22 July 2010

Are you throwing away the best part?

Just thought I’d stop in very quickly (I know you are probably thinking there is no such thing as ‘just a few words’ from me!) with just a few short words. Hasn’t the beetroot been beautiful in our boxes these last few weeks? Beetroot always is so wonderful, but something about having it local and fresh makes it all the more beautiful! So – what does everyone do with their beetroot greens (the leaves on top) and the stalks that lead off the beet bulb to the leaves? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section with your favourite beet green and stalk/stem usage suggestions. Hopefully everyone makes great use of these parts of the beets and doesn’t just lop them off and toss them in the compost. Although they still have use in the compost in breaking down into rich hummus to feed our gardens and restore our soil – they are equally beneficial for our body. Very nourishing and quite tasty. In actual fact, the stems and greens have a higher nutritional content than the root bulb! So if you are throwing the stems and greens away – you’re throwing out the best bit! Don’t believe me? Check out some info on beet green nutrition here.

Beet greens are closely related to spinach and kale, so you use them as you would these ingredients. You can use them raw, lightly steamed, in stir-fries or make some tasty combinations out of them on their own with a few spices added. Lots of wonderful beet green/stalk ideas here. Be sure to store your beet greens in your fridge, in a salad leaf crisper container as they will wilt if left loose in the fridge – just as salad leaves do.

This morning in our kitchen, we did a little experimenting with the beet greens and stalks through our slow juicer. The result was wonderful. I wasn’t really expecting a whole lot of juice out of them – I was surprised at how much juice came out! I thought I would share with you our result. It actually created a cappuccino froth effect as well! Raw Cappuccino – who would have thought it!

Raw Winter Sunrise Cappuccino – serves 4

• 1 bunch of beetroot leaves and stalks
• 1/2 large bunch of kale, stalks, stem and all
• 4 carrots
• 2 large stalks of celery
• 3 apples
• 3 thin slices of a large ginger knob (you can add more if you would like more zing!)
• Juice all through a slow juicer making sure to alternate tougher leaves/stems with softer apple pieces or the like – it’s kinder to your juicer
• With a spoon, hold back the froth of the juice and fill a tall glass to within 2″ of the glass top
• Spoon froth onto top of juice to fill glass
• You can even dust with cinnamon or nutmeg for a more authentic ‘cappuccino’ feel!

• Drink immediately and feel your body sing!

And does anyone have an abundance of oranges and kiwi that they are wanting to find a nutritious use for? Here’s the answer:

East Coast Winter Rainbow – serves 4

• 6 oranges (peeled)
• 10 small kiwifruit (peeled)
• 2 carrots
• 1 small beetroot
• Two large handfuls of wheatgrass and chia seed sprouts (if you don’t have these, then still go ahead and make the juice, but the green food boost of these is wonderful)
• 3 thin slices of a large ginger knob (again, you can add more if you would like more zing!)

• Juice all, drink immediately and feel the energy boost!

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