What’s in season Wednesday?

Today’s seasonal fair are beetroots. They are actually very hardy and available all year round. The leaves as well as the bulbs are nutritious and delicious.

What do Beets look and taste like?

Beets are a vibrant deep red or orange colour with a sweet flavour

Why is beetroot good for you?

Beetroot has been around since ancient roman times and still is, mainly because of its sweet taste and nutritional profile. Let us take a look at some of its health benefits:

One of the main benefits of beetroot is its ability to lower high blood pressure. It contains nitrates which boosts the body’s levels of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide has the benefit of expanding the blood vessels to increase blood flow and this action lowers blood pressure. One study showed that drinking a glass of beet juice could reduce the systolic blood pressure by 4-5 mmHg which is pretty impressive.

Other benefits of boosting nitrate levels has been shown to improve the levels of oxygen to the muscles including the heart. By boosting the oxygen reaching the muscles this increases stamina and during studies was shown to increase as much as 16%. Beets also contain folate (B9), which keep blood vessels healthy and potassium that help protect the heart.

Beetroot also contains an antioxidant called alpha-lipoic (ALA) acid. Alpha lipoic acid in a few studies have been shown to help lower blood sugar levels in diabetics and help with protecting the nerves from damage that causes peripheral neuropathy, Peripheral neuropathy can affect the arms and legs, symptoms include itching, burning, tingling and numbness.

In addition, beets are high in fibre (2 grams ). Fibre may help elevated cholesterol levels, by removing potentially carcinogenic toxins from the colon. It helps with digestion by reducing inflammation in the bowel and decreasing bacteria that cause bloating and gassiness.  Contains: 1.7g of protein which helps build and maintain strong bones. Detoxifying enzymes which helps the liver the largest organ in the body rid the body of harmful substances.

As high in fibre, low in calories and has practically no fat helps maintain an ideal weight.

Ideas how to prepare beetroots

  • Roast with olive oil and serve with goat’s cheese

  • Make into a dip with yoghurt and lime serve with halloumi

  • Beetroot hummus with pita for entertaining

  • Add to salads either raw or roasted

  • Make into beetroot dauphinoise with butter, garlic, cream baked in the oven and sprinkled with fresh thyme.

  • Make into a juice with ginger

  • Add to smoothies with ginger, lemon juice and lemon rind.

How to prepare in an Instant Pot:

  1. Peel and Chop into quarters depending on the size.

  2. Place the beets in the instant pot and add a cup of water

  3. Set the instant pot to pressure cook mode

  4. Add 20 mins on the timer

  5. When time is up release the pressure

To serve, drink the liquid as a juice. The beets can be used as a side, or added to salads or smoothies.


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