Seasonal Ingredient of the Week: Beetroot

We love the taste of beetroot and it really is the perfect salad ingredient but we have to admit, our absolute favourite thing about cooking with beetroot is it's ability to dye anything & everything bright pink. Add it to juices, hummus, cake batters etc. and it's instantly transformed. And eating bright pink food is essentially like eating happiness right? We seem to think so anyway! 

Beetroot can be found year round, usually pre cooked in a vacuum packed seal, and so long as it isn't the type in vinegar or with added salts/acid regulators etc, it's not exactly the worst thing in the world. But after trying fresh beetroot that you've cooked yourself, you will never be able to go back to those pre-packed ways. And now is the best time for this as it's in season from from now until January - we like to cook a large batch now then freeze it for use throughout the year!

Not only is beetroot super tasty, but it's also really high in betacarotene and folic acid which means eating it regularly can help cleanse the liver. Below we've put together a few of our best tips and tricks for cooking with it so you too can join us in plates (and glasses) of liver-cleansing, pink goodness! 

RECIPE IDEAS

- To cook beetroot, add it to a pan of boiling water and leave for anything between 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the size of the beetroot - it's cooked once you can easily stab it with a fork. Don't forget to remove the skins once you have cooked it too!  

- We hate leftovers at pollen+grace which is why we also eat our beetroot leaves and stalks. They can be cooked the same way that you would wilt spinach and are really delicious, not to mention packed full of nutrients! A fave dish of ours is beetroot stalks served with warm buckwheat, chickpeas and coconut yoghurt. 

- Once cooked and cooled, beetroot can be sliced and added to salads as it is, or roasted in a little oil alongside squash and red onion and served as a warm dish  - perfect for those colder days! 

- Add cooked beetroot to your next batch of homemade hummus for a beautifully pink version

- Beetroot can also be enjoyed raw too! Raw beetroot is the perfect for juicing: our current fave combo is beetroot, carrot, ginger and lemon (it's also great by itself!)

- Raw beetroot can also be chopped into thin strips and mixed with apple & celery to make a delicious, crunchy slaw 

- And we can't forget about sweet treats now can we? Beetroot pairs perfectly with cocoa to make dense, fudgy chocolate cake or brownies by adding pureed beetroot to the cake mixture