homemade vegan sour cream and some fresh chopped dill on top.
• 2 cooked beetroots, cubed
• 3 small potatoes, boiled and cubed
• 6 gherkins, chopped in small pieces
• Half red onion, chopped in small pieces
• 100g of sunflower seeds
• Pinch of salt and Pepper
• Good splash of olive oil
• 6 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Chop all the vegetables into small pieces, sprinkle some sunflower seeds, add the oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Nice and easy.
Share your Beetroot recipes with us and hopefully you enjoy all things Beetroot as much as we do in Austria at MoaAlm and on the Island of Vis, Croatia.