Vegetarian food blog featuring nourishing home cooked recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Beetroot Leaf Green Smoothie and the Nutri Force Extractor

Beetroot Leaf Green Smoothie in the Optimum Nutri Force Extractor

This beetroot leaf green smoothie was one of the recipes I tried when putting Froothie’s new Optimum Nutri Force Extractor through its paces. Read on for a review of this small but powerful blender and grinder set as well as the recipe for a nutritious green breakfast smoothie.


Best Beetroot Chutney and the Benefits of Using Glass

Beetroot Chutney

Preserves, Sponsored Post | 4th October 2016 | By

In this season of abundance and mellow fruitfulness, my mind very quickly turns to thoughts of preserving. I was just thinking it was about time I made some apple chutney, when a bunch of beautiful beetroot turned up in my veg box. My plans did an about turn and I ended up making the best beetroot chutney ever. As I spooned my finished chutney into jars, I couldn’t help but give thanks for glass.


Black Bean & Bulgur Wheat Feta Salad for Canned Food Week

Black Bean Salad

Lunch, Salads, Speedy | 3rd April 2015 | By

Growing up in a Cornish cottage, just outside of the village, the importance of having a well stocked larder was something drummed into me from an early age. Canned food, with its long shelf life, was ideal and I don’t ever remember a time when there wasn’t a cupboard full of tinned tomatoes. It was my job, when new ones were bought, to bring the oldest to the front and put the newest to the back to ensure the tins never passed their use by date. Tinned tomatoes have played an important role as one of my larder staples ever since, along with canned beans and coconut milk. And where would I be without a handy tin of baked beans to put in my Granny’s Shepherd’s Pie?


Orange and Beetroot Cupcakes with a Plum Surprise

Cupcakes | 21st September 2014 | By


It’s the last day of National Cupcake Week and I’m just getting in by the skin of my chinny chin chin. With the Great British Bake Off in full swing everyone seems to have gone baking mad. Home Bargains is one such and they have given me a helping hand with my cupcakes by sending a box full of baking goodies. Their brief was to create a Home Bargains showstopper.


Beetroot, Walnut, Wild Garlic and Goat’s Cheese Brunch Muffins

Lunch, Savoury Chocolate | 24th April 2014 | By

 The benefits of olive oil have long been appreciated. When I was a child it was hard to get hold of and more of it was poured into our ears than went into our salads. It was bought from the chemist and used to reduce ear infections and soften wax. Luckily things have moved on since then. We are big fans of it in this household and use quite a lot of the extra virgin variety, preferably cold pressed. Not only does this have a better flavour, but also has a higher level of the beneficial components. If the claims for its health benefits are to be believed, CT & I should do pretty well as we get older. It is said to aid calcium absorption thus reducing the effects of osteoporosis in the elderly. The monounsaturated fatty acids found in olive oil may also prevent memory loss by maintaining the structure of the brain cell membranes – hmm, perhaps I’m not consuming enough of it or perhaps my memory would be even worse without it. There are also a number of antioxidants to be found, including Vitamin E, carotenoids and phenolic compounds. These are meant to help in the prevention of certain diseases such as cancer and mitigate against some of the effects of ageing.


Beetroot and Orange Brownies – We Should Cocoa #38

Along with the courgette glut in August and September this year, I ended up with a beetroot one too. This was good news. Last year was such a rubbish one down at the plot, we hardly got any courgettes and even less beetroot. So I was very pleased to be able to puzzle over what I could turn my surplus beets into. I had a go at making beetroot brownies a few years ago and seem to remember thinking they were more like cake than brownies. However, that was a while ago and I thought another attempt was in order. Orange is a classic flavouring to pair with beetroot, so this seemed like a good place to start. I had some orange and almond Lindt chocolate I thought would work and I reasoned that adding some orange liqueur could only make things better.

These brownies were definitely gooey rather than cakey and they had the classic crackly top; after due deliberation, I awarded them full marks. Even more remarkably, CT, who is not at all a beetroot fan gave them the thumbs up. The chocolate contributed to the texture with crunchy pieces of almond which added to the overall pleasure.

Ness over at JibberJabberUK is hosting We Should Cocoa this month and has chosen vegetables as the surprise ingredient. This gives plenty of scope and is just right to showcase my beetroot and orange brownies.

All made from scratch and our own beetroots too, I’m submitting these to Javelin Warrior’s Made with Love Mondays.

With all those home grown beetroot, this is a slightly cheaper brownie than it might otherwise have been, so I am submitting it to Credit Crunch Munch which is hosted this month by Michelle of Utterly Scrummy Food For Families. This is a monthly challenge normally hosted by Fuss Free Flavours or Fab Food 4 All.

I’m also entering these into the No Waste Food Challenge with Turquoise Lemons as the theme is root vegetables this month and I had a mass of beetroot I did not want to waste.

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Beetroot and Orange Brownies

by August-25-2013
A soft but gooey brownie with a good orange flavour and a delightful purple colour.
  • 4 medium sized roots, weighing in at 350g once topped, tailed and skinned) Beetroot – boiled
  • 200g Dark Chocolate (half orange flavoured, half 70% plain)
  • 100g Unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp Orange liqueur
  • 3 Eggs
  • 200g Light brown sugar
  • 50g Dark brown sugar
  • 100g Flour (half wholemeal spelt, half plain white)
  • 25g Cocoa powder
1. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a pan over very low heat. Stir until smooth, then allow to cool.2. Puree the beetroot with the orange liqueur – I used a stick blender.3. Whisk the eggs and sugar together until the mixture is thick and has doubled in volume.4. Fold in the chocolate mixture, followed by the beetroot trying not to stir all of the air out of the egg mixture.5. Sieve in the flour and cocoa and fold in until just combined.6. Pour into a 9″ sq silicone cake mould and bake in the middle of the oven at 180°C for about 30 minutes when the top is firm, but the middle is still a bit squidgy.7. Allow to cool in the mould, then cut into 16 squares.

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 16 pieces

Beetroot, Carrot and Goats Cheese Muffins

Lunch, Savoury Chocolate | 26th March 2013 | By

When I met Vanesther of Bangers & Mash at Blog Summit in Bristol a couple of weeks ago, I learnt about her Recipes for Life challenge which she hosts in conjunction with SWALLOW, a charity which helps adults with learning difficulties to lead more independent lives. Do find out what it is all about by visiting her blog. As soon as I heard what the ingredients were (beetroot, carrot and cheese), I knew what I wanted to make. I first made savoury cocoa muffins for the Capricorn Challenge back in October last year and was very impressed by the results; I’m not sure why I haven’t made them since. My only concern was would I have time to do it. With a cake club meeting, a chocolate course and a birthday party to bake for, I really wasn’t sure if I could fit it in. But sense prevailed; as well as making a nice change to my lunchtime sandwich, it would save me having to make said item in the mornings before going to work, something I always find a bit of a chore. I was also given a bit of a helping hand by Ethel the Goat, who is up to her old tricks again and a round of Capricorn cheese or two found its way to my kitchen.

This is how I made:

Beetroot, Carrot & Goats Cheese Muffins

  • Scrubbed 2 medium carrots and 2 smallish beetroot (weighing about 300g) then topped, tailed and grated them in a food processor.
  • Put 300g flour (half wholemeal, half white) in a mixing bowl.
  • Added 2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp bicarb of soda and 1/4 tsp salt.
  • Added 2 tbsp cocoa powder and 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • Whisked together to ensure all was incorporated and there were no lumps.
  • Stirred in 50g of chopped walnuts.
  • In another bowl beat 2 large organic eggs with 200ml yogurt.
  • Beat in 100ml sunflower oil.
  • Beat in 100ml milk and a good good grinding of black pepper.
  • Divided 100g Capricorn goats cheese into three.
  • Chopped two lots into pieces and stirred into the batter.
  • Chopped the third piece into twelve equal portions.
  • Made a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and added the batter.
  • Stirred as lightly as possible until everything was just incorporated.
  • Added the grated beetroot and carrots and stirred just enough to incorporate into the mixture.
  • Divided between 12 silicone muffin moulds.
  • Topped each with a piece of goats cheese.
  • Baked at 200C for 20 minutes
  • Left for a few minutes in their moulds, then turned out onto a wire rack to cool.

These were just as good as the Beetroot, Walnut Goat’s Cheese Muffins I originally made and the raw grated vegetables cooked through with no problem.

Blog Summit Bristol

I’m not going to write an account of the Blog Summit, a really useful gathering of bloggers from Foodies100 and Tots100 held at the famous MShed down by the river. This is partly because there was not a single piece of chocolate or chocolate cake or even a chocolate biscuit to be had anywhere – can you believe it? Partly because others have written far more informative posts than anything I am likely to do and partly because this was the only 1/4 decent picture I took. I’ve listed below a couple of particularly useful write ups that others have done. It was a useful day and despite the rather long journey, it was worth attending. I met lots of very nice bloggers and heard quite a lot of useful tips about SEO, social media and photography – the follow / no follow issue was covered at some length. Special mention must go to Ali of PLUS 2.4 and Annie of Mammasaurus who rescued me from who knows what heinous fate as I wondered around Temple Meads in daze, stupefied by the splendour of a great metropolis – I am a country lass after all! Apart from the lack of chocolate, the only slight quibble I have, is that Foodies 100 members were sadly underrepresented, with only myself and Vanesther in attendance. 

Ten things I learnt at Bristol Blog Summit by Vanesther of Bangers & Mash
Blog Summit Bristol: a summary by Sally Whittle of Tots100

Beetroot, Goats Cheese, Chocolate & Walnut Brunch Muffins

Lunch, Savoury Chocolate | 3rd October 2012 | By

That goat, otherwise known as Ethel, has filled my head with thoughts of goats cheese and chocolate and I can hardly think of cooking with anything else. The fig and goats cheese tarts still have my mouth watering at the thought of them. At the weekend, rather than making my normal loaf for my work sandwiches, I thought I’d try something a little different to take in for lunch. Some lightly vinegared baby beetroot was in the hamper I received for the #capricornchallenge.

Beetroot and chocolate in cake form has become something of a classic in recent years, but I wanted to try a savoury version.  I am a big fan of beetroot, CT less so. I figured that he might find beetroot more palatable contained in a savoury muffin with lots of goats cheese. And if he didn’t? I was very happy to eat them all by myself.

I was hoping the vinegar in the beetroot would combine with the yogurt and help the muffins to rise, but not make the muffins sour. I didn’t want the chocolate to dominate, but I did want it present – the proof of the pudding would literally be in the eating.

This is what I did:

  • Put 300g flour (100g wholemeal, 200g white) in a mixing bowl.
  • Added 2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp bicarb of soda and 1/4 tsp salt.
  • Added 2 tbsp cocoa powder & whisked together to ensure all was incorporated and there were no lumps.
  • Stir in 50g of chopped walnuts.
  • In a separate bowl, mashed 250g of cooked beetroot in vinegar with a potato masher.
  • In another bowl beat 2 medium eggs with 200ml yogurt.
  • Beat in 50ml of walnut infused oil and 50ml sunflower oil.
  • Beat in 100ml milk and a good good grinding of black pepper.
  • Beat in the beetroot.
  • Divided 100g Capricorn goats cheese into three.
  • Chopped two lots into pieces and stirred into the batter.
  • Chopped the third piece into twelve equal portions.
  • Made a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and added the batter.
  • Stirred as lightly as possible until everything was just incorporated.
  • Divided between 12 silicone muffin moulds.
  • Topped each with a piece of goats cheese.
  • Baked at 200C for 20 minutes
  • Left for a few minutes in their moulds, then turned out onto a wire rack to cool.

The shocking pink of the batter was beautiful before it went into the oven and I’m rather sorry I didn’t take a picture of it. It was brown by the time it came out, not in bad way, but not quite as impressive as I’d hoped.

We had some warm for breakfast on Sunday morning. Amazingly, CT thought they were good. He took some for his lunch that day and came back raving about them. I couldn’t quite believe it. I took some in for my lunch on Monday and I understood just what he meant. They were beyond delicious, bordering on addictive and a very satisfying meal in themselves. Goats cheese was the first thing to kick in, followed by the flavour of walnuts and then beetroot and not a sour note to be had. The cocoa did just as I hoped and gave a supporting role in bringing out the other flavours, rather than taking the lead. The only downside was these were not the normal one bowl wonder you expect from a muffin mix; I used three. Still, the washing up was worth it.

These are versatile, portable and would make a great picnic item as well as a good lunch, brunch or filling breakfast. Incredible as it may seem, they kept well too – CT was sworn to eschew any more so I could finish them off for my lunch today.

Thank you Ethel for inspiring me to come up with another fabulous chocolate and goats cheese recipe.

As beetroot are looking good and in season right now, I am submitting this to Ren’s monthly Simple & in Season. It is being hosted this month by Nazima over at her new blog Franglais Kitchen.

Golden Beetroot Cake

4 Star | 4th August 2011 | By

Now why is it I’m so useless at taking note of recipes? I pride myself on never following a recipe and using it for inspiration or guidance only, but sometimes it’s quite a useful technique! The moment I saw Dom’s golden cake post I was almost gagging to make it. Trust Dom to come up with such an inspirational recipe. I’ve made plenty of beetroot cakes in the past, but never thought of using golden beets and yet we’ve been growing them for years. It was the golden colour that most appealed, but also the word itself – something to do with summer and the warm glow of hopes and aspirations – a culinary El Dorado.

Anyway, I lifted a couple of large golden beets from our plot and the first chance I got I put them on to cook. First mistake! If I’d looked at the recipe beforehand rather than relying on a very vague memory, I would have realised they were meant to be grated raw – hey ho, never mind. The second mistake I was much more bothered by. Dom’s recipe called for light muscovado sugar. Trawling through my cupboards, I realised I’d run out of it, so before I thought about the implications, I’d bunged in a load of dark muscovado sugar; no hope for a beautiful golden cake now. Why I didn’t use caster sugar instead I’ve no idea. I made a few intentional alterations: I omitted the vanilla extract as I wanted the lemon and beetroot flavours to shine through – golden beets are very sweet and have a  lovely flavour, I also used a little less sugar.

Anyway, this is what I ended up doing:

  • Mashed up 250g cooked golden beetroot.
  • Added 100ml sunflower oil and 175g muscovado sugar and whisked for a while to break up the lumps of sugar.
  • Whisked in 3 duck eggs.
  • Sieved in 100g flour (half wholemeal and half white), 50g ground almonds, 1 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp bicarb of soda.
  • Stirred in the grated zest of an organic lemon (I always try and use organic lemons as I know they are unwaxed).
  • Poured into a 23cm cake mould and baked at 180C for 40 minutes.
  • Turned onto a wire rack to cool.
  • Melted 50g of milk chocolate and 50g white chocolate (just because I had a half bar of each).
  • Mixed 125g mascarpone with 125g fromage frais and a tbsp of lemon juice.
  • Combined the cheese and chocolate mixtures and spread on the cooled cake.
  • Decorated with white chocolate stars.

The house smelt really sweet and fragrant as this was cooking, with lemon and syrupy notes very much to the fore. We couldn’t wait for the icing to set properly, so greedily cut into it at the first opportunity. The golden colour was not entirely obscured and it still looked quite appealing. The cake rose well, although CT thought it had the consistency and some of the flavour of treacle pudding. Really it was like a lemony ginger cake without the ginger: quite light, moist and rather moreish.

But, oh such a tragedy, we couldn’t eat it quite fast enough. The weather being very warm and very humid, the cake went mouldy after only three days and we had to throw nearly half of it in the compost bin. Our worms don’t know how lucky they are.

Beetroot & Almond Chocolate Squares

I’m still harvesting plenty of beetroot so wanted to try another cake recipe using beetroot – something suitable for a picnic! This is what I came up with:

  • Melted 100g unsalted butter with 100g 85% dark chocolate and 100g muscovado sugar in a small pan.
  • Mashed 200g cooked beetroot.
  • Sifted 100g plain flour (wholemeal spelt) into a mixing bowl with a pinch of salt.
  • Mixed in 100g ground almonds.
  • Made a well in the centre and poured in chocolate mixture.
  • Mixed this together with 4 duck eggs and beetroot.
  • Spooned this into 9″ square cake thingie and baked for 20 mins at 180°C (gas 4).
  • When cool cut into 16 squares.
Writing this now I rather wished I’d added some grated orange rind – not because they weren’t pretty damn good anyway, but I think this would have enhanced the flavour even further – beetroot and orange are good complementary flavours. Luckily, the cakes got a general thumbs up being moist, dense, flavoursome and not too sweet.