It’s been a while since I last made beet kvass. Every few months, I get the urge to make some and this month of May was one of them. It must be my body telling me I’m in need of something therapeutic. Beet kvass, which is thought to have originated in the Ukraine a long time ago, is a probiotic drink that is chock full of health-giving properties and made using the humble beetroot.
There’s been enough chocolate decadence on Tin and Thyme this month, so with a pre-Easter cleanse in mind or even a post-Easter one, I’m giving you an easy to make beetroot juice with orange and ginger. This juice is loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and it tastes good too. So what are you waiting for?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
- 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
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 16 pieces
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.
Blog Summit Bristol: a summary by Sally Whittle of Tots100
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.