Paul and I started Steens Honey nearly 40 years ago, and we're still just as passionate about our bees as we always were. I love using our deliciously raw, grainy honey to create recipes with ingredients fresh from our garden in Papamoa Hills.
FOR THE LOVE OF BEETROOT
I feel sure many of my fellow baby boomers can relate very well to the rather ordinary, sliced up beetroot preserved in vinegar and sugar. Don’t get me wrong it was good, but times have changed for this earthy vegetable, it’s been given supreme powers and the way we now get to enjoy it covers a lot of the culinary spectrum.
Beetroot is loaded with bioactive compounds that are proving very beneficial for healthy bodies. The great news is after studies done in 2017 where cooking methods were tested, this was the conclusion:
‘There was no significant difference in antioxidant activity and total phenolic content by any of the cooking methods compared to raw beetroots. However, pressure-cooking lowered carotenoid levels compared to raw beets. Flavonoid and betalain content decreased by all the cooking method.’
So I was relieved to know one of my favourite go to recipes for this delicious vegetable still had plenty of available goodness after being roasted. In this day and age we need all the antioxidants we can get from our food.
They are easy to grow and can be eaten while young, or left to mature happily in the patch, although they do get woody if left too long. The young leaves are a perfect colourful, healthy addition to salads and smoothies but if I start talking about garden stories I’ll end up with a novel here and it’s all about roasting beets today!
ROASTED BEETROOT WITH MANUKA HONEY & ORANGES
Approx 700gms beetroot (approx. 12 small beets…I didn’t peel them as they were young beets)
1 large onion
Juice 2 oranges
1 orange cut into 8ths
Good glug of olive oil and balsamic
2 tbsp Steens Manuka Honey
Sea salt and ground pepper
3 sprigs of rosemary
Line a roasting tray with baking paper and add all the ingredients bar the rosemary, give it a good mix up, then top with the herb sprigs.
Pop into a preheated 200˙ C (390˙ F) oven for approx. 1 hour.
The beetroot should be soft enough for a knife to happily go through and
all the liquid reduced.
And it's ready to eat as is, store or make a delicious meal!
This recipe is the basis for loads of meals that I make:
Beetroot Manuka and Walnut Salad with Halloumi, Feta is good too
Roast beet hummus
Colourful addition to buddha bowls
Summer tart (loaded with fresh spinach)
Smashed up on ciabatta with burgers
It only requires a few ingredients, is super easy to make, has a very robust flavour and lasts in the fridge for a few days if you are wanting to use it multiple ways. When roasted it retains more of its natural sweetness. Read below for my Roast Beetroot, Manuka and Walnut Salad with Halloumi.
ROASTED BEETROOT, MANUKA & WALNUT SALAD
This is a great salad to mix with others and with Christmas not too far away it would be a lovely colourful addition to the festive table. I simply use whatever greens I have available in the garden, (in this case loads of spinach and arugula).
Top with the roasted beets including the onion and oranges they were roasted with then add some walnuts caramelized in manuka honey.
I don’t enjoy salads swimming in dressing, as I like the crisp, natural individual flavours rather than everything tasting the same, so a little balsamic vinegar and a generous amount of freshly squeezed orange juice is all that’s needed.
I’d love you to give this a try, your body will be thankful for the many benefits this bright, beautiful, earthy vegetable gives.
P.S - While my beautiful granddaughter and I were waiting for the beets to roast we made use of the surplus rosemary and made a birthday gift for her mum. We thought we’d make them again at Christmas to hang in the kitchen! Natural, handmade, homemade simplicity, and her joy in the process made my heart sing!
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