Many people eat beetroot because they incorrectly believe that it’s good for the blood. Although beetroot is a blood red colour, it is not high in iron so it’s not going to help prevent anaemia. However beetroot is good for you, but for different reasons. It contains no fat, very few kilojoules, and is a great source of fibre. Most people have tried the tinned variety of beetroot, but avoid the fresh kind because they don’t know how to prepare it for a meal.
Rosemary Stanton has some recipes for dressing-up fresh beetroot.
Beetroot can be eaten raw once it has been peeled. Try:
- Grating it finely to add to other vegetables
- Mix grated beetroot with raspberry vinegar
- Mix grated beetroot, grated orange rind and orange juice
- Plain grated beetroot is great on hamburgers
Fresh beetroot is usually sold by the bunch with its leaves still attached. To cook beetroot, trim off the top ends (leaves and some stem) but leave intact the skin and some of the stalk. This will prevent the beetroot from losing too much of its colour during cooking. Beetroot can be steamed or cooked in boiling water. Cooking time can be from 20 to 50 minutes depending on the size of the beetroot. Test the beetroot with a skewer: when it’s soft, remove it from the heat and cool it under running water – this will make the skin easier to remove for serving.
You can serve cooked beetroot:
- As a hot vegetable accompaniment to a meal; or
- Allow it to cool and slice it to put on a homemade burger.
For more of Rosemary Stanton’s advice on food and nutrition consult the revised edition of Rosemary Stanton’s Complete Book of Food and Nutrition (Simon & Schuster). Recommended retail price is $29.95.