About 60% of customers use our swap feature for their veg boxes. The data shows that beetroot is often swapped out the most. From what what we can tell, the earthy taste and lack of knowledge of how to cook with it are the most cited reasons.
We have had a very good crop of beetroot this year so with this bounty harvest let's delve right in and allow me to enlighten you!
There are three main types of beetroot: red, golden & silver. There is not much call for silver beet in the UK and personally I prefer golden and red beets, so we have stuck with growing these varieties.
Beetroots were domesticated in the ancient Middle East, primarily for their greens, and were grown by the Ancient Egyptians, Greeks & Romans. By the Roman era, it is thought that they were also cultivated for their roots. From the Middle Ages, beetroot was used to treat various conditions. Especially illnesses relating to digestion & the blood.
Indeed, the health benefits of beetroot are often easily searched for online. But from a very basic farmer point of view, anyone will notice the red dye in urine and stools, sometimes within an hour of eating them. Now, I reckon anything that can colour the internal organs of the body that fast must have some pretty powerful properties, and so it does.
Around the world, beetroot is a common ingredient: in Sweden, added to meatballs or burgers, by chopping to grating beetroot into the minced meat. In Australia, McDonalds add sliced pickled beetroot to their most popular burger. In Indian cuisine beetroot is chopped, cooked & spiced and is a common side dish.
One of my favourites is adding grated beetroot to a brownie mix as chocolate and beetroot flavours accompany each other very well. So before you swap it out next time, perhaps give it the respect it deserves. After all, humans spent centuries trying to breed it for its healthy properties.