Beetroot

Gluten Free Beetroot and Chocolate Cake

photo 1
photo 1

I first made this cake on a cold Autumn day in London. I wanted something rich, comforting, and of course with chocolate but still relatively healthy. I started researching recipes and found one that looked, and sounded delicious, a combination I had never thought of before, beetroot and chocolate! Luckily I had just been to the Notting Hill Farmers Market and bought a big bunch of beetroot so I decided to give it a go. I invited my neighbour Caroline over and we waited for it to bake in the oven, both curious to know the outcome. As it was nearly done, this beautiful sweet chocolatey smell started to take over the flat, and I knew it was going to be a good one! We both had a bite and were in heaven, it was a perfect balance of natural sweetness cut with the bitterness of dark chocolate. So I recently had some beetroot sitting in the fridge and decided to recreate the cake, but this time making a gluten free version using buckwheat flour.

photo 2
photo 2

Buckwheat flour is a great gluten free alternative to whole wheat flours, also it is almost always organic as it grows very rapidly without the use of pesticides. It's high in protein which is great for vegetarians and vegans alike, and has a low glycemic index which means it slowly releases glucose into the bloodstream, which is beneficial for diabetics.

Beetroot helps reduce blood pressure, lowers cholesterol and also stabilises blood sugar. It is high in iron, which is great for women, as most women are slightly anaemic, and is also a great source of vitamin B6.

High quality dark chocolate and cacao are a great source of antioxidants, and mixing them with coconut oil super boosts your metabolism.

Do you need any more excuses to make this cake? I think not!

Recipe adapted from Green Kitchen Stories 

IMG_6278
IMG_6278

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup / honey
  • 70 grams good quality 70% dark chocolate, broken up into small pieces (I used Lindt 70% dark chocolate)
  • 2 cups grated raw beetroot (approx. 2 medium beetroots)
  • 3 flax eggs (1 ground flax egg = 1 tablespoons flaxseeds : 3 tablespoons water)
  • 1 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 5 tablespoons cacao powder pinch of salt (himalayan pink salt or sea salt)
  • 2 tablespoons shredded coconut (optional)

Method

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C.

Put the coconut oil in a saucepan on very low heat and add the maple syrup and dark chocolate. Stir until all the chocolate has melted and remove from heat.

Add the grated beetroot to the saucepan and mix well.

Whisk the flax eggs in a separate bowl and then add to the beetroot chocolate mix.

Sift all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and then add in the beetroot chocolate mix, stir well until all ingredients are well combined.

Grease a cake tin with coconut oil and add the shredded coconut to prevent the cake from sticking.

Then pour in the mix and bake for 20 - 25 mins. The colour of the cake would have darkened and the top will have some cracks on it.

Remove from oven, let rest, if you can resist, and enjoy!

Meat or Beet Burgers

IMG_2090

I made these juice pulp burgers when I was still in London and decided to post the recipe up as I had a lot of people ask me how to make them. I was inspired by  The Whole Pantry App, and would recommend buying this app if you haven't already, not only is it filled with amazing healthy and delicious recipes, there are also a bunch of very insightful articles, and the proceeds go to charity!

So if you've been juicing a lot of beetroot lately, or if you just want to try these out and have a beetroot juice as an added benefit give this a go. I had made a batch of beetroot, apple, carrot and ginger juice earlier in the morning and saved the pulp in the fridge so that I could have these for lunch. To be honest I didn't know what to expect and was quite dubious so I invited my neighbour Caroline (who I miss dearly) over to try out with me and we were both very pleasantly surprised!

Ingredients (Makes 4)

1/2 onion - diced handful of fresh parsley - chopped roughly 1 clove garlic - minced 2 teaspoons ground cumin 1 teaspoon paprika 5 tablespoons ground chia seeds 1/2 cup water

Juice pulp of: 2 medium beetroot 2 carrots 1 apple small piece of ginger

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.

Squeeze the pulp over a sieve to remove any extra juice.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well, making sure the chia seeds are mixed in evenly.

Measure out 1/2 cup of the mixture for each burger and shape the patties with your hands.

Place on a lined baking sheet and repeat.

Leave them bake for approximately 50 mins, turning them over half way through.

Remove them from the oven when done and serve with a minty yoghurt sauce, a bun or a green salad.

Enjoy!

Sunshine Juice

Image

I wasn't feeling well last week and the day I made this juice was the day I started to get better. Just looking into the glass and seeing all the beautiful natural colours lifted my mood and helped me be more positive! So I decided to call it the Sunshine Juice, because it felt like I was drinking up the summer sun with every sip, even though it was wet and windy outside.

Oranges are filled with Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and protect your body from viral infections. Beetroots have a lot of antioxidants so they aid your body in fighting off any nasty toxins, and are high in iron which helps if your feeling fatigued. Kale is an anti-inflammatory and again an antioxidant. Carrots have a list of benefits, they are a great antiseptic, and rich in Vitamin A which assists the liver in flushing out toxins from the body. Cucumbers are a great source of B vitamins, Vitamin C (found in the skin, so please don't peel them!), and mostly made of water so are a great for keeping your body hydrated. Ginger helps the absorption of nutrients into your body and has a wonderful warming quality, which is probably why this juice reminded me of the summer sun!

sunshine juice

Ingredients (serves 2)

2 large oranges 6-8 curly kale leaves - stems removed 1/2 beetroot 2 carrots 1/2 large cucumber Big piece of ginger

Put all the ingredients into the juicer, let it work its magic and enjoy!

Brown Rice Beetroot Risotto

photo 2

Making risotto with brown rice is not only healthier but it's also a lot easier, because instead of having to stand over the pot stirring constantly, you pretty much just leave it to cook for about an hour. The brown rice adds a nuttier flavour to the risotto, and is packed full of Vitamin B1 and B6. The vibrant colour that comes off the beetroot is not only a feast for the eyes. Beetroot helps detoxify the liver, lower blood pressure, and is a sustainable source of energy due to the natural sugars which are gradually released into your body. If you buy the beetroot with the leaves attached please do not throw them away as they can be used as a side salad or you can sauté them with a bit of garlic and chilli.

Please Note: Items marked with * suggest using organic products if possible.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

2 medium sized beetroots* Coconut oil 1 yellow onion 2 garlic cloves 2 cups short grain brown rice* 4 cups vegetable stock Zest of 1/2 a lemon* 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese Sea salt and black pepper to taste Few sprigs of flat leaf parsley.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Wash and scrub any dirt off the beetroot, and place in a glass baking dish. Melt down about a tablespoon of coconut oil so that it turns to liquid and drizzle over the beetroot. Pop the beetroot in the oven and let cook for about 45 minutes to an hour. Heat up a tablespoon of coconut oil in a large pot. Dice up the onion, put it in the pot and let it cook on medium heat for a couple of minutes. Mince the garlic and add it to the pot with the lemon zest, stirring occasionally. Then add the brown rice and toss to coat. Slowly add all the stock in and bring the rice to a boil. Then reduce to low heat, cover and leave to simmer for 50 minutes. Once the beetroot is done cooking take it out the oven and leave to cool down a bit. If they are organic you don't need to peel the skin off but if they aren't I would recommend peeling off the skin, which should be quite soft by now. Then cut the beetroot into small cubes and stir them into the risotto and let cook for another 10 minutes. Remove the pot from heat and mix in the parmesan, and season with salt and pepper. Roughly cut the flat leaf parsley and sprinkle on top of each serving. I like to have a bit more parmesan cheese at the table for my guests to help themselves to. Enjoy!