Tuesday, 13 November 2012

How to eat a single beetroot!

Back in New Zealand, it was easy to grow things. You popped the seedlings into the garden in the morning, watered them once and came back at dinnertime to harvest them! Well, at least that's what it felt like.

Now that I live in Queensland, Australia (by the way - that makes me a QueeNZlander in local parlance!) Things are a bit different in the garden. You pop the seedlings in the garden in the morning and by lunch time they are withered, dried up and blow into dust by 3pm.

It has been a long and frustrating journey to grow anything but tumble weeds in the back yard (imagine high noon in the desert and you have the idea!) but today... *drum roll please* I harvested a single beetroot!

Now, the issue was how to enjoy such a delicacy between the two of us (our latest student from Austria was comatose after a two day flight and probably wasn't going to be excited by my single beetroot dish no matter how exotic...) Since I was knee deep in organic and permaculture books at the time of the harvest - it had to be a raw beetroot concoction!
Here's what I did...

My single beetroot harvest - with the bowl of greens for our salad lunch in the background.

The greens and the beetroot leaves went into the salad...

And the beetroot got peeled and grated - once I got him cut, I saw the beginnings of the white rings. I think he just might be one of those chioggia one. That's an heirloom variety that has white and beetroot rings all the way through it. I think I will let the others grow a bit bigger before harvesting them to see if the rings get more pronounced.

My bro-in-law gave me a recipe for a raw beetroot and chocolate slice a while back and so I decided to make a variation on that theme for my very first beetroot harvest meal!

1x beetroot of probable heirloom heritage (or any home grown beetroot really!) - grated (preferably by the husband. I don't know why but I'm sure it tastes better!)
3 tablespoons of cocoa
about a cup of shredded coconut
about 1/2 cup of dates shuzzzed up in a processor

He then mixed this altogether and pressed it very firmly into a tin, popped it in the fridge and we had it for dessert cut into squares with yoghart.

But I didn't have any dates, or enough coconut so I improvised...

1x beetroot as above
1/2 cup of shredded coconut
3 tablespoons of cocoa
A couple of handfuls of dried mixed fruit (like for fruit mince pies)
10 crushed plain bikkies left over from the cheesecake-in-a-jar experiment
and a blob of butter

mixed thoroughly
Pressed into a tin and popped in the fridge for 3/4 of an hour
ate in the garden with a blob of yogurt in the company of the husband and a few chickens!

Quite yummy!

Its a bit cherry ripe-ish with a hint of earth and the squish of raisins! It might work for a kids dessert (or maybe breakfast?) certainly worth a try, at any rate!

If you have never had fresh beetroot before - this has got to be a wonderful introduction to the joys of such a vegetable! Give it a go next time you have a fresh beetroot just lying around the place!

Score card:
Green-ness: 5/5 to grow and eat your own fresh raw food!
Frugal-ness: 5/5 to make dessert with what you have to hand!
Time cost: About 5 mins to make. 3/4 hour to "set" and not long enough to savour!
Skill level: very basic - doesn't even involve turning on the oven!
Fun -ness: So much fun to eat your own harvest!


Kathryn Ray said...

Fortunately beets grow very well here... Sugar Beets are a huge local crop... even one of the High Schools we competed against is sports were called the "Beet Diggers." ;-)

My favorite way to eat beets are roasted in the oven with olive oil, salt and pepper.

I haven't tried them with chocolate before... might have to think of that one... minus the coconut though. ;-)

Practical Frog said...

There are thousands of recipies for chocolate cake with beetroot in it on the Internet! I saw some nice looking chocolate brownies as well - your choice for chocolate and beetroot recipies will be quite vast! Let me know how you go! - K xx

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