Hello! I’m Frances and I'm delighted you’ve found The Blushing Beetroot. This is my first ever attempt at blog writing and I’m so excited to be able to share some of my healthy food creations with you.
I’m a full time mum of two little ones. I find I’m cooking so much now and experimenting a lot with different foods and dishes that I’d like to record and share them with you. Also it gives me something to keep my brain from going totally rusty!!
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Monthly Archives: September 2014
This is a hearty vegetarian stew which is a big hit in my home. Both my children enjoy this dish and its a welcome break from meaty stews. The lentils provide a good source of protein and iron while the sweet potatoes are packed with beta carotene. This stew is easy to digest and won’t leave you feeling like you need to take a nap afterwards! I like to crumble feta cheese on top but if you don’t take animal products it still tastes great without. I love to fill some crunchy cos lettuce leaves with any leftovers the following day which makes a delicious bread free sandwich!
Prep 20 minutes
Cooking 40 minutes
• 1 large tsp coconut oil
• 1 large onion
• 1 inch grated ginger
• 2 small carrots
• 1 large sweet potato (600g) approx
• 200g red lentils
• 1 tin chopped tomatoes
• 1 litre vegetable stock ( I make a ‘reduced salt stock’ by adding more water than suggested. I add 1litre of water to half a stock cube).
• 1 tsp mild chilli powder
• 1 tsp mustard seeds
• 1tsp ground cumin
• 1 tsp ground coriander
• 1 tsp sweet paprika
• 100g feta cheese
To a heavy bottomed pot add the coconut oil and melt over a medium heat. Roughly chop the onion and add to the pot. Fry for 2-3 minutes and then allow the onion to soften by sweating for 5-7 minutes approx. Stir frequently.
Meanwhile roughly chop the carrots and dice the sweet potato into discs of 1 inch thick. Divide each of these into quarters. Add the carrots and sweet potato to the onions and allow to sweat for a further 5-10 minutes stirring frequently to ensure the vegetables don’t stick to the pot.
Add the grated ginger and cook for 1-2 minutes stirring continuously.
Next add the spices and again stir continuously for 1 minute allowing their flavours to be released.
Next add the tin of chopped tomatoes, lentils and stock. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to simmer with lid on. After 20 minutes remove the lid and cook for a further 20 minutes until all the vegetables are cooked.
Transfer to serving dishes and crumble feta cheese on top.
Here’s the juicy bit. . .
Lentils are a good source of protein, iron and B vitamins. They are versatile and can be used in dahls, stews, curries, soups and to stuff vegetables eg tomatoes and peppers. Being a good source of soluble fibre they keep you full and don’t peak your blood sugar which is good for diabetics. They also help reduce blood cholesterol due to the high soluble fibre content which is important for people with cardiovascular conditions.
Beta carotene is absorbed better with some dietary fat so avocado is a good alternative to feta cheese.
This is my favourite energising breakfast to wake up to. Its quick to prepare and tastes great. So many people reach for a caffeinated drink to perk themselves up in the morning but this smoothie is stronger than any espresso for an energy boost! Try it and you’ll be convinced. It’s densely packed with essential fats from the hemp and chia seeds, the hemp also provides good quality protein. The fruit delivers unprocessed carbohydrates. Vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants are abundant!! As its blended it reduces the work load on your body to digest the foods. My son loves this smoothie and it’s a great way to give fussy eaters a potent blend of tasty nutrients. Hope you enjoy ☺️
Makes 1 smoothie
Prep 10 mins
• 100g fresh pineapple diced.
• 100g frozen mixed berries
• 1 large banana
• 1 tbsp raw cacao
• 1 heaped tbsp chia seeds
• 2 heaped tbsp hemp seeds
• a splash of Coconut water or almond milk to get your desired consistency.
• Sesame, sunflower, pumpkin seeds and/ or gogi berries sprinkled on top. ( Optional )
I put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. 15 secs approx. Pour into your serving glass and sprinkle with your toppings of choice. Enjoy.
Here’s the juicy bit. . .
Raw cacao is the core ingredient of chocolate. It’s chocolate in it’s natural form before any processing takes place. It is rich in minerals and is dense in antioxidants providing approximately 10,000 per 10g!Antioxidants help neutralise free radicals.
Free radicals are atoms that are unstable and highly reactive and can have a negative effect on our health. We are constantly exposed to them and creating them in our body through normal bodily processes eg metabolism of food for energy. Disease, exercise, smoking, chemicals and pollutants increase our free radical load. There is much research into the connection between free radicals and cancers and heart disease. Free radicals have a cascading effect on our body and they need to be stabilised to slow the ageing process internally and externally and protect against disease. Antioxidants stabilise free radicals and render them neutral. By taking anti oxidants in abundance you help protect against a variety of diseases thought to be related to excess free radicals. Fruits, vegetables and the modern list of ‘superfoods’ contain anti oxidants in great numbers. Beta carotene, vitamins C and E are three examples of excellent anti oxidants which work in synergy together to stabilise free radicals.
Raw cacao is high in minerals calcium and iron. A 10g portion in your morning smoothie gives 18% of calcium RDA and 33% of iron RDA. It is important for people who don’t eat meat or dairy to ensure they are getting a sufficient amount of these minerals. Foods rich in vitamin C aid the absorption of iron. Avoid coffee or tea around the time of taking your smoothie as the tannins reduce the absorption of iron.
Being a young (ish) Mum of two, I’m all too familiar with a constant, fluctuating, crazy schedule. Particularly the first 14 weeks when you wonder will life ever be normal again.
Unsettled nights followed by topsy turvy days leaves you asking why is my life nothing like the Mums portrayed on magazines covers and TV advertisements, always energetic and organised?
I found that I needed to fuel my body regularly in order to keep my energy levels up to deal with the physical demands of breast feeding and feeling constantly tired from interrupted sleep.
Quick food on the go was needed daily. When both children are hungry the priority is always to feed the little ones and you just gotta wait!!
This is why I came up with this healthy flapjack. I wanted something quick to eat, highly nutritious, packed with energy and tasty of course! So I created this energy bar.
The oats give slow release energy and the fibre gives you a feeling of fullness. The banana and dates gives you an instant natural sugar boost and the chocolate makes these bars delicious! Hope you enjoy 🙂
Makes 9 flapjacks.
Prep: 15 minutes.
Cooking: 15 minutes.
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 medjool dates
- 2 tbsp almond butter
- 1 banana
- 50g 70% dark chocolate
- 150g of porridge oats.
Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease a 20cm X 20cm baking tin with coconut oil. Melt the coconut oil, almond butter and maple syrup in a pot over a gentle heat. Meanwhile peel and slice the banana. De-stone the dates and cut into small pieces using a scissors.
Stir in the dates and banana to the melted oil mixture. Add the oats and stir well. Break up the chocolate and melt it into the oat mixture. You can add more oats, chocolate and syrup if desired.
The mixture is quite dry which is normal. Transfer to your greased baking dish and pop into the over for 15 mins. Remove and leave to cool for 10-15 mins. I usually pop the tray into the fridge at this stage for 10 mins to allow the oil to harden further and this helps hold the flapjacks together. Cut in squares and enjoy.
I store my flapjacks in an airtight tupperware in the fridge and they keep for days although you’ll be lucky if little fingers haven’t eaten them all sooner!!
Here’s the juicy bit. . .
Oats are high in soluble fibre. Once soluble fibre is ingested it forms a gel by attracting water which slows down digestion and keeps you full longer. This prevents spikes in blood sugar and rates low on the GI scale. Great for diabetics. Soluble fibers can also help lower LDL ( low density lipoprotein -AKA bad cholesterol )!! by interfering with the absorption of dietary cholesterol.
Oats are a good source of protein and iron with one 40g serving providing approximately 10% of your daily iron needs.
The dates and bananas give a natural sweetness which won’t peek your blood sugar like refined sugars. Dates are a great source of plant based iron and calcium which vegetarians and vegans need to ensure they are getting enough of.
The chocolate is indulgent naughtiness!!