Newsletter 89 – November 2010

Hi everyone 24/11/2010

Well, it is gorgeous here in Kapiti for the second consecutive day, and definitely summer is here. Christmas Day and New Years Day fall at the weekend this year so our delivery schedules are relatively unchanged. There will be normal Wednesday and Thursday deliveries the week prior to Christmas and delivery on Thursday 30th December and Thursday 6th January. Please let me know your requirements.

Spring greens are just starting to appear in the boxes – my box last week had a couple of courgettes and a garnish of spinach. I see green peas and new season potatoes on this weeks produce list so fingers crossed for some of these soon.

This edition includes a short report on the Wellington Vegetarian Food and Lifestyle Festival, and the featured vegetable is beetroot.

Wellington Vegetarian Food Festival

This was held in the St. Johns Convention Centre in Willis Street on Saturday 2nd October. It was a fine day and about 2000 people attended. There was much interest in our vegeboxes and lots of new people have tried the service. The Organic Connection draw for a free Baby Box delivery was won by Atom Emet and his son Solomon.

I didn’t get away from our display to visit other areas of the show but there was a real buzz and I understand lots of interesting healthy food, cooking demos, speakers and films.

Beetroot

Beetroot has been cultivated for about 4,000 years. It was probably the ancient Babylonians who started to use it first. Early Greeks and Romans used the root for its medicinal, properties and the leaves as vegetables.

Since Roman times beetroot juice has been considered an aphrodisiac. In mythology Aphrodite is said to have eaten beets to retain her beauty.

Beetroot is rich in minerals: potassium, phosphorus, sulphur, calcium, iodine, iron, manganese, chlorine, and copper as well as traces of the rare metals rubidium and caesium. Also vitamins B1, B2, niacin, B6, B12, C and beta carotene, flavonoids, natural sugar and a good quality and quantity of amino acids.

The health claims for this humble vegetable are staggering. It is said to be beneficial for everything from detoxification, to arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), blood pressure and varicose veins. Very good for liver and kidneys and has anti-tumour properties too.

Other studies have found positive effects of beetroot juice in human exercise and performance. Scientists found cyclists who drank a half litre of beetroot juice several hours before setting off were able to ride up to 20% longer than those who drank a placebo juice.

Here are some ideas for using this colourful vegetable.

For a revitalizing power juice.

Juice together 1 medium raw beetroot, 1-2 apples and 2-3 medium carrots.

Serve hot or cold

For a stunning colourful mash combine equal amounts of pureed or grated cooked beetroot with floury mashed potatoes, a generous dollop of butter, sour cream and seasoning.

Alternatively serve hot as a vegetable with sour cream, black pepper and a few sprigs of parsley.

Or chop beetroot raw into approximately 1″ cubes. Place in a baking dish and sprinkle with brown sugar, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Bake till cooked. Awesome flavour!!

Apple Beetroot and Avocado Salad

3 medium beetroot
200g mixed salad leaves
1 red onion finely sliced
1 apple peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 avocado peeled, stone removed and sliced

Dressing:

¾ cup apple juice
½ cup cider vinegar
½ cup vegetable oil
½ teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
¼ teaspoon celery salt

Preheat oven to 200 C. Wash beetroot and place in baking dish with 60 ml water. Cover and roast for 1 hour or until tender. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Whisk together the dressing ingredients.

Peel and slice the beetroot and combine with the dressing. Refrigerate for 20 minutes

Divide the salad leaves among four plates. Drain beetroot and reserve dressing. Arrange overlapping layers of beetroot, onion, apple and avocado on salad greens. Drizzle with dressing.

A gift idea. Instead of flowers send a box of organic fruit and veggies. We can put a greeting message on the label. The clients who have used this service say the feedback has been great

All for now

Regards – Lorraine