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Beetroot Ukrainian Borscht with haricot beans with Lorraine Fitzmaurice

Monday, 14 September 2009

Lots of people have started growing their own fruit and veg in these recessionary times! They might have a garden full of tomatoes or blackberries at the moment but not have a clue what to do with them.

Every week in September the chefs will be showing us what to do with the abundance of fruit and veg in season at the moment. Seasonal food is often cheaper to buy and tastes better.

Today Lorraine Fitzmaurice from Blazing Salads will be showing us two recipes for the healthy and colourful vegetable...Beetroot!

Beetroot Fact File:
. Contains NO fat,
. Helps female fertility
. Great source of fibre.
. Contains betaine, which treats depression
. The Romans say it's an aphrodisiac
The Romans considered beetroot an aphrodisiac (it's rich in the mineral boron which is important in the production of human sex hormones).
The belief persists to this day that if a man and a woman eat from the same beetroot, they will fall in love (with each other, presumably.)
It also contains trytophan (also found in chocolate!) which contributes to a sense of well being.

Ingredients:
. 1 onion diced
. 1 clove of garlic minced
. 2 carrots diced
. 2 potatoes diced
. 1 small parsnip diced
. celeriac diced (same amount as parsnip)
. 4 beetroot peeled and roughly grated
. 1 tin of haricot beans
. 3 pimentos
. 1 bay leaf
. 1 dessertspoon of fresh marjoram or 1 teaspoon of dried
. lemon juice to taste
. 1 tablespoons of apple concentrate
. sea salt and ground black pepper

Method:

1. In a large pot, sauté the onion in a little sunflower or olive oil to soften.
2. Add the garlic and sauté a few minutes more.
3. Add the carrots, potatoes, parsnip, celeriac and herbs and spices.
4. Add a good pinch of salt. Add water to 2 inches above the vegetables.
5. Cover and bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
6. Add the beetroot and the haricot beans and cook for a further 15 minutes.
7. When the vegetables are cooked, add the apple concentrate, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper until a balanced sweet and sour taste has been reached.

*Delicious served with a dollop of crème fraiche and crusty bread.
*This soup is traditional in all Eastern European countries.


Chocolate beetroot cake

Ingredients:
. 50g cocoa powder
. 180g wholemeal spelt flour
. 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
. pinch of sea salt
. 200g agave syrup
. 300g cooked fresh beetroot
. 3 free range eggs
. 150 g sunflower margarine
. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping:
. 5 tablespoons of ricotta cheese
. 2 tablespoons of agave syrup
. grated rind of 1 medium orange

*18 cm (7 in) round or square cake tin greased and floured.

Method:

Heat the oven to 180 C, Gas 4.

1. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
2. Place the cooked peeled beetroot into a food processor and blend.
3. Add the eggs, agave syrup, margarine and vanilla. Blend.
4. Place into a large bowl and stir in the dry mix until well combined.
5. Spoon into the prepared cake tin and smooth the top.
6. Place in the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 40 minutes.
7. Place on a wire wrack to cool thoroughly.
8. Mix the ricotta cheese, agave syrup, and orange rind together.
9. Spread generously over the top of the cake and serve.

*This cake is wheat free and also free of refined sugar.
*Whole meal pastry flour or plain flour can be used instead of the whole meal spelt flour.
*250g caster sugar can be used instead of agave syrup
*Cream cheese, yoghurt or whipped fresh cream can also be used instead of ricotta cheese.

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