Beautiful Beetroot with Dorcas Barry

Beetroot and feta cheese saladI always liked beetroot anyway but since my wife started making a salad with roasted beetroot and feta cheese my interest in growing them reached new heights. I have been improving my garden soil over the past few years with one of the big success stories being my beetroot. It usually struggles a bit outside (although everyone always says it’s easy to grow?) but this year it went great guns. I tend to get leaf spot disease on my young seedlings which is worse in humid weather so I’m sure the drier weather also had something to do with my top crops this year.

Anyway, Dorcas Barry shares a passion for beetroot and has included two recipes using this purple powerhouse. The first one is a delicious blood builder juice which I’ve tried and can highly recommend:

Brightly coloured vegetables and fruit are bursting with vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants, so it goes without saying that beetroot, with it’s intense deep colour, is way up there in terms of nutrition.

Heathy beetroot smoothieEating beetroot raw, either grated into salads or in a juice, supplies you with the full powerful nutritional force of this amazing vegetable.  It cleanses the liver, and helps to keep the immune system healthy.  It also helps digestion by increasing levels of stomach acid, and increases alkalinity in the body.  If you want to eat to stay looking young, beetroot is an essential food to include in your diet, it ‘s abundant supply of sillicia is essential for healthy skin and hair.

Beetroot is delicious with citrus, especially lime.  Try this gorgeous juice, the ‘blood builder’ from Jason Vale, which is one of my favourite ways to have raw beetroot.

This recipe for a delicious salad with uses apple also, which gives a great balance of sweetness to the earthy taste of the beetroot.  Quick and easy to make, it’s a delicous accompaniment to any meal.

And don’t forget the leaves!  These can be juiced or chopped into salads (younger leaves are the best to use for this), or try adding to soups, casseroles or stir fry with ginger, garlic and tamari soy sauce for a delicious side.

Blood Builder

1/2 Beetroot
1 Apple
1/4 medium pineapple
1/2 stick celery
1/4 cucumber
1 handful of spinach
1 peeled lime
1/2 avocado (peeled)

Place all the ingredients except the avocado and ice into the juicer and juice. Pour the juice into a blender, add the ice and the avocado and blend until smooth.

Beetroot and apple saladBeetroot & Apple Salad

1 large or 2 small raw beetroot
2 green apples (the sharper and crisper the better)
1 tbsp. sunflower seeds
1 tsp. Tamari Soy Sauce

Soak the seeds with the tamari and 1 tsp. water for approx. 1/2 an hour.  Drain
the liquid and then place in a dry pan until lightly toasted.  Don’t allow to burn, this will only take 1-2 minutes.

Grate the beetroot and then the apple.  Mix together and serve sprinkled with the sunflower seeds.

N.B. Andrew here, I know the recipe doesn’t include the beet leaves but I threw a few in for the photo, also no sunflower seeds so used pine nuts. Tasted great!

    1. Andrew

      Hi Margaret

      I chop beetroot into large chunks (cut a tennis ball size beet into 6) and roast with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a pinch of sea salt for about 45 mins to an hour. Leave the skins on. Let the beet chunks cool then mix with finely chopped garlic, coriander, lime juice (if you like it a bit tangy, leave it out if you don’t), oil & vinegar dressing, salt and pepper.
      add the feta at the end sprinkled on the top just before you serve as the feta will go pink form the beet juice after a while. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley or coriander.

      As regards quantities, I haven’t a clue. Pinch of this, dash of that!

      I hope this helps


  1. Susan

    Just a comment on eating beetroot raw. I once tried to juice it raw and it tasted like c lay. I only took a mouthful which burned my throat, gave me cramps and turned my pee pink for three days. Since then I only eat it cooked and I’m wondering would it have the same nutritional content as it does raw. Anyway ideas as to why the raw stuff had a nasty effect?
    Love your site it gives great tips.

    1. Andrew

      Hi Susan.
      Beetroot, chard and perpetual spinach contain oxalic acid which doesn’t agree with some people though it sounds like you are particularly sensitive. I have heard this is more common in women but not sure if there’s much basis for fact. Raw foods do tend to be better for you but in the case of beet the oxalic acid is broken down so will be easier to digest. Beet will retain most of its nutrients when cooked especially if you leave the skin on. Try chopping beet in to large pieces and roasting with a little sea salt and olive oil. You get the best flavour that way and hopefully not the side effects you have experienced.

      I’m delighted you like our side and thank you for your kind comment.

    1. Andrew

      I’d like to apologise for the inaccuracy of one of my previous replies, it is in fact my wife Siobhan who chops the beetroot. That’s not to say I’ve never chopped one, it’s just not the norm.

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