Belonging to the same family as spinach and chard, beetroot stems and leaves are similar to their sister leafy greens in colour and quality. Rich in calcium, iron and Vitamins A and C, they can be prepared in the same way as spinach or chard and they juice beautifully. The sweet round root is rich in folic acid, so perfect for expecting mothers, as well being a great source of fibre, helping to slide waste along the digestive tract - especially good if constipation is an issue! The fibre also works in other magical ways by increasing the levels of antioxidant enzymes in the body, as well as the number of white blood cells, which help us fight infection.
For centuries beets have been used medicinally, especially for liver disorders, as they help to stimulate the liver's natural detoxification process. It is in our very best interest to keep our liver's happy, as this vital organ plays such a major role when it comes to a smoothly functioning body. For women, a healthy liver is key to healthy menstruation, as it helps to remove used hormones from the body. If used hormones such as oestrogen don't get removed on a regular basis, it leads to a build up in the blood, which causes oestrogen dominance - incredibly common in women and a major contributing factor to menstrual disturbances and PMT symptoms such as bloating and irritability.
On that note, it's time for me to get packing. Tomorrow morning I leave for sunny Greece to host the first Yoga & Feasts retreat of the season with the lovely Jenny Box. Our yogi's will be no doubt be enjoying a bowl of delicious beetroot soup!
Recipe (Serves 4-6)
4 med beets cooked, peeled and diced
1 onion diced
1 clove garlic crushed
1 apple peeled and diced
1 tsp coriander seed
1 tsp cumin seed
1.5 tbsp white miso
1 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp coconut or olive oil
Method: Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onion, garlic and a pinch of salt. Saute until the onion is soft. Meanwhile, dry fry the spices and gently crush in a pestle and mortar. Add them to the onion and mix well. Add the the beets and apple, coating them in the onion and spice mixture before adding the water. Bring to the boil then turn down to simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the white miso and tamari and blend.