Many people are of the belief that Beetroot is good for the blood. This is not correct. Of course beetroot is good for you, it is not high in iron so it will not help prevent anaemia, which many believe it will do. Beetroot's main benefits are that it contains no fat, very few calories and is a great source of fibre.
Beetroot has for many years been used as a treatment for cancer in Europe. Specific anti-carcinogens are bound to the red colouring matter which supposedly helps fight against cancer and beetroot also increases the uptake of oxygen by as much as 400 percent. Additional studies are taking place to add support to these claims. The green leafy part of the beetroot is also of nutritional value containing beta-carotene and other carotenoids,( Carotenoid refers to plant pigments - of which there is a family of about 600 different types. These all function as antioxidants. The yellow, orange, and many of the red pigments in fruits, vegetables, and plant materials are usually carotenoids.) This part of the beet also contains lots of folate, iron, potassium and some vitamin C. The roots and greens therefore are great for women in general and for those planning pregnancy. Try eating the leaves and stalk boiled or steam and accompany with other more flavorsome vegies like onions and garlic. Or chop finely and add to quiches or stir-fries.
Beetroot can be eaten raw. You just need to peel it and it's ready to use. Beetroot can add a refreshing touch to a salad, a sandwich (try it with cheese!) or as an accompaniment to other vegies...
Usually when you buy fresh beetroot it will still have the leaves and stalks attached. To cook the beetroot simply cut off the stalks but make sure you leave some of the stalk in tact. By doing this it will help to stop the beetroot from losing it's color when you cook it and helps to hold in the nutrients.
Beetroot can be steamed or cooked in boiling water. Cooking time can be from 20 to 50 minutes depending on the size of the beetroot. Test the beetroot with a skewer: when it's soft, remove it from the heat and cool it under running water - this will make the skin easier to remove for serving.
You can serve cooked beetroot:
as a hot vegetable accompaniment to a meal; or
allow it to cool and slice it to put on a homemade burger.
Cut into cubes and stir-fry it with some steamed cubed potatoes and pumpkin. Add a little garlic and some diced onions this makes a delicious vegetable dish to serve with the rest of your meal.
Try this recipe for Beetroot Soup!
The flavour of fresh beetroot is deliciously refreshing and lifts this soup out of the ordinary. However you can use an 810g can of sliced beetroot. Using a food processor to grate beetroot and chop apple and vegetables saves time. Serve this soup hot or chilled.
Contains approximately 4 portions
Preparation time is approximately 20 minutes
Ingredient Recipe Quantity
Beetroot 4 each medium - peeled & grated
Cabbage (Red) 1 cup shredded
Onions 1 each medium - chopped
Chives 1 sprig finely chopped
Apple (Granny Smith) 1 each peeled, cored and sliced
Oil (Olive) 2 teaspoon
Tomato Puree 2 tablespoon
White Wine 0.5 cup
Chicken Stock 4 cup
Yoghurt (low fat natural) 200 g
Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add onion and cook over a low heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add beetroot, apple, cabbage, stock and tomato puree, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add wine. If serving hot, serve at once.If serving cold, allow to cool and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
To serve, ladle soup into four bowls and top each with a good dollop of natural yoghurt (if you don't have any yoghurt try using extra low fat Sour Cream). Swirl through with a fork and garnish with chives or parsley.
RECIPE NUTRITION PER PORTION
Protein 8 g
Fat 3 g
Carbohydrate 23 g
Dietary Fibre 6 g
Energy 740 kj
Cal Energy (Cals) 175 cals
- Michelle Palmer