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beetroot

Beetroot

 

Beetroot is a tasty, dark red taproot of the beet plant. The plant’s leaves are green with red veins. There are two type of variations of beetroot – namely  summer and winter fruit. In winter, large, round beetroot is sold without the leaves while summer beetroot is sold from May to September. Summer beetroot is considerably smaller than winter beetroot and is often tied in bundles with the leaves still attached. The leafy portion of the beetroot is also delicious stir-fried, in a salad or in soup. The sweet, somewhat earthy flavour is appreciated by adults and children alike.

Other types of beetroot are now also finding their way to the shops. These include white, yellow and orange variations, and also Italian Chioggia beetroot. The Chioggia beetroot is a magnificently pink and white zoned root with a very sweet flavour. The yellow, orange and Chioggia beetroot varieties are best used raw to ensure that they retain their beautiful colour.

Availability

Summer beetroot is normally available from May to September. Winter beetroot is sold from October to April.  In March and April, beetroot is usually imported which means that it is largely available throughout the year. Cooked beetroot is also sold all year round.

How to choose?

When buying beetroot, the root should be firm and the leaves should be a deep green, fresh and strong.

How to prepare?

Rinse the raw beetroot well under a cold tap. Remove the leaves from the summer beetroot. Do not cut the beetroot itself, as this will cause it to ‘bleed’ during boiling. After boiling, the beetroot is peeled to make it ready for use in a variety of dishes. Cooked beetroot sometimes also needs to be peeled. You can do this by cutting a small piece from the tip and by rubbing the skin off the cooked beetroot under cool, running water. Also, if necessary, remove the bottom end of the beetroot and any blemishes.

Boil the beetroot in water until tender. Summer and winter beetroots have different cooking times. Summer beetroot is also ideal for roasting in the oven. Ready-cooked beetroot should be used immediately after peeling. Beetroot can also be sliced, cut, cubed or coarsely grated for further use in cold or hot dishes.

  • Cube or coarsely grate for salads.
  • Use in soups, such as borscht, a well-known Russian beet soup.
  • Heat gently with a chopped shallot and a drop of vinegar and serve as a side dish.
  • Create a salad of thin Chioggia beet slices, persimmon wedges, toasted walnuts and a dressing of Becel salad oil, red wine vinegar, a little rosewater and coarsely ground pepper to taste.

PREPARATION TIME

  • Boiling: summer beetroot 20 to 25 minutes, winter beetroot two to three hours;
  • Pressure cooker: winter beetroot approx. 30 minutes;

Oven: approx. 50 minutes (200 °C).

How to store?

Summer beetroot can be stored for about a week in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator. Winter beetroot will keep for several weeks in a cool place (12 to 15 °C). Cooked beetroot should be kept in the refrigerator and should be used within two days, as it quickly loses its flavour and becomes soft.

Nutritional info

To ensure that you get the best out of your beet, it is advised that you need about 200 g of beetroot per person.

  • 38 kcal,
  • 2 g of protein,
  • 0 g of fat,
  • 6 g of carbohydrates, and
  • 3 g of dietary fibre.

If you’re looking for tasty recipes that have your heart health in mind, be sure to take a look at Flora’s selection of healthy recipes.

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