Posts Tagged With: beetroot

Top Tips and Health Benefits of Juicing plus Kale, Beetroot and Green Pepper Juice Recipe

Beetroot, Kale and Green Pepper Juice

Beetroot, Kale and Green Pepper Juice

Here is your five a day in just a few gulps!  Juicing is the easiest way of supercharging your day and getting loads of shining fruits and veggies into your diet.

I love experimenting with new flavour combos in our morning juice.  What do we have available and will they sing together in a glass?!  This one is backed up by a hit of ginger and lemon (whole, the zest is awesome in many ways), apples, carrots and a handful of mint.  Its a feast and a massive wake up call to the immune system.  When you juice, you can forget about the need for expensive supplements, vitamin pills etc.  Nothing can compete with a fresh juice.  Juicing also helps in weight loss and makes you much sexier!!!

SUPERCHARGE YOUR DAY

Our favourite way to start any day is a glass of freshly made juice. It just seems to make perfect sense. Our bodies have just woken from (hopefully) a nice long sleep, when we have basically been fasting for many hours. We’re dehydrated and a little depleted, we need a serious boost of something nutritious and preferably, charged with vitality and vibrant flavours. Juicing is the easiest way to get loads of essential nutrients (vitamins, minerals, enzymes etc) down the hatch, very easy on the digestion and we can feel the benefit soon after. Energy levels rise and we get a healthy glow about us.

The contents of this juice are a sign that things are really flying now this summer. You could call this our ‘Veg Box Nectar’, basically whatever we get from the farm in a juicer with a little consideration for overall flavour. Really though, all these sensational veggies and fruits cannot taste bad in a glass. There are probably a few guidelines to a good juice; go easy on the cabbage, turnip or swede, too much whole citrus (with pith on) can be a little challenging.

We always try to add greens, like Kale, Chard or Spinach, to our juices as they are the bodies best friend.  Greens contain so many amazing nutrients, not to mention things like protein, calcium, iron….the list goes on and on.  They also contain bags of chlorophyll which helps the liver detox and purifies and rebuilds blood cells, also helping with high blood pressure.  Eating a lot of greens regularly, daily if possible, is our number one suggestion for staying healthy and feeling amazing.

TOP JUICING TIPS

EAT YOUR FRUIT AND JUICE YOUR VEGGIES – As a basic rule, this works a treat.  Many fruits are high in sugar and unless they are packed with fibre, can make your blood sugar levels rocket.  Its best to drink a balanced juice, with sweet fruits as a sweetener and not a base.  Some root vegetables can also be high in sugar, worth bearing in mind.  Having said that, a pure fruit juice is an awesome treat!

PREP WELL – Get everything cut down to size and peeled (if needed) before you start.  This will make juicing a breeze. We always fill our juicer shoot up (wide funnel juicers are best) before turning the machine on, this is more efficient.  Wash up before you drink the juice, for some reason, this seems to make it less of a chore!?  Not juicing because of the washing up is a very poor show.

DON’T HANG AROUND! – Juices are highly perishable and are best drank as soon as possible to get maximum flavour and health benefits.

REASONS TO GET JUICY

INTENSE NUTRIENTS – Juicing condenses down produce into a glass, you can cram so much goodness into a juice.  One glass can contain 5 carrots, 3 apples, 1 lemon, 5 kale leaves…….whatever your imagination can come up with!  To eat all of those in one sitting would take a long time and lot of chewing….

DIGESTION – Juices take almost no digestive energy, meaning the body is getting loads of nutrients and expending very little in return.  That energy can be used for other things like replenishing and rejuvenating.

LOSE WEIGHT, LOOK GOOD – Juices can really help here, accompanied by a good, balanced diet (we’d of course recommend a vegan diet) and regular exercise.  The intense nutrient hit you get from juicing helps keep the skin shining and hair and nails strong, it will also help to make you feel and look younger.

WHICH JUICER?

There are two main types of juicers, cold press or centrifugal.  We have always used a centrifugal juicer and if they are well made and powerful, produce good results and extract plenty of juice (you can check this by pressing out the waste pulp – this pulp can be made into tasty burgers or muffins).

Centrifugal juicers basically extracted the juice using a spinning blade.  Cold press (or masticating) juicers normally extract more juice and at low temperature, maintaining all of the nutrient content.  They are quieter and can be used to make nut milks, however, they are more expensive.

We’ve tried out many juicers and our favourites are Sage.  They sent us a juicer over a year ago and its been brilliant since then.  Very well made, easy to clean and powerful.  They are not the cheapest, but if you are serious about getting into juicing, its well worth the investment.

First Summer Strawberries

First Summer Strawberries

BERRY NICE SUMMER:)

We just ate our first wild strawberries from the garden and they were so sweet.  The song ‘Summer Wine’ by Lee Hazelwood and Nancy Sinatra sprang to mind.  A classic with a proper retro video.  Lee knows how to wear a moustache!  A perfect tune for strawberry munching in the sun.  Jane and I have been playing it recently on guitar and it’s a cheeky tune that makes people smile.  The raspberries are coming at Trigonos and we’ve been inundated with gorgeous gooseberries (so sweet) and blackcurrants (potently purple).  This time of year is just one long celebration of sensational seasonal produce, even the cauliflowers are making an appearance!

FAT, SICK AND NEARLY DEAD

This documentary came out a while back and has influenced loads of people and certainly spread the good juicing word around the globe.  Going on a juice fast can have wonderful health benefits, incredible transformations, as highlighted by the personal stories in this film.  Some friends of ours are going to try it out, although a shorter version, it will be interesting to see the results.  Jane and I feel that juice fasts can be an incredibly cleansing and revitalising opportunity, although we’d not recommend carrying them on for too long.  Juicing does take fibre out of your fruits and veggies and we love fibre in the BHK.  Its essential for maintaining good health and digestion.

Along with a healthy balanced diet, juicing can be a brilliant habit to get into, the benefits of which are best experienced to be believed!!!!

Here’s a recipe for a seriously tasty juice, full of zing and good things:

The Bits – For 2

3 kale leaves (with stems)

3 large carrots (scrubbed)

1-2 inch fresh ginger (peeled – with a teaspoon is easiest)

2 large apples (halved)

1 large beetroot (scrubbed – with leaves if you’ve got any)

1 green pepper (deseeded and halved)

1 small lemon (whole)

Do It

Pop all into a high speed juicer, leaves first, then ginger and lemon.  The carrot and apple will flush everything through.

Serve

In your favourite glass (or jars if you are trendy, or poor, or both) with a smile.

Foodie Fact

Beetroots are in the same family as chard and spinach.  The beetroot leaves (greens) are exceptionally high in iron, calcium, vitamin A and C.

Many athletes are now getting into beetroots.  Apparently it lowers muscle fatigue and is of course, amazingly nutritious with huge amounts of beta carotene and a good hit of sugar to keep you well fuelled for a workout.  Beetroot is also ideal for detoxing, as it kick started the detox process in the liver.  Ideal for a morning juice.

TOP BEET TIP – If you have beetroot fingers, all purple, try rubbing some lemon juice over them.  This helps.  Or wear gloves in the first place.

Categories: Breakfast, Detox, Healthy Living, Juices, Nutrition, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Beetroot and Cumin Fritters with Horseradish and Dill Yoghurt

Beetroot and Cumin Fritters from Peace and Parsnips

Beetroot and Cumin Fritters from Peace and Parsnips

This is a recipe taken straight from ‘Peace and Parsnips’, a nice light summer lunch:

These little fritters are bursting at the seams with flavours, and the herbaceous horseradish yoghurt tops things off very nicely. A punchy, zesty sauce is perfect with any fried food, lighting the palate up. The sweet earthiness of the beetroot and the fragrance of cumin were, very simply, made for each other. I like to use any green peas or beans for this, but the edamame probably have the edge due to their nice crunchy texture, which adds an almost nutty bite to the fritters. Use any flour you like, but I prefer to keep them gluten free. Gram (chickpea) flour would work well.

The Bits

1 large potato, scrubbed and cut into cubes
125g firm tofu, drained and well mashed
40g buckwheat or wholewheat flour
a handful of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
300g beetroots, scrubbed and coarsely grated
a handful of edamame/green peas/ broad beans
1½ tsp cumin seeds, toasted and roughly ground
vegetable oil, for frying

For the garnish
1 big handful of watercress or spinach leaves
2 spring onions, thinly sliced

For the Horseradish & Dill Yoghurt

350ml thick unsweetened soya yoghurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp finely grated horseradish or 1½ tablespoons horseradish purée
a handful of fresh dill, finely chopped
a pinch of sea salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Do It

Put the potato into a small pan, cover with water, add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Cook for 25 minutes, until soft. Drain in a colander, mash well and leave to cool.

For the Horseradish & Dill Yoghurt, stir all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Season and drizzle with olive oil. This can be done well in advance.

Once the potato has cooled to handling temperature, mix with the tofu, flour, mint leaves, lemon, salt and pepper. Now gently mix in the grated beetroot and peas, until all is well combined – using your hands is best. We’d like these fritters to be chunky and packed full of texture.

In a large, heavy frying pan, dry-toast your cumin seeds on a medium-low heat for a minute. They should pop and give off a lovely aroma. Put them into a pestle and mortar and bash them up a little, then stir them into the fritter mix.

In the same pan, warm ½ tablespoon of oil on a medium heat, ensuring that the base of the pan is evenly covered with a film of oil. Spoon in 2 heaped tablespoons of fritter mix per go, pressing it down a little with the back of the spoon until roughly 1cm thick. Cook for 3–4 minutes on one side and slightly less on the other. Repeat until you have a few fritters cooking at the same time, and continue to cook in batches. Drain on kitchen paper and keep them warm in a low oven.

Serve

Warm and crispy on a bed of vibrant green watercress or spinach leaves, garnished with the spring onions and with the horseradish and dill yoghurt on the side.

 

This recipe appeared on the Happy Foodie site where I’ve done an interview and there are several other Peace and Parsnips recipes over there.

Peace and Parsnips has also been voted ‘Top Cookbook Debuts 2015’ and ‘Top 5 Vegetarian Cookbooks 2015’  We are super chuffed!!!!!

Categories: gluten-free, Healthy Eating, Lunch, Peace and Parsnips, photography, Recipes, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Sage Nutri Juicer – Juicer Extraordinaire! A BHK Product Review

Sage Nutri Juicer

Sage Nutri Juicer

We have the distinct pleasure of giving a Sage Nutri Juicer a new home.  As regular BHK readers will know, Jane and I are partial to a morning juice.  Actually, without it we feel a little under nourished and lack the incredible zing! that a fresh juice gives you in your waking hours.  We had researched juicers and made up a shortlist, Sage where somewhere close to the top and definitely offer awesome value for money.  So when one arrived on our doorstep, delivered by the juice crane we presume, we unpacked it with joy and then things got really juicy!

Juicing is so very good for us its almost outrageous.  We find that a glass of good juice in the morning sates us until lunchtime at least.  We also feel cleansed and energised by the whole process.  Most fruit and vegetables can be juiced to good effect and this means that juicing is seasonal.  We find that broccoli for example makes a wonderful juice and the stalk even tastes a little like egg (which is more appetising than it may sound!).  We are also experimenting with recipes to utilise the pulp, normally discarded in the juicing process.  Nothing is wasted!

You cannot beat a fresh juice, preferably with organic fruit and veg when possible.  Please do not be fooled by processed juices or even worse, juices from concentrate.  Many of these popular juice brands are just vehicles for added sugar to enter your diet and we don’t need any more of that.  Fresh juices can also be high in sugar and it is worth balancing high sugar fruits and veg with lower sugar varieties, greens are a perfect example of this and bursting with nutrients and flavour.  They also make your juice look very cool indeed.

One more word on juicing and we’ll get on with our review.  Juices can be high in acid, that may, over a period of time, damage teeth.  Its worth bearing in mind.  Maybe brush your teeth after your morning juice (using non-flouride toothpaste por favor).

Our last juicer died in a dramatic flaming fashion, possibly due to one too many beetroots!  We think it was a little under powered and couldn’t really handle the hard stuff, root veg and all.  The Sage has no problems on this front, when you start it up, it sounds like an out-board motor and the high setting (there are two settings, high and low) cuts through hard vegetables like carrots like a knife through cashew butter.  We are also very impressed with the amount of juice extracted, the pulp is very dry and even on high setting (think helicopter taking off on your work surface!) the extraction of juice is brilliant.

The Nutri Juicer is easy to assemble and take apart and relatively simple to wash up (the bug bear of many a non-committal juicer).  The actual juice basket is as sharp as you’d imagine (like an uber grater), so taking care when washing it is important.  Sage have provided a great little scrubbing brush for this purpose. There are a few parts that come apart with ease and fit together with the help of a reassuring metal fitting.  It has a very solid feel when in use and is well balanced, no leaning or buzzing off around the work surface like some other juicers.  The discarded pulp flies out of the juicer into a purpose built bucket, which when lined with a compostible bag, makes for very easy disposal in the compost bin, no scraping or blocked sinks here.

The juicer basket and pulp bucket

The juicer basket and pulp bucket

The Nutri Juicer comes equipped with its own jug, which even acts as a measuring jug for the pedantic juicer or doubles up around the kitchen when baking etc.  As mentioned, the Sage is a powerful little contraption and this means that the juice comes out at a rate of knots, so the lid and rubber pouring spout are a must.  There is nothing worse that walls covered with fine drops of beetroot juice!  This power also means that the juice gets nicely whipped up and when extracted into the jug has a decent head on it.  We like to swill this around and combine it with the juice, but if you leave the lid on when pouring the juice, it will separate the froth from the liquid.

A large chute on a juicer is essential and the circular chute on this machine is perfect.  We have not found an apple that will not fit in there whole.  This juicer will take care of whole apples without breaking sweat.  Even if you are having a particularly hectic juice morning and the Sage overheats, it has a safety device which means that it will cut off and can then be used after 15 minutes of cooling down.

Mid juice - see the handy little rubber spout and cosy fitting jug.

Mid juice – see the handy little rubber spout and cosy fitting jug.

This Sage is a centrifugal juicer and we had originally thought about a masticating juicer, which is alot slower and really squeezes the life force out of things (which we then drink!)  They are generally more costly and there are only a handful of companies who make them, most based in the U.S.  This means added shipping miles and cost to the equation.  In the future, we’d love to try and ‘masticator’ but have been pleasantly surprised by the Nutri Juicer performance.  One criticism of a centrifugal juicer is that it heats the juice and kills some of the enzymes and goodness, but Sage have got around that with some very clever design.

The Nutri Juicer is a real looker, with a shiny metallic finish and simple design, it sits nicely on the kitchen surface.  Heston Blumenthal is involved with these guys and he seems to be a man who knows his way around a quality gadget.  The Sage juicers were also used in the documentary ‘Sick, Fat and Nearly Dead’, I haven’t seen it, but people in a bad way use juice to help them get fit and healthy.  I can see why they chose Sage, it is a well-priced juicer with brilliant overall performance.

Sage Nutri Juicer - Quite a looker!

Sage Nutri Juicer – Quite a looker!

For reference, we have a BJE410UK.

Juice, glorious juice.

Juice, glorious juice.

Beetroot, Apple, Ginger and Lemon Juice

Makes 2 glasses of purple morning sunshine

1 large beetroot, 3 carrots, 4 small apples, 2 inch cube of fresh ginger, 1/2 lemon (juice only)

Scrub your veggies, do not peel.  Cut the very ends off your veggies, they can get stuck in the juicer.  Ensure no soil or woody stems get into the juicer.

Get your juicer up to speed, higher setting is best as these are quite hard veggies.

Add ginger, beetroot, carrots and apple in that order.  Most flavourful and colourful to least seems to extract more flavour and colour.  Makes sense!

Squeeze your lemon juice separate and stir in at the end.

Ready to juice

Ready to juice

Categories: B.H.K Reviews, Detox, Juices | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Beetroot Leaf Soup

The Beet Leaves

With beetroots like these who needs spinach?!  Or something like that anyway.  With a regular supply of these beauties almost year-round you can expect alot more beetroot dishes on the BHK!  Really though, it is my favourite veg.  I know that is a bold statement for a veggie lover.  The ‘root is such a magnificent purple thing, but the leaves are just as good and this soup recipe puts them to good use.  We normally chop them up and put them into salads, so this is a nice change.

Now, the vast majority of Beach House readers are from over the pond, that is to say the USA.  We love you guys and must translate a little here, you may know these leaves as beet greens and beetroots are of course beets.  I like the name beets and beet leaf has a much better ring than beetroot leaf, but I must stay true my small island roots.

The beetroots we are buying at the moment from the farm all come with at least five crisp leaves and beautiful crimson roots.  You can really see the similarity with chard, especially swiss chard, they are all one big happy family.  As with most plants, the leaves contain more nutrients than the roots, one more reason to never, ever throw them away (I hear of people doing this).  What a waste!

This is a basic soup recipe and the beetroot leaves can be substituted for beetroots themselves, or most other veg.  This is a classic soup base that allows you to use up any veggies that you have hanging around.

As with most soups, its better the day after.  The flavours really come together and the piquant tomato flavour really comes through with the balsamic adding a lovely sweetness.

I decided on oregano here, because it is blooming at the minute in the herb garden.  You may prefer to use thyme or even rosemary would go nicely.

We made a big vat of soup here, feel free to half the quantities for a more modest pan full.

Makes one big pan full (eight bowls)

The Bits

1 tbs veg oil

2 sticks celery (chopped)

1 carrot (chopped)

4 cloves garlic (minced)

1 big white onion (chopped)

2 teas ground cumin

Leaves of 12 beetroots (well washed and roughly chopped)

2 tbs balsamic vinegar

2 stems of fresh oregano (leaves only, 2 teas dried oregano otherwise)

1.5ltr veg stock

5 ripe tomatoes (roughly chopped)

2 tbs organic tom puree

sea salt and cracked black pepper

 

Do It

Heat veg oil on medium in a suitably large pan, add onions and soften for a couple of minutes, add celery and carrot and continue cooking and stirring for a couple more minutes.  Then add cumin, garlic and balsamic, allow the vinegar to evaporate (getting rid of most of the acidity) then add you beetroot leaves and season with salt and pepper, stir in well.

Beet leaves wilting

Cook for a few minutes and when the leaves are wilting add the tomatoes, the oregano leaves and the puree, stir in and heat through, then add your stock and bring it all to the boil.  Lower heat and cover, cook for 20 minutes, until all veg is tender.  Then blend together using a hand blender or in batches in a food processor.  The soup should be smooth, no lumps, check seasoning.

Blitz it up!

Serve

In warm bowls, topped with some oregano leaves and fresh cracked black pepper.

Beetroot Leaf Soup

We Love It!

A great summer warmer (needed in these climes), we love the combination of balsamic and beetroot, sweet and tangy coming together nicely with the deep and hearty tomatoes.  A lively, zingy soup, jam packed full of flavour and goodness.

Having a good slurp. YUM!

Foodie Facts

Beetroot leaves are full of fibre, protien and vitamin C, which we need constant supplies of because our bodies cannot store it.  One cup of beetroot leaves gives you 60% of your daily dose of C.  The best news is the vitamin A content, one cup contains 220% of your daily intake.  Cor!  They also contain alot of calcium, most people think that calcium comes from cows, but there are so many other ways of getting your calcium.

Categories: Recipes, Soups, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Beetroot and Apple Raita

Beetroot and Apple Raita

The perfect accompaniment to the ‘Hippy Daal’.  This sweet, crunchy, fruity raita salad is the ideal side dish to spicy rich food, also great as a salad in its own right.

This is a really nice twist on your normal raita recipe. Absolutely nothing wrong with the original recipe, but when you have amazing beetroots and apples in the bowl, you just have to play with flavours!

Of course we love beetroot at the BHK, for the most part, we live on the stuff.  We juice it, chop it, grate it……our table is incomplete without a little purple plate or two.

I like using the apples here, because I would normally sweeten my raita, but with these apples it doesn’t need it.

Jane and I on the beach today, enjoying the a little bit of sun (too rare).

The raita will look great if you try and chop all components in an even way.  Squares work well!  Circles more difficult, but very impressive!

Make sure your yoghurt isn’t too thick, water it down if needed.  Otherwise you could have a sticky mess on your hands.  The fresh mint makes this dish, so do try and get some together.  It is really easy to grow and we have found it saves alot of hassle (and money) to have some planted outside or on a window ledge.  If given space, it will spread like wildfire and you’ll never have a fresh mint crisis again (you’ll also have an endless supply of amazing mint tea).

The Bits

1 medium sized beetroot (peeled or scrubbed and chopped), 1 sweet organic apple (chopped), 1/2 cucumber (chopped), 1 small courgette (chopped), 1/2 teas ground cumin, 1 clove of crushed garlic, 1 handful of chopped fresh mint (chopped), 150 ml of yoghurt (we use soya, greek/turkish would be amazing)

Do It

Add all ingredients to a bowl and give it a good stir.

Beetroot and Apple Raita (Raw)

Serve

Leave for at least an hour before serving, let the flavour’s gather.  Serve as you like, traditionally with a stonking curry or as we like, as a main course salad with some green leaves.  Add nuts (hazelnuts, walnuts) to make it more of a meal of it.

We Love It!

Creamy, spicy, fruity and what a crunch!  Difficult to find anything wrong with a raita.

Foodie Fact 

Mint is high in fibre and magnesium.  It is very high in vitamin A and folates and also packs some serious vitamin C.  It also helps with all sorts of stomach issues.

Categories: Raw Food, Recipes, Salads, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Purple Joy Juice

Lovely farm produce

This is the ultimate juice for us at the minute. Beetroots don’t come anymore vivid and radiant than the ones we are getting from the farm. We are buying them by the bunch, with their long tasty leaves still on. It is a real treat to be able to use such amazing produce.

You cannot mess around with juicing. There are no textures to confuse the palate, there is nowhere for poor produce to hide. If you juice something grown in mass barns by machines (possibly) you won’t get any flavour and little colour. There will be no joy in your juice. You can see by the photos, this juice was brimming with purple joy.

Juiced beetroot is quite potent and a powerful elixir for the body.  They have discovered that its boosts athletes performance, according to the Independent newspaper.  So much so, that beetroot juice is being called the new super fuel for athletes.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see some ‘purple joy’ being cracked open at the Olympics this summer.

Beauty beets

There is a new brand in the UK shops called ‘Beet It’, an organic beetroot juice that is really getting this message across.  Its good to see this type of juice alongside the sugary, from concentrate brigade that you normally find.  So much rubbish can be hidden in most fresh fruit juice cartons.

There is no getting around this, to juice, you need a juicer.  Sorry….. (get a red Magimix like ours, they’re ace!)

The purple joy juice is so sweet and is really revitalising, after a few minutes you are buzzing in the nicest possible way.  Full of energy, like a bee.  If you need a pick me up, hit the beets…..

The Bits

3 vibrant beetroots, 4 carrots, 1 big juicy apple, small piece of celery.

Do It

Juice the beetroots first, we don’t peel anything, just scrub it a little and trim off tops and bottoms when necessary.  Then the carrots, celery and apple.  Leave the juicer on for a while to catch all the precious dribbles.

Purple Joy Juice

Serve

We like ours out of jars, but glasses will do just fine.

We Love It!

We are drinking this everyday at the moment and a friend warned that too much beetroot juice actually turns you purple!

Foodie Fact

Beetroots contains lots of Nitrogen Oxide and scientists have only recently discovered how wonderful this stuff is for the body.  It is a regulator of blood pressure, controls blood flow to certain organs, is a stamina enhancer via oxygen usage efficiency and is a weapon against infection.

Categories: Juices, Local food, Recipes, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Beetroot & Sprouts Salad with Strawberry Dressing

Hello Beauty Strawbs….we are going to eat you…..

This is a vibrant looking thing.  Beetroots, Radish and Strawberry coming together for a colour-fest!

The beetroots we are getting at the moment are amazing, we are buying them from the farm by the bunch; quite small roots, but huge leaves. They are proving excellent value as the leaves are lasting for a few days salad-wise.  The leaves are actually more nutritious than the roots.  Its great to be able to eat the whole thing, no waste at all.

Beetroot, as we all know, is a vivid customer. Mainly due to the lasting impression it makes on your hands and nails when handling it. My advice, rubber gloves. I have no problems donning the marigolds in the kitchen, you do lose the ‘feel’ of cooking, but you gain a fantastic stain proof layer!

We are also getting a good supply of strawberries with actual flavour, always a challenge at this time of year.  It seems that most people just want to cash in on this highly prized crop and do naughty things to grow them. Whatever they are up to, it completely saps their flavour.   Anyway, our strawbs are ace!

I liked the sound of strawberry and beetroot, I liked the way it looked in my mind and it soon ended up in a bowl.   I’ve used beetroot for desserts in the past (stuck some in a chocolate cake to great effect) and thought I’d give the strawberries a similar reverse treatment.  They make for a really tart dressing and something I would highly recommend with any sweet-ish salad base.

Food processors are a choppers best friend.  They do the hard work, while you stand there holding the button, wondering how much longer you can handle such a mental noise!  Ours rattles like a badly oil cement mixer on overdrive.  We used the contraption for the beetroots here and for the radish, it saved valuable minutes of our precious lives.

Radishes are funny little things, my Grandad loved to grow them in his allotment, but never seemed to know how to eat them.  I think this was a general trend.  This salad does them justice and I’m sure Bobby would have been proud, if a little confused by the pink dressing.  I love a radish for its crunch and it just so happens that the colour goes very well with beetroot.

This is quite a sweet salad and very pretty, but we had to give it a dose of sprouts.  They are so tasty and chock-ful of good things.  Ideally served with some cashew cream cheese.

Beetroot and Radish Salad with Strawberry Dressing

The Bits

Salad

3 whole beetroots (leaves and all)

Around 8 radishes (thinly sliced)

1 big handful of sprouting green lentils (or a sprout of your choice)

2 handfuls of spinach

 

Dressing (makes 1 small tub full)

2 handfuls of strawberries (washed and stemmed)

1/3 cup great olive oil

Sprinkle of good sea salt

Good few turns of cracked black pepper

2 tbs white wine vinegar

1 tbs purified water

1 teas of sweetener i.e. agave syrup (if needed).

 

Do It

Make your dressing, add all bits to a food processor and blitz for a minute.  Taste and add sweetener if your strawberries are a little tart.  Set aside, will keep nicely overnight, so you can make in advance if your that organised.

Take your beetroots of the stems and scrub them well.  Cut off an unsightlies.  Take the stems and cut into cubes, then cut up a few leaves, finely shred, to be used as a base.  Mix with the spinach and place in a nice big salad bowl.  Place a few of the whole beetroot leaves over the edge of the bowl, covering the whole circumference to make a nice looking bowl.

Add the slicing blade to your FP and slice your radishes, then take your shredding tool-thing and shred all of your beetroots.  Put them in a bowl and mix in a few tbs of the dressing, until well coated.  Then take that mixture and place it in the salad bowl.  Finish with a good sprinkling of sprouts (not essential).

Serve

Non rawers, sprinkle a roasted pumpkin seeds, rawers (you brave and wonderful few!) tuck in from your favourite bowl and let the flavours dance in your mouth!

Beetroot and Radish Salad with Strawberry Dressing

We Love It!

This turned out a treat, a little unusual, and we’ll be making strawberry dressing again.

Foodie Fact

Radish is one of the most nutritious root vegetables.  Apparently you can get a black Spanish radish, but I’ve never encountered such a thing.  You can also buy watermelon radishes that have a sweet flavour and look like watermelons when you cut into them.  What amazing things you learn writing a blog!

The Chinese have a saying:

“Eating pungent radish and drinking hot tea, let the starved doctors beg on their knees”.  Poor doctors.

As with most veggies, they are packed full of only good things for the body.  They are a very good source of anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins and dietary fiber.  High in vitamin C especially.

Categories: Raw Food, Recipes, Salads, Vegan, Welsh produce | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Sunflower and Beetroot Pate (Raw)

Raw Sunflower and Beetroot Pate

A pinky purple veggie/ raw pate that will get your taste buds zinging and brighten up any happy plate.

The wind is howling outside, probably smashing our poor little runner beans and sunflowers.  I can’t bring myself to go out and check them.  Its the worst possible weather for our newly planted veggies and flowers.  We are hoping they’ll tough it out.  We need cheering up with some vibrant food and colours. Thankfully we got out hands on some delicious organic beetroots and already had a batch of sunflower seeds sprouting, so the combination seemed logical (and tasty).

We are eating alot of salad, as you would imagine being raw this month (rabbit food we are regularly told.  Lucky rabbits!) but like to have something a little different on the side.  Another texture to compliment the crunch of the salad, this pate is perfect for that.

It has a light texture, but is full of flavour and I imagine would be great spread on toast (like the other livery stuff).  We have added hazelnuts to the recipe in the past, which gives it a fuller texture and richness.

We use Blodyn Aur rapeseed oil here because it is delicious and from Wales.  It has a lovely nutty and buttery flavour that is totally unique.  It also contains 11 times the amount of omega oils compared to olive oil.  If you are in the U.K., keep your eyes peeled for it.  It’s a star.  You could however use a good quality olive oil or flax seed oil.

We seem to be using alot of jars with this new diet change.  Having been saving them for so long, I’m glad to get some use out of them.  They are ideal for shaking up and storing dressings and this pate will keep for a couple of days refrigerated in a jar.  They also happen to look much cooler than a clunky tupperware!  That rustic look that is very fashionable in our hamlet.

The Bits
Makes one large jar
3 small beetroots, 2 carrots, 1 stick of celery, 2 handfuls of spinach, 1 courgette, handful of parsley, 1 small red onion, 1 cup sprouted sunflower seeds, 2 tbsp rapeseed oil (olive oil is fine), 1 big handful of black olives (de-stoned), juice and zest (finely chopped) of 1 lemon, 2 tbsp tamari, 2 tsp cumin, 1 red chilli, 3 cloves garlic.

Raw Sunflower and Beetroot in the mix

Do It

Add all ingredients to a blender and blitz until a smooth paste is formed.  You may need to stop and scrape down the sides a few times, to ensure that all is blended nicely.

Serve

Finish with another glug of oil and some chopped parsley and sunflower seeds.  Great as a side dish, or as a dip.  You may also like to spread it thickly on things that you like.

We Love It!

It packs so many nutrients and flavours into one little paste.

Foodie Fact

Sunflower seeds are a great source of nutrition, a really concentrated food.  It is an excellent source of vitamin E, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant.

Sprouted sunflower seeds are full of iron and chlorophyll which helps to detoxify the liver and blood.  They also contain the wonderfully named, phytosterols, which act like a superhero all over the body, battling all sorts of nasties.

PS – Here’s a gratuitous shot of our morning bowl of happiness bathed in a few rare and cherished rays of sunshine:

Today’s fruity cereal

Categories: Raw Food, Recipes, Side Dish, Vegan, Welsh produce | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Red Onion & Beetroot Tatin, Green Lentil Stew, Orange & Mint Dressing

My Dad is visiting, he likes his food meaty, hearty and tasty. This dish seemed to fit the bill (even though it had no pork chops in it!)

We had a thorough beer tasting before dinner, sampling the full range on offer. This got my inspiration well oiled for cooking dinner. Like almost all of the BHK food, this required little thought, preparation and execution.

The tatin works a treat with the sweetness of carrot, onion and beetroot being lifted by the touch of balsamic and orange. You can do the tatins individually, but one large one is easier and much more impressive when you flip it out (queue a few ‘ooohhhhhhsss!)
The green lentil stew would be better with puy lentils, but they were expensive. Your humble green lentils still have a nice bite with some earthy flavour. The stew is rich with addition of coriander.

The orange and mint dressing is an added dimension of flavour that balances the sweetness of the tatin.

I’m not a huge pastry fan at the minute, but this was a real treat. Dad happy munched away, without mentioning sausages of chops for at least half an hour. A major breakthrough!

We are so lucky that all of these veggies come from Hootons, the organic farm down the road.

The Bits

Tatin
Puff Pastry (we bought ours, make your own if you prefer, enough to adequately cover your dish, needs to be snug)

1 chopped carrot

1 red onion

2 beetroots (veg should fit snuggly in your dish after cooking, so add around a 1/4 more initially and allow for shrinkage)

Small glug of balsamic vinegar

Glug of cooking oil (we use sunflower)

1 knob vegan butter/ margarine

2 teas of fresh thyme

Zest of 1/2 orange

Juice of half an orange

2 teas light brown sugar.

 

Lentil Stew
3 cups of green/ puy lentils

1 finely chopped onion

2 garlic cloves

Big handful of chopped cherry tomatoes

1 carrot

Zest and juice of half a lemon

Handful chopped coriander

1 bay leaf

1 glug olive oil

1 teas thyme

1 teas chilli flakes,

Good veg stock.

 

Dressing
Zest and juice of half a orange

1/2 cup of good olive oil

Handful of finely chopped mint

1/2 teas dijon mustard

Touch of sweetener (to just slightly sweeten)

Alittle lemon juice (if your orange is super sweet, needs a little sourness in the dressing)

Salt + Pepper

 

Do It

Preheat an oven, 200oC.

Lentils

Cover the lentils with water and bring to a simmer in veg stock, add bay leaf, herbs (not coriander), veggies (except toms), chilli (monitor chilli level depending on who’s eating!).

Cook for half and hour, or until tender.  5 minutes before serving, add toms and olive oil, stir well and just before serving stir in the lemon and coriander.

Tart

Roughly roll out and measure you pastry, should be slightly larger than the dish you are using, prick well with a fork, keep in fridge until needed. We used a heavy bottomed oval casserole dish.

Tatin Pre-bake

Heat dish in the oven for a few minutes, then take out and add your oil, veggies, sugar, vinegar, thyme and season.  Mix well and bake in the oven for half an hour or until caramelised.  Then take out dish, squeeze on orange juice and a splash more oil.  Stir the veggies around to loosen and coat with the oil, make sure the veggies are packed in nice and tight (and flat), then carefully lay on your pastry case (brush top side with some olive oil), tuck in at edges, should fit nice and snug.  Put back in oven for 20-25 mins, or until pastry is nicely golden brown…..

Prepare dressing.  Add all ingredients to a bowl (small blender would be good for this) and mix vigorously together.  Check for seasoning and make sure its nicely citrus, to balance the sweetness of the tart.  Perfect when drizzled on all over the tart.

This is a good time to throw a green salad together.

P1150134

The Voila! Moment

Take tatin out of oven and grab a serving plate that fits over the dish, place on top and skillfully using your oven gloves/ cloth, hold plate and dish together and flip over.  There should be a nice gentle thud, your tart is turned! Take off dish and viola!  A steaming, beautifully caramelised tatin in all its sticky glory.

Green Lentil Stew

Serve 

We chopped the tart up and served everything family style on the table with a nice glass of beer (flavoured with elderflowers!) and a green salad (rocket, romaine lettuce, cucumber and more mint).

We Love It!

This was a proper feast for St Georges Day.  The patron saint of England (I am English) and countless other countries, including Syria, Serbia and the Isle of Gozo.  Strange day really, celebrating the slaying of a dragon?!

Foodie Fact

You know we love our beet!  The greens of beetroots contain more nutrition than the roots and a higher iron content than spinach.  Beetroot is a great blood cleanser and builder for the blood.

 

Categories: Baking, Dinner, Dressings, Local food, Organic, Recipes, Special Occasion, Welsh produce, Wine and Booze | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

The B.H.K Awards – Top 15 Seasonal Superfoods (Winter)

Beat those dark winter nights. Blow away those frosty morning blues. Hah! These foods give your body a super kick and are packed full of a feel good vibes. Spring is getting closer, but these beauties will help you across the dark season finish line.

Everybody seems to love a ‘Top 10’.  So surely a ‘Top 15’ is better?!  I was looking into healthy eating and came across several sites claiming to have the definitive selection of ‘Top 10 Superfoods’. I don’t know who or when the term ‘Superfood’ was created, but I like it. It simply suggests food that is super packed full of goodness.

Superfoods come into their own in the busy modern world, when we don’t always have time to prepare meals. They can be grabbed and munched, giving a nutritious boost.  This is especially important during winter when the sun retreats early and the cold can chill you to the bone. It’s a strenuous time for body and mind.

I’ve compiled my own Winter ‘Top 15’ (better than 10) below. The criteria are simple. Is it tasty? Is it also super healthy? Do we eat it regularly? Is it local(ish) and seasonal? I haven’t added things like spirulina, goji berries, wheatgrass etc, although they are very healthy they don’t have the delicious-ness. They are just not your everyday hero.

Our selection will inevitably change towards summer, expect another instalment.

All of these contenders are packed with goodness and if eaten with other healthy bits and some regular exercise, will keep you shining all winter.

15) Red Wine – Dodgy start you may say.  Well yes and no.  I’ve managed to stem the tide of wine in recent years.  Everything in moderation.  Grapes provide vitamin C, vitamin  B1 and vitamin B6–red grapes also contain powerful phytochemicals (especially  phenolics) that may help decrease risk of cardiovascular disease. These compounds are housed mostly in the skin of the red grapes, which gives red wine its colour. Resveratrol, found in the skins of red fruits has been shown to have anti-oxidant, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory activity.

14) Green tea – Not exactly a local crop, but this brew has a serious ‘feel good’ effect in the mornings.  Green tea contains polyphenols, which may reduce heart disease, cancer and stroke risk. Green tea also supports brain health and memory, likely due a key compound in green tea called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), a flavonoid. EGCG is thought to boost the immune system and prevent tumors. Aim for at least two cups daily.

12)  Whole grains (whole wheat, barley) – Bread and beer, not healthy really, but ever so British.  Two of the myriad of uses for the humble, yet essential whole grain.  Whole grains help stabilize blood sugar and insulin and may protect against heart disease. They include all three parts of a grain kernel: the bran, germ and endosperm. Whole wheat flour, brown rice and barley are all whole grain foods. Look for the words “whole grain” on the label, and the word “whole” immediately before the name of the grain in the list of ingredients.  Contrary to popular perception, the benefits of whole grains go well beyond fiber and fiber’s role in digestive health. Whole grains contain vitamins B and E; the minerals magnesium, selenium and zinc; phytonutrients; that appear to work together in powerful ways.

Panamanian Bean Mix (Good name for a band)

11) Beans –  A staple.  Anybody who knows me, understands my passion for these little beauties.  A fabulous source of vegetarian protein and fibre, two nutrients that help you stay full and satisfied.  Important to feel fully sustained in winter.  The protein and fibre in beans also tempers the rise in blood sugar that occurs after a meal, which can help stabilize mood. The fibre in beans helps keep you regular. Beans are low in fat and a good source of magnesium and potassium, nutrients that work together to lower blood pressure and keep your heart and blood vessels healthy. Added bean bonus: They’re cheap and when growing add vital nitrogen back to the soil.

10) Pumpkin – Orange veggies are all loaded with Vitamin A, vital in the winter when the sun is so shy. We are lucky to have two different varieties growing locally to give us some variety.  Pumpkin is loaded with nutrients that will help your heart, bones, eyes, and skin shining.  Beta-carotene and potassium are the two standouts here: Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that helps rejuvenate skin, protect your vision, and may even reduce risk of arthritis. Potassium is a mineral involved in lowering blood pressure and maintaining healthy bones.  There is nothing sweeter than a well roasted pumpkin?

9) Oats – Are technically whole grains, but get their own section in these parts.  Britain, this windswept little island, has been fuelled on the stuff since early man first landed here.  I don’t think any food better sums up our predicament and history.  The oats in porridge acts as central heating for your body, one bowl in the morning and you’ll be simmering all day.  Eating oats is good for those with high cholesterol.  Whole grain oats are one of the best sources of soluble fibre, which, in addition to lowering cholesterol, helps keep blood sugar levels under control.  No peaks and troughs, just plain sailing.

8) Olive oil – Reminds me of my other home in Spain.  My heart generally resides there, as my body does the rounds.  The freshly pressed oils of Murcia are hard to come by here, but with our uber consumerist ways, good olive oil is easy to find.  One of the best types of fat you can opt for in your diet.  Olive oil helps to protect against heart disease and cancer. Recent research shows that heart-attack survivors on a Mediterranean diet had half the death rates of those on an ordinary low-fat diet.  Nice to know.  Spaniards do eat a lot of fish, which keeps them healthy, but normally drink like one too.  However olive oil is also high in antioxidant activity.  Is there nothing this golden amritar is not capable of?!

7)  Crucifers (broccoli, kale, cabbage) – This family thrives around here.  They are so tasty and versatile.  Trigonos (our organic veg farm) grows the finest red cabbage and kale imaginable.  In fact, all of their vegetables are rather special.  Cruciferous vegetables contain indole alkaloids that may help prevent the big C.  They are high in fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.  Foods from the cruciferous and cabbage family (including broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, collards and turnips) may help bolster memory as you age.  Something I need help with right now!

6) Tomatoes – Grown in a local poly-tunnel.  We are so blessed to be surrounded by die hard green fingers.  These wonderful orbs contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant shown to help stimulate the immune system and protect from certain cancers, especially prostate. Lycopene is more highly concentrated in cooked tomato products including tomato paste, passata or tomato sauce.

5) NUTS (Walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, cashews etcetc)Generally, limit yourself to a handful of nuts per day.  But what a handful!  Nuts are so precious.  They are not local, but are one of our favourite treats.  Adding a dose of almonds daily helps the intake of key nutrients, lowering the intake of dietary detractors like trans fats, excessive sodium, sugars and cholesterol. Eating nuts may help protect against heart disease and inflammation, enjoying 11 walnuts daily reduces total cholesterol by up to 4 percent.  Walnuts also look like a brain, so are good for your brain (Ayuvedic wisdom).  They are a rich source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, as well as a compound called ellagic acid that has been shown to reduce artery-forming plaque.  Love NUTS!

4) Leeks – It goes without saying that this gorgeous Allium would crop up.  We are in Wales after all.  Regardless of that fact, leeks are one of my favourite vegetables.  Packed with flavour, vitamins, minerals and flavanoid anti-oxidants.  They are low in calories and contain both soluble and in-soluble fibre.  They contain lots of folic acid, essential in DNA synthesis and cell division.   Vitamin wise the are packed with A (hooray) and C, which not only protects against infections, but also harmful free radicals.  Wear your leeks with pride!  So much tastier than a rose (not to mention a thistle).

3) The Cuppa (Tea) – Another tea?  Why not!  The elixir of the B.H.K.  Without it, we’d be lost and flaccid. The caffeine content in tea is useful for stimulating alertness, mood and motivation, but is also a rich source of the antioxidant called catechins. Studies suggest that catechins protect the artery walls against the damage that causes heart disease and prevents the formation of blood clots. It also does wonders for the spirit on a dark winters day.  Avoid drinking too much milk, try a slice of lemon or drink good quality tea black.  It’s one of those things that will grow on you.

2) Dark Chocolate – The finest of news.  Believe it or not, chocolate is a healthy treat, as long as you choose wisely. Dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids, antioxidants that have been shown to lower blood pressure, improve blood flow, and boost overall heart health. Choose chocolate that is at least 70 percent cacao or cocoa to optimize the antioxidant power and health benefits. Dark chocolate may even boost your mood. The rich taste and sensuous mouth-feel of a decadent piece of dark chocolate may be to thank (remember the Flae advert Brits).  Just don’t eat a whole bar. Our favourite is Green and Blacks.

1) Beetroot (or beta vulgaris) – King Crimson!  The dark purple avenger!  Anything that comes out of the dark soil this colour, is bound to be packed full of good.  The pigment that gives beets their super-beautiful fuschia depth (betacyanin) is a powerful cancer-fighting agent. Beets’ potential effectiveness against colon cancer, in particular, has been demonstrated in several studies. Beets are also particularly rich in the B vitamin folate (see above) and the mighty vitamin C.  If you’re lucky enough, use the leaves.  They are higher in vitamin A and anitoxidants than the root.  We roast them up, put them in cakes, pickles, pies…..They add amazing hues of purples and pinks to anything they touch (including your chopping board) and generally brighten up any day.  Truly our winter king.

So Beetroot is the winner.  What drama!  I wonder who it will be in the summer (strawberries).

Heart of the 'root

Categories: Ayurveda, Healthy Eating, Healthy Living, Nutrition, photography, Superfoods, Tea, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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