beetroot

Beet, Apple, Lemon + Spinach Smoothie

Fresh fruits & vegetablesMy Mum donated some beets to yours truly that a friend had gifted her from their veggie garden – that’s the nicest, I need these friends! Anyway, I just love making things with produce grown in someones garden and then passed along for others to enjoy. Whenever this happens I always end up cooking something really random, it definitely gets the creativity flowing! Take marrows, although I like them I wouldn’t usually buy them but if someone gave me a marrow from their garden, well firstly I’d be honoured but mainly I’d have fun making something tasty out of it…albeit random!Delicious red smoothie

Growing vegetables full stop is too impressive to me but I did actually have my own patch in our garden as a kid – potatoes, onions, carrots and strawberries, funny the things we remember. I’m totally feeling inspired to start a little growing myself but I need to get Russ to build me a few planting boxes first. I’ll start small, maybe simple salad leaves, onions etc, this isn’t a random list but what people tell me are the easy growers. I know I’m going to love it purely gaged on the weirdly high level of enjoyment I get from cutting parsley I grow myself. It’s true, I hope I don’t sound too weird!

I’m right bang in the middle of a juicing phase so of course I was going to make a red smoothie. All I needed was a small leap of faith and I’d be there! Yes, I put beetroot in the Vitamix, hoping and praying that it wouldn’t stain. It didn’t, phew! Now I’m safe in the knowledge that I can pulse my beets without fear of stainage! That’s good news, because beets combined with the right ingredients are gooood juiced up. I shared it with Russ because sharing is caring and this is his favourite so far. It was pretty delicious but I still prefer the meaner greener smoothies.Red smoothies process

Sweet, smooth, earthy and zingy – it definitely perked me up after! This is an energising and cleansing beverage for any time of the day, with three servings of freshness and a good protein boost from the chia seeds. A smoothie juice with a winning edge.

Do you grow your own veggies? What’s the easiest to grow?Delicious red smoothie

Beet, apple + spinach smoothie

(serves 2)

1 beet, peeled & chopped
! apple, chopped
2 large handfuls spinach
1/2 frozen banana
juice of 1 lemon
4 ice cubes
1 cup water
1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Grilled Beet Burger

Beet burger served in a quinoa bun

I haven’t always been a vegetarian, I used to be a ‘flexitarian’ (I ate beef!) so I really can say  that this is better than any beef burger I’ve ever eaten, hands down. For me, the taste and texture is hard to beet and I’d  make them again in a heart beet. Sorry. Seriously, I’m pretty fussy when it comes to veggie burgers and I’m beginning to think these could be the ones.  They would definitely hold their own in the veggie burger arena. I’ve gotta make them again just to make sure so I’ve lined up more beetroot and feta for another shot this week! I ‘m on a mission to perfect the grilled beet burger!DSC_5638

I really do think it’s important to have a ‘go to’ burger when you’re a vegetarian, like a silent reply to the ‘succulent’, ‘juicy’ beef burger jibes non-meat eaters seem to get! I went to a BBQ at the weekend. I was asked again,  ‘Why don’t you eat meat?’, followed by, “But what about burgers?”. But what about them, really. The thing is, I know I’m not missing out because I’ve eaten meat for the majority of my years. When I finally cut it out for good, I realised that it was me who had been missing out all this time. It’s OK though, I’m making up for it on this vegetarian extravaganza. These beet burgers are more than a burger made of beetroot to me. They are proof  that eating a plant based diet is not only healthier but infinitely tastier and aesthetically more appealing too. So, no I don’t want a beef burger thanks. I NEED to have a great veggie burger recipe up my sleeve and I’ll keep trying new ones because believe me, there is no limit to the flavour possibilities of a meatless burger. I dunno, maybe I’m just marching to the beet of a different drum. Come on, that one is good!

DSC_5623
Could these be better for you?

Anyway, about the burger. Superfood Beetroot is a great base for a burger, not only in terms of colour and texture but each burger contains 1 of your 5 a day with sizeable helpings of potassium, magnesium, iron and vitamin C. Great news and there’s more of that from the scientists too. Research has shown how beetroot can actually lower blood pressure whilst increasing blood flow to the brain which may fight dementia. Powerful.

So they’re not exactly bad for you but here’s a few tips for the preparation stage. Squeeze as much juice out of the beets and onion before mixing with the other ingredients. Soak the mixture for at least 30 minutes so the flavours infuse and the oats swell to form a pink, plump meaty lump. This results in a nicely workable mixture that makes burger formation easy peasy,  Lastly, I felt that frying them on one side and finishing under the grill gave the best end result. All set? Oh but a word of warning first: after grating, squeezing, patty forming a beet mix, be prepared for the beetroot massacre on your hands and chopping board and hands post recipe? Totally worth it though.Beet burger -step by step

Served simply in a quinoa bun with fried onion, parsley and lettuce.

Russ thought these were hard to beet too!
Russ thought these were hard to beet too!

Grilled beet burger

(serves 2)

1 apple size raw beetroot, peeled & grated
1/2 small onion, peeled & grated
1 clove of garlic, peeled & grated
75 grams oats
75 grams feta, grated
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 organic egg
1 tablespoon of olive oil
salt & pepper
oil for frying

Method:

1. Combine the beetroot, onion & garlic. Squeeze out excess juices and return to the bowl.
2. Add the oats, feta & basil. Mix thoroughly.
3. In a seperate cup/bowl mix the egg, oil, salt & pepper. Add this to the main bowl, combining thoroughly. Leave to soak for a minimum of 30 minutes.
4. Form into 4 small or 2 large patties.
5. Heat oil in a pan. Fry burgers on one side for 5 minutes & finish under a medium heat grill until browned. Serve immediately.