January 14 - 20, 2018: Issue 343

Summer Vegetable: Beetroot

For all those who like to amp up that healthy Summer feeling that comes with more visits to the beach and bush during this season, changing your diet to reflect and support these activities flows on as a natural consequence. Salads, Summer fruits, lighter cheeses such as ricotta and goats are all on the menu, as is freshly caught fish.

For those who like a good dose of vegetables as part of that diet, in season capsicums, whether roasted, stuffed with rice or simply chopped up to add to a Greek salad, green beans, also great value at present and a great addition to any green salad or a feature in Nicose salads, or eggplant made into Baba Ganoush or as a feature in a vegetarian version of Parmigiana are all in peak condition at present  and readily available.

The other vegetable currently in season which will give you extra vim is the humble and ancient beetroot. Great for digestion, high in folate, famous for making the Aussie Burger even better, whether roasted, raw in a juice or steamed and added to your salad, these red-purple bulbs which health professionals are citing as a way to help lower blood pressure, boost exercise performance and prevent dementia, form part of many an Australian Summer menu.

If you can't get enough of them and are looking for some new ways to enjoy them, a few ideas follow. Always choose heavier smaller beetroots for recipes - bigger ones are best kept for juices.

Carrot and beetroot fritters
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion
1 garlic clove
2 large carrots
2 medium beetroots
2 teaspoons cumin
2 tablespoons chopped coriander
1 cup wholemeal flour
2 large eggs
Hommous or Minted Yoghurt to serve with
mixed green leaf salad

Grate the carrots and beetroot. Squeeze out as much liquid as you can, then put on a plate between triple-thickness kitchen roll. Leave to rest for 20 minutes.
Put the onion and herbs in a bowl and add the grated veg. Sprinkle over the flour, stir well, then add the eggs. Mix together, ensuring mix is neigther too wet or dry, then shape into 12 thin fritters.
Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the fritters for 2-3 minutes on each side. Drain on kitchen roll and serve with the salad and yogurt or Hummus.

Beetroot, Goats Cheese & Walnut Salad
6 medium beetroot bulbs
2/3 cup walnuts
1/2 small red onion
1/3 cup roughly chopped parsley
70g washed baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
120g goats cheese

Preheat oven to 200°c. Trim 6 beetroot bulbs and wrap in foil. Roast for about 40-60 minutes until tender. Allow to cool then peel and cut into quarters and then quarter again. While cooking beetroot, place walnuts on a baking tray and roast for last 8 minutes until golden. Finely slice red onion.
Combine onion, beetroot, walnuts and parsley in a bowl with baby spinach. Whisk olive oil with lemon juice and dijon mustard. Drizzle over salad. Toss gently. Crumble goats cheese over and serve with thick slabs of hot bread.

Beetroot Hummus
1 x 400g/can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
250g cooked beetroot
1/2 tsp salt
Juice 1/2 lemon
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tbsp tahini
2 tsp ground cumin
100ml extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp creamy horseradish
Finely chopped parsley to garnish

Place all the ingredients except the horseradish, parsley and in a food processor and process until smooth.
Transfer to a serving dish then using a knife, swirl through the creamed horseradish to create a marble effect.
Garnish with the chopped parsley and serve with flatbreads or your choice of accompaniment on the side for dipping.

Chocolate Beetroot Cake
250g cooked beetroot, pureed
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
250ml vegetable oil
300g caster sugar
225g self raising flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and flour your cake tin.
In a large bowl, combine pureed beetroots, eggs, vanilla, oil and sugar. Mix with an electric mixer until well combined.
In a separate bowl, mix together flour, salt and cocoa. Add to the beetroot mixture, folding together well. Pour batter into prepared tin.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until skewer inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool and cover with melted chocolate - bliss!

New Research Finds Sweet Cherries Can Help Reduce Weight Gain

Monday 18 December 2017: University of Tasmania
New research has found the bioactive compound anthocyanin, found in high concentrates in sweet cherries, can help reduce weight gain.
Melanie Blackhall from the University of Tasmania’s Faculty of Health conducted clinical trials to determine the efficacy of sweet cherry anthocyanins as a treatment and preventative therapy in high-fat diets.

“There is emerging evidence on the benefits of sweet cherry anthocyanins,” she said.
“The majority of work carried out on anthocyanins has been in other fruits, and in tart cherry varieties, but not in sweet cherries.
“Dark, sweet cherries are extremely high in anthocyanin.

“There is growing evidence that anthocyanins have a positive impact on many diseases but only limited research on their potential anti-obesity actions has been conducted.

“Obesity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers, so we wanted to examine the effect of anthocyanin on a high-fat diet.”

Industry partners Reid Fruits and Essential Oils of Tasmania supported the research, which enabled Ms Blackhall to develop a methodology to extract

Trials were carried out with mice being fed a high-fat diet and split into two trial groups – a six-week prevention trial and a 10-week reversal trial.
Anthocyanin was included at the start of the prevention trial, and at the end of week six in the reversal trial.

Results showed mice in the prevention trial gained 19% less weight with six weeks of supplementation of anthocyanin.

“The study also found that anthocyanin can help reduce inflammation,” Ms Blackhall said.

Ms Blackhall said they were now aiming to carry out further research in human trials.

“Obesity is a global health concern where people take a range of drug regimens and we would hope that anthocyanin could be included as part of treatment,” she said.

“We are also wanting to help consumers make the right choices about what they are consuming to prevent weight gain.”

Reid Fruits Managing Director Tim Reid said collaborating with the University’s Faculty of Health had helped to provide practical outcomes for the industry.

“We have always known cherries have special health benefits, and the research reaffirms this belief and allows our company to explore new opportunities,” he said

Visit: Cherry - Australian summer Fruit  - Cherries are currently available at Harris Farms for $14.99 a kilo

Recipe Ideas - Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables

Apricot - January Summer Fruits  

Artichoke – The Flower Vegetable that Crops in Spring  

Australian and Native Cherries (Summer Fruits) - the Duntroon Connection - Marrianne Collinson Campbell 

Autumn is Apple Season 

Autumn Feast of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables for a Healthy Body

Broccoli - Early Spring Crop

Cabbage - Winter Food 

Cherry - Australian summer Fruit  

Chick Pea Burgers with Homemade Hummus 

Easter Feast - modern and historic  

Edible Weeds  Eggs: Five Ways - Savoury 

Fennel - Winter Vegetable  

Full Fruit Bowl for Seasonal Health

Figs - Late Summer Fruit  

Fresh Herbs for Health

Green Beans - Spring Vegetables

Healthful Cordials And Cleansing Tonics  Hogmanay (New Year) Dinner - Australian Style  

Kale: for Pure Energy

Make Your Own Treats For Christmas Gifts - Jaffa Rum Balls, White Christmas, Gingerbread People, Spicy Nut Mix, Strawberries Dipped in Christmas, Scottish Shortbread, Spanish Polverones, Melomakarona (Greek Christmas Honey Cookies), Kourabiedes (Greek Butter Biscuits), Italian Lemon Shortbread Squares (Shortbread con crema al limone)

Mandarins Spring Fruits  Mandarins Winter Fruits  

Mangoes - Summer Fruits  

Mum'€™s Vegetable Soup with Macaroni 

Mushrooms Autumnal Shifts

Nectarines - Summer crop Nicoise Salad: An Autumn Salad

Packham's Triumph Pears - The Australian Pear  

Parsnip - Winter Vegetables  Pear - Autumn Fruits  

Perfect Summer Picnics  

Potato Gnocchi    Pumpkin  Pumpkin Season 2015

Sage - the 'saving' herb Remembrance Day 2012 Food  

Self-Saucing Winter Puddings  Silverbeet - Winter Vegetable  

Spring Salad Season  Spring Strawberries Spring Salads  

Summer Lilli Pillis  Summer Passionfruit  Summer Peaches, Quandongs (Wild Peach) - Marian Rowan Ellis 

Summer Raspberries Native Ones - Adam Forster

Ten Minute Spring SaladsSpring Fare 

The Food of Love  Tomato 

Vegetable Bhaji

Winter Crops Winter Vegetable Pies   Zucchini Strawberries

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