So yes, I have a new love in my life and it doesn’t answer back, nor does it leave the toilet seat up. Nope, all it does is creates an almighty mess of my fingers and anything it touches. Say hello to the beetroot, a perhaps previously underrated resident in my fridge’s vegie crisper. We’re making up for lost time now though because this vibrant beet is getting a run for its money every week, twice a week.
Did you know the Romans used this as an aphrodisiac? True (apparently). Maybe they were onto something.
The beetroot is a power house of nutrients (and staining potential). Beetroot is high in iron, Vitamins A and C, and calcium. It also contains folic acid, protein, manganese, potassium and fibre. It has been found to improve memory, increase energy and stamina, to lower blood pressure and to assist with the recovery of wounds. But wait – there’s more! The pigment in beetroot, betanin (giving it its purple colour), may also assist in preventing cancer. Antioxidants within this pigment help guard cells from damage by free radicals and provides a natural form of protection against many diseases, such as heart disease and cancer. Sold? You ought to be!
Where possible buy your beetroot raw, not canned. Canned beetroot will have no where near the same health promoting properties and will no doubt contain added sugar and preservatives, none of which your body cries out for. Don’t be afraid to buy bunches of beetroot, leaves attached. The leaves are great through the juicer and can be eaten mixed through a salad.
So here’s my latest fave smoothie recipe.
The ‘Pretty in Pink’ Beetroot and Cos Lettuce Smoothie.
I bet you’d never thought of putting lettuce in a smoothie. I certainly hadn’t but I’m all over the idea now. It’s fairly tasteless which is perfect if you’re looking to appreciate the flavour of other ingredients. Leafy greens are seriously good for us, so where possible throw them into that blender!
4 or 5 leaves of cos lettuce (any type of lettuce will do)
1/2 a raw, small beetroot or 1/4 large, roughly chopped
1/3 lebanese cucumber
1/4 large avocado, or 1/2 small
150grams coconut water, more if you prefer a thinner consistency
1 serve flavourless protein powder (optional, I use 100% whey protein)
1 teaspoon maca powder
1 5cm piece of turmeric and ginger (fresh)
A little sprinkling of cinnamon
Optional: 1 tablespoon full fat natural or Greek Yoghurt
Throw all your ingredients into your blender and blend until really smooth. The avocado will really thicken it up. Of course it really helps if you have a high powered blender for beetroot. Go grab your bib and your spoon, and tuck in!