January 29 - February 4 2023: Issue 569


Summer vegetable: beetroot

Beetroot on stem. Photo: Brianna Walther 
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 and building muscles, 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 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!

Dietary Nitrate Found In Beetroot Juice Significantly Increases Muscle Force During Exercise

January 23, 2023
A new study has found that consuming dietary nitrate -- the active molecule in beetroot juice -- significantly increased muscle force while exercising. While it is known that dietary nitrate enhances exercise, both boosting endurance and enhancing high-intensity exercise, researchers still have much to learn about why this effect occurs, and how our bodies convert dietary nitrate that we ingest into the nitric oxide that can be used by our cells. 

To help close this gap, researchers at the University of Exeter,  the University of Queensland, and the U.S. National Institutes of Health traced the distribution of ingested nitrate in the saliva, blood, muscle and urine of ten healthy volunteers, who were then asked to perform maximal leg exercise. The team wanted to discover where in the body the dietary nitrate was active, to give clues on the mechanisms at work.

An hour after the nitrate was taken, participants were asked to perform 60 contractions of the quadriceps -- the thigh muscle active while straightening the knee -- at maximum intensity over five minutes on an exercise machine. The team found a significant increase in the nitrate levels in muscle. During the exercises, researchers found this nitrate boost caused an increase in muscle force of seven per cent, compared to when the participants took a placebo.

Andy Jones, Professor of Applied Physiology at the University of Exeter, said: "Our research has already provided a large body of evidence on the performance-enhancing properties of dietary nitrate, commonly found in beetroot juice. Excitingly, this latest study provides the best evidence to date on the mechanisms behind why dietary nitrate improves human muscle performance."

Previous studies had found an increase of nitrate in tissue and body fluid after ingesting labelled dietary nitrate. By using the tracer in the new study, researchers were able to accurately assess where nitrate is increased and active, and also shed new light on how the nitrate we consume is used to enhance exercise performance.

"This study provides the first direct evidence that muscle nitrate levels are important for exercise performance, presumably by acting as a source of nitric oxide," said Dr Barbora Piknova, research collaborator and staff scientist in the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health. "These results have significant implications not only for the exercise field, but possibly for other medical areas such as those targeting neuromuscular and metabolic diseases related to nitric oxide deficiency."

The research was conducted in collaboration with the University of Queensland, Australia, under the QUEX partnership with Exeter.

Stefan Kadach, Ji Won Park, Zdravko Stoyanov, Matthew I. Black, Anni Vanhatalo, Mark Burnley, Peter J. Walter, Hongyi Cai, Alan N. Schechter, Barbora Piknova, Andrew M. Jones. 15 N ‐labeled dietary nitrate supplementation increases human skeletal muscle nitrate concentration and improves muscle torque production. Acta Physiologica, 2023; DOI: 10.1111/apha.13924

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 

Australian Families Encouraged To Tuck Into A Healthy and Sustainable Challenge

Autumn is Apple Season 

Autumn Feast of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables for a Healthy Body

Autumn Tonic Soup: keep the chills out as we head into Winter with this simple seasonal recipe

Broccoli - Early Spring Crop

Beetroot: Summer Vegetables 

Cabbage - Winter Food 

Cherry - Australian summer Fruit 

Chick Pea Burgers with Homemade Hummus 

Classic Spring Trifles

Classic Winter Soups

Cook A Mother's Day Feast - Give Mum The Day Off

Dione Lucas: first female graduate of Le Cordon Bleu and first woman to give a cooking demonstration on Australian Television

Easter Feast - modern and historic  

Easter Feast 2022: Our Tried + Tested Triple Chocolate Pudding 

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  Home Grown Food Program in Fruit and Veg Month by Jess Rosman  

Honey, Honey: Inaugural World Bee Day - Honey Cake Recipes Around the World

How To Make Your Diet More Sustainable, Healthy Or Cheap – Without Giving Up Nutrients by Brad Ridoutt, Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO Agriculture

Kale: for Pure Energy  Kale, Ricotta And Chicken Cannelloni

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  

Mother's Day at Breakfast Menu for those who 'can't cook'

Mums Vegetable Soup with Macaroni 

Mushrooms Autumnal Shifts

Nectarines - Summer crop 

Nicoise Salad: An Autumn Salad

Old Australian Chocolates Back On The Market: The Cherry Ripe Song of MacRobertsons

Packham's Triumph Pears - The Australian Pear  

Parsnip - Winter Vegetables  Pear - Autumn Fruits  

Perfect Summer Picnics  

Plastic Packaging Problem From Just One Meal + Council Looks Into Coffee Cup Reboot Of 'Swap This For That'

Potato Gnocchi    Pumpkin  Pumpkin Season 2015

Sage - the 'saving' herb Remembrance Day 2012 Food  

Salad Season: Whole Meals In A Bowl Ideas

Self-Saucing Winter Puddings  

Sensational Hot Scones For Cold Winter Mornings

Silverbeet - Winter Vegetable  

Spring Salad Season  Spring Strawberries Spring Salads  

Sugar Free Halloween

Summer Lilli Pillis  Summer Passionfruit  Summer Peaches, Quandongs (Wild Peach) - Marian Rowan Ellis Summer Peaches - From Wyong! Summer Plums - Greengages

Summer Raspberries Native Ones - Adam Forster

Summer Stone Fruit: The Peaches, Apricots, Nectarines, Plums of things

Summer Stone Fruit: The Peaches, Apricots, Nectarines, Plums + How To Make The Perfect Pavlova According To Chemistry Experts: The Ultimate Summertime Desert 

Summer Vegetable: Beetroot Juice Significantly Increase in Force in Muscles

Sweet Corn

Ten Minute Spring SaladsSpring Fare 

The Food of Love  Tomato 

Vegetable Bhaji

Whole Pumpkin Stuffed With Chorizo, Rice and Goat Cheese: Winter Food

Winter Crops Winter Vegetable Pies   Zucchini Strawberries  Cauliflower

Winter Warmers: Parsnips, Pumpkin Soup Variations, Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding, Avocado Season

Winter Warmers: Cauliflower

Winter Warmers 2022: Leek and Potato Soup, Coq Au Vin + Apple, Date and Walnut Cake With Caramel Sauce

Pittwater Restaurants, Cafés and Bistros

Addiction Food - Sydney Wildlife Fundraiser

Alma Restaurant Avalon 

Avalon Chinese Restaurant 

Avalon on the Beach Kiosk

Barrenjoey House: Winter 2017

Beco at Mona Vale, Newport and Avalon: Winter 2020

Boathouse at Palm Beach: Simply Smashing Spring Lunches  

Brunch At Dunes Kiosk - Palm Beach

Caffeine Villains - Newport

Café By The Sea + Cellar By The Sea 

Café Edelweiss and the German Butchery at Bassett Street: Mona Vale  

Café Relish at North Avalon

Church Point Food Choices

Club Palm Beach: Fish Fridays

Coffee Brothers Café At Mona Vale: Celebrating A Decade Of Great Coffee and Yummy Food In 2022

Cranky Fins Holidae Inn  

Cranzgot's Pizza Cafe

Dine and Discover: Premier's Visit Highlights Support For Local Restaurants and Cafes: Dine & Discover NSW (& Pittwater) Commences Late January 2021

Dine & Discover In Pittwater: By Postcode - Suburb - March 2021

Duck Creek Macadamias - Orange Obsessions

Feed Me Too - Supplier Of Allergy Free Food & Services

Flannerys Organic & Wholefoods Market - Mona Vale

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Kindred Peanut Butter: Great Food For A Good Cause From A Local Producer

Laurie Bimson's Marinated Kangaroo Recipe  

Lobster Nights at Club Palm Beach

Marina Café: Church Point - within The Quays Marina at Church Point

Mekong: Merchants of Taste - Vietnamese street food Avalon Beach

Mekong Merchant Restaurants In Mona Vale And Avalon Beach: Pho Specialists!

Modus Operandi Brewing Co., Brilliant Beers, Beautiful Burgers in Mona Vale

Oceana Traders - Seafood Merchants, Avalon Beach: For Fish & Chips Excellence

Palm Beach Fish and Chips Tops Scale at 10  

Parkview Restaurant: Avalon Beach RSL Club

Pasadena Pantry & Fresh

Permanora Honey - Tom's Pure Honey From Elanora Heights

Pittwater COVID- 19 Restrictions Responses: Take Away from Restaurants and Cafes and Grocers and Food Available From Local Outlets  Local food suppliers and cafes and restaurants are currently adapting to social-distancing requirements and the closure of public spaces to large gatherings. Listed this week are those that have food you can order for take away or delivery and also those who supplied these outlets who also have food available to purchase.

Premier's Visit Highlights Support For Local Restaurants And Cafes: Dine & Discover NSW (Pittwater) 

Prontos Creative Food - Palm Beach  Pronto Creative Food Celebrates 30 Years - Palm Beach Success Story for Local Lady  Pronto Creative Food: Something Sweet

Riva Bar and Kitchen - Avalon Beach  Riva Bar And Kitchen Autumn Lunch May 2019

RMYC Function Food at Rotary Club of Pittwater 52nd Changeover Dinner  

RMYC Ladies Lunch for July(2012); 'Boosting Your Brain and turning Your Stress Into Success' by Dr. Helena Popovic

Rozana Mediterranean Cuisine - Avalon Beach

Sa-Biang Thai Restaurant At Avalon Beach

Salt Cove at RMYC Broken Bay Sky Thai Avalon  Sushi Ichiri  Sydney Edible Garden Trail Opens Next Weekend: March 21-22, 2020 - The Local Trail At Newport, Mona Vale, Elanora + More

The 2107 Restaurant - Avalon

The 2 Catherines Café, Catherine Park, Scotland Island

The Two Catherines Café by Robyn Iredale

The Avalon On The Beach Restaurant and Kiosk Opens in Avalon Beach SLSC clubhouse  

The Balcony Room at Palm Beach Golf Club

The Chick'n Shack Café at Careel Bay - For Lovers Of Old School Burgers and New School Ways

The Little Oak Tree Cafe at Careel Bay Shops

The Old Civic Café and Diner, Mona Vale

Waterfront Cafe - Church Point

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