There is something magical about the red colour of beetroot. I'm always taking about eating the rainbow and the deep colour of beets is a high indication of their nutritional benefit. Beetroots are a great source of many essential vitamins and minerals:
Iron. Iron is an essential mineral and performs many important functions in our bodies. It’s vital for the transport of oxygen in red blood cells.
Folate (vitamin B9). One of the B vitamins, folate is important for normal tissue growth and cell function. It’s particularly important for pregnant women.
Manganese. An essential trace element, manganese is found in high amounts in whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables.
Potassium. A diet rich in potassium can help to reduce blood pressure levels and positive effects on heart health
Vitamin C. This well-known vitamin is an antioxidant that is important for immune function and skin health
Nitrates. This powerful compound has been linked to relaxed arterial function and therefore reduces blood pressure.
Antioxidants. Vital for control of damaging degenerative cells in our body.
So what can you do with beetroot?
Here are some ideas and some links:
Simple cooked beetroot
How to prepare beetroot (taste.com.au). BUT what is interesting is that pre-cooked, packaged beetroot contains more antioxidant qualities and therefore being lazy is not only convenient, it's also nutritionally sound! *Berlin University of Technology
Beetroot and chocolate cake
Simple beetroot juice - an easy way to get those nitrates into your system. Available at most supermarkets.
Roasted with cheese
I particularly like them with strong flavoured cheese like feta or goats cheese. Simply roast your beetroot in a little olive oil until tender and juicy, then eat them hot, topped with diced feta or sliced goats cheese. You can also add some seeds or chopped nuts to the top (hazelnuts are particularly good) and the combination is absolutely gorgeous!
And don't forget to eat the leaves. Delicious steamed in the same way you might kale or spinach, they are an excellent source of vitamins A, C and E and contain more magnesium (regulates calcium levels in the body, muscle and nerve function, blood pressure and obtains energy from food to build bone & DNA) and potassium (controls fluid balance, sending electrical signals around the body), than even kale!
If none of those ideas excite you then Jamie Oliver has a whole range of exciting things to do with beetroots!
Enjoy your beetroot cooking everyone! xx