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The Brilliance of Beetroot

Extremely versatile, used both in savoury and sweet cooking, beetroot was first cultivated by the Romans for its nutritional value and medicinal purposes.

Beetroot balls

Belonging to the same family as chard and spinach, both the leaves and roots of this earthy vegetable are edible.    

Otherwise known as beta vulgaris, beetroot is an incredible source of nutrients packed full of vitamins A and C, iron and calcium, as well as being a brilliant source of fibre, manganese, folic acid and potassium.

Beetroot is extremely easy to grow in any garden or allotment as it requires very little treatment in the way of pesticides. Sown in early May, beetroot is traditionally ready for harvest in sunny July but offers a lengthy season that rolls into October.   

NUTRITION TIP: Blackberries and beetroot get their very deep colour from the antioxidant group of betalains. They also contain vitamin C that helps to boost the immune system.   

Gingered Beetroot & Blackberry Balls  

These vibrant deep purple power balls pack an energising punch. Keep a pack of blackberries in the freezer and just take out a few when you need them.  

MAKES 16  

  • 85g Medjool dates, pitted  
  • 110g porridge oats  
  • 50g unblanched almonds  
  • 15g piece fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped  
  • 75g trimmed beetroot, peeled and coarsely grated  
  • 50g frozen blackberries  
  1. Add the dates, oats, almonds and ginger to a food processor and blitz together until finely chopped.   
  2. Add the beetroot and frozen blackberries and blitz again until the mixture begins to clump together.  
  3. Squeeze the mixture together, take out of the processor bowl and cut into 16 pieces. Roll each piece in the palm of your hands to make a smooth ball. Pack into a plastic container, interleaving the layers with baking parchment. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  

Energy Balls & Power bites by Sara Lewis, published by Lorenz Books 

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West Country FOODLOVER is a print magazine and news based website offering a foodie’s guide of what’s hot across the South West. We inspire foodies with great seasonal recipes, competitions, news and events. The magazine, website and newsletter reach more than 128,000 foodies each issue.