I 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. Eating 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) ice 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 & Apple Salad Ingredients: 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 Method: 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!