Friday, 9 May 2014

How to eat beetroot – and love it!

By Heather Cupit

Once upon a time, beetroot was only to be seen – pickled in a jar – at the back of Granny’s pantry. But that was then… Now it’s seen as a superfood you can use far beyond the salad bowl. Why all the fuss?
Celebrity chefs have gone beetroot crazy: Jamie roasts beef with it, Nigella teams it with chocolate and even Mary Berry makes cakes with it. And, naturally, sales are on the up, with retail analyst Kantar claiming they’ve soared 20% in the past four years.

Rich and earthy, root vegetables make a meal satisfying without bumping up the fat and calories, and beetroot, in particular, is surprisingly versatile and great value. As well as the familiar purple orb, you’ll find white, golden or even striped versions in varying shapes and sizes.

Raw baby beetroot can be peeled and grated into salads or juices, while the mature kind tastes better boiled, roasted or baked in foil (don’t peel or cut it before cooking or the colour and nutrients will leach out). Ready-cooked ‘natural’ beetroot has no additives, but ‘traditional’ beetroot is dipped in acetic acid or mild malt vinegar (thanks, Gran).

Healthwise, beetroot juice is a great pick-me-up that contains nitrate, a chemical that helps to reduce blood pressure, cutting the risk of heart disease and stroke.

How to use beetroot
Firm, fresh-looking veg – avoid any that feel soft and limp. They should smell fresh and earthy, not musty.
Beetroot keeps well for a month or two in a cool, well-ventilated place. Brown paper bags are ideal as they allow a good airflow.
An 80g serving or 3tbsp cooked beetroot counts as one of your five-a-day.

Healthy Food Guide expert and nutritionist Amanda Ursell says: ‘Although they taste like comfort foods, root veg like beetroot are packed with useful amounts of vital nutrients and often have fewer calories than their reputation might suggest. Beetroot is rich in super-nutrients, such as betacyanins, which Professor Govind Kapadia, of Washington DC’s Howard University, believes may have a role to play in cancer prevention. And research published in 2012 says it improved running performance in healthy adults – perhaps due to its nitrates. It also contains betaine, which could help protect furred arteries and help to prevent heart disease.’

Try these 3 easy recipes
*Make hummus: whiz cooked beetroot flesh with a tin of drained chickpeas in water, lemon juice and a little cumin in a food processor.
*Roast it: drizzle wedges with olive oil and a little clear honey. Scatter with fresh thyme and cook for 25 min in a medium oven.
*French rarebit: boil one or two beetroots, then cool and slice. Layer on to slices of sourdough (or any crusty bread), top with a few thin slices of French-style soft cheese, such as brie or camembert, and grill until melted.


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  2. These beetroots are full of iron that can help you in maintaining hemoglobin levels and avoid the cases of anemia and other body disorders. You people can have these pulses and other natural food ingredients without any worry regarding side effect. You can also try the Tahitian Noni Juice to maintain healthy life.