Saturday, 1 February 2014

Can't beat BEETS!

I am overwhelmed with beetroot in my garden at the moment! As it is the season and they are so good for you, I thought why not make them the star of this blog post. 

My addiction to iHerb.com is ongoing and have just placed my third order from the website. It is such a great resource for the health food and vitamins etcetera that are so hard to find in Christchurch/New Zealand and the shipping is only $8 from the US and the orders get to you within around a week. 

This week I also watched this fascinating documentary on Sugar Vs. Fat - which one is worse? I definitely recommend giving it a watch if you have some time.

Beetroot is of exceptional nutritional value; especially the greens, which are rich in calcium, iron and vitamins A and C. Beet roots are an excellent source of folic acid and a very good source of fibre, manganese and potassium. The greens should not be overlooked; they can be cooked up and enjoyed in the same way as spinach.


A 100g serving of raw beets provides:
43 calories   2g protein   0g fat     10 carbohydrate3g fibre      


Beetroots have long been used for medicinal purposes, primarily for disorders of the liver as they help to stimulate the liver's detoxification processes. The plant pigment that gives beetroot its rich, purple-crimson colour is betacyanin; a powerful agent, thought to suppress the developments of some types of cancer.
Beetroot is rich in fibre, exerting favourable effects on bowel function, which may assist in preventing constipation and help to lower cholesterol levels too.


Research:

Beetroot fibre has been shown to increase the level of antioxidant enzymes in the body, (specifically one called glutathione peroxidase), as well as increase the number of white blood cells which are responsible for detecting and eliminating abnormal cells. Beets are also one of the richest sources of glutamine an amino acid, essential to the health and maintenance of the intestinal tract.

Other studies have looked at the effect of beetroot juice on blood pressure. A reduction in blood pressure is beneficial for the avoidance of heart disease and stroke. Studies state that nitrate rich foods like beetroot may help in heart attack survival.

Source: BBC Good Food (http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/ingredient-focus-beetroot)



Here are some lovely other beetroot recipes for you to try:





Spiced Beet Cake with Orange Chocolate Frosting:

This recipe is: sugar free, low fat, high fibre, high protein, gluten free!



  • 244g (1 cup) Roasted Beet Puree (see instructions) + 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 183g (3/4 cup) Eggs - all white for less calories/mix of whites and whole eggs/3 whole large eggs
  • 96g (1/2 cup) Granulated Sweetener (I used 1/4 cup coconut sugar + 1/4 cup Xylitol)
  • 14g (1 Tbsp) Olive/Coconut (melted) Oil (or any other neutral oil)
  • 1 tsp Stevia Extract
  • 2 tsp Vanilla/Orange (If you are making the chocolate orange icing this would be a nice choice)
  • 1.5 tsp Cinnamon**
  • 1 tsp ground Mixed Spice**
  • 120g (1 cup) Oat Flour
  • 58g (1/2 cup) Spelt Flour*
  • 25g (1/4 cup) Buckwheat Flour*
  • 32g (1/4 cup) Cornflour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 15g (3 Tbsp) Regular Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)
  • 4 Tbsp (Preferably Natural) Red Food Colouring (I used Natures Flavours)
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 Tbsp White Vinegar
  • 1/4 - 1/3 cup Dark Chocolate Chips (I like to use Richfields Chocolate which is made in Christchurch)


*You can substitute the mix of the buckwheat and spelt with standard white/whole wheat flour - but then it won't be gluten free.
  • **This spice mix will help cover the 'beetness' 


Instructions for the Beetroot:

1. Wash and scrub fresh raw beetroot and trim off ends. 
2. Dry then wrap each individually in tin foil/aluminium foil. 
3. Place on a baking try in a Pre-heated oven (200 degrees C) for around 45-60 mins (until tender). 
4. Pull out of oven and let sit still wrapped until cool. 
5. Once cool, unwrap the beets and peel the skins off. 
6. Roughly chop the beetroot and place in a food processor.
7. Process beets until it becomes a puree.

Method for Cake:

  1. Set the oven temperature to 180 degrees Celsius and spray a standard (23cm) round/square cake pan with cooking spray 
  2. In a stand mixer bowl (I just used the food processor for this stage), add the beet puree, almond milk, egg whites, granulated sweetener, oil, stevia and extracts. Mix on low.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the oat flour, spelt flour, buckwheat flour, corn four, baking powder and salt, set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and food colouring, add to the stand mixer.
  5. With mixer still running slowly add dry ingredients (or if not using stand mixer: add wet from processor to bowl of dry ingredients).
  6. In a small bowl, add the baking soda and add the vinegar. It will fizz. Stir the mixture and pour into the stand mixer bowl. Increase mixer speed to medium and mix for about 10 seconds or just pour into bowl of combined wet and dry ingredients.
  7. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  8. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for ~30 minutes, or until centre is firm when tapped. Flip cake onto a wire cooling rack and cool completely.

Chocolate Orange Frosting:

  • 1 Orange zest and juice
  • 1 cup of Powdered/Icing Sugar
  • 2 heaped Tbsp of quality cocoa powder
Use water and more icing sugar to achieve the right icing texture.



Decoration (optional but so GOOD):

  • 50g of Orange Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate grated on a Micro-plane sprinkled over the entire cake and then small chunks scattered around the edges.

Nutrition for eight servings (I managed 11 out of this cake) - with chocolate chips and icing (cake has less than 10g of sugar without icing and chocolate): 


Nutrition Facts
User Entered Recipe
  8 Servings
Amount Per Serving
  Calories
281.2
  Total Fat
6.7 g
   
  Saturated Fat
1.8 g
   
  Polyunsaturated Fat
0.6 g
   
  Monounsaturated Fat
2.2 g
  Cholesterol
47.1 mg
  Sodium
333.3 mg
  Potassium
452.2 mg
  Total Carbohydrate
50.5 g
   
  Dietary Fiber
5.0 g
   
  Sugars
23.7 g
  Protein
7.3 g


Things I'm Loving At The Moment:

  • Luvocracy - online shopping made so easy!
  • iHerb.comIf you want to try the website you can use this code to get $10 off your first purchase of $40 or more and $5 off orders below $40: QRH293


  • Ascension Kitchen - for gorgeous plant-based raw food like these beautiful Tropicana bars that I'm dying to make!

  • Tropical Slice_1
    http://ascensionkitchen.com/raw-tropicana-bars/


    • Begoodorganics - "If you love good food, healthy living, and all things organic, our store and products will be perfect for you." If you sign up to their database you will get a regular VIP e-newsletter packed with delicious healthy recipes, organic living tips, inspiring plant-powered interviews, alongside our latest research on the best organic goodies we can find. 
    • High Performance Health  - is located right here in Christchurch. Their warehouse & retail shop is open 9am to 5.30pm to the general public 5 days a week. I use their vanilla whey protein which they process right here in Christchurch. There is no nasty additives, thickeners etcetera and 1kg of quality whey protein powder is only $45.

    • Richfields Chocolate Factory Shop - Open to the public at factory direct prices, stocking a wide range of chocolate bargains fresh from the factory door. Open every Friday from 12pm until 3pm. Located at 57-61 Disraeli Street, Addington, Christchurch.

    57/61 Disraeli St, Addington, Christchurch 8024


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