Beetroot isn’t really sold by variety. You usually have the choice of either regular beetroot or the smaller, sweeter ‘baby’ beetroot.
Choose firm beetroot with smooth skin and leaves attached. Leaves should be fresh and green. Avoid very large beetroot as it may taste woody.
Remove stems and leaves, then store beetroot separately in the crisper for up to 10 days. Use young leaves in salads, or cook older leaves.
Wearing gloves to avoid staining hands, trim the top and bottom, leaving 3cm of the stem. No need to peel. Bake, boil or steam until beetroot is tender – you should be able to slice it easily with a knife.
4 quick ways with beetroot
Add colour and flavour to salads, sandwiches and burgers by adding cooked beetroot, either coarsely grated or sliced.
For a delicious winter soup, cook diced onion, carrots and celery in oil on medium heat. Add vegetable stock, a bay leaf, water and chopped beetroot and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer until beetroot is tender. Blend soup, then serve with a squeeze of lemon juice and chopped chives.
Roast beetroot on its own or along with other vegetables. Chop vegetables and lightly brush with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and your choice of herbs. Roast at 180°C until tender. Serve with roast meat or add to a salad.
For an antioxidant-filled juice, combine 1/2 a beetroot, 2 carrots, 1 green apple, 1/2 an orange and 1 celery stalk. Put through a juicer and serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon, over ice.
Did you know? Studies show that not only can the nitrate in beetroot juice help lower blood pressure, but the betanin in beetroot (which gives it its colour) may help reduce cancer risk, too.