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  • Writer's pictureJanice Tracey

BEETROOT - Was my food hell; Now my food heaven!

WOW, I used to hate the sight, touch and smell of the deep purple roots of beetroot. I don't know why - maybe it was the way it bled on the plate or maybe my only experience having been the pickled stuff just wasn't the best of all experiences. What changed it all for me was when I saw 3 big dirty roots of beetroot in my organic veg box. I didn't want to waste them and asked some friends for any recipe ideas. The overriding suggestion seemed to be roasting, with variations of honey and/or balsamic vinegar.

Toss the peeled and quartered beets in salt, pepper and olive oil. Roast in a hot oven, in a single layer for about 45 minutes, tossing occasionally. Toss the partially roasted beets in the honey and balsamic vinegar. Return to the oven and roast for an additional 15 minutes or so, tossing occasionally until the beets are fork tender. Amazing served with feta or goats cheese with some pumpkin or sunflower seeds sprinkled on top.

Roasted Mixed Vegetables

Roasted butternut squash, sweet potato, beetroot, red onion, carrot, garlic, cherry tomatoes with rosemary and basil - smells amazing.

Beets are high in immune-boosting vitamin C, fibre, and essential minerals like potassium (essential for healthy nerve and muscle function) and manganese (which is good for your bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas). Beets also contain the B vitamin folate, which helps reduce the risk of birth defects.

The American Journal of Cardiology has recently published research suggesting a daily glass of beetroot juice reduces your blood pressure, and also improves your exercise endurance, After one week of drinking just 2 1/2 oz of beetroot juice every day aerobic endurance improved by 24%, and systolic blood pressure reduced by 5 – 10 mmHg. Beetroot juice is available from most supermarkets and health food shops. So if you’re concerned about your blood pressure – or are training for marathon – you know what to do!

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