LOVE IT OR HATE IT, BEETROOT CAN BOOST YOUR STAMINA!
A couple of weeks before a big race, we get a wee bit excited about BEETROOT at Go Faster Food!
According to a series of studies over the past few years, including a study carried out by the highly respected Dr Stephen Bailey of Exeter University in 2009 (published in the Journal of Applied Physiology), the rich purple elixir really is worth a try if you want to perform to the best of your ability.
Beetroot contains nitrates, which, once converted to nitrite and nitric oxide in the body, enables muscles to work more efficiently and demand less oxygen.
In fact, in the Exeter University study, beetroot juice enabled cyclists to work out for up to 20% longer than when they had a regular fruit juice drink.
A growing number of elite athletes are starting to drink natural alternatives to sports drinks, and beetroot juice has become a staple amongst rugby players, runners, swimmers, rowers and cyclists. Even the awesome gold medallist runner Mo Farah likes to drink beetroot juice!
Beetroot juice is a bit of an aquired taste! The good news is that it tastes fantastic cooked as a vegetable, sliced really thinly as beetroot crisps (just cook them like Kate's Kale Crisps) or added to roasted root veggies such as squash or sweet potato, to soups, or sliced in salads.
Sometimes if we're feeling like being ultra-healthy, we'll whizz up a glass of this BEETROOT, APPLE & CARROT IRON BOOSTER.
WANT THE POWER OF BEETROOT WITHOUT THE TASTE?
Beetroot Chocolate Muffins
Awesomely fudgey, chocolatey ... and not very beetrootey!
Ingredients for 12-15 muffin cases
250g dark chocolate
175g rapeseed oil or melted butter (I like ½ and ½)
250g cooked beetroot, grated (NOT in vinegar!)
3 large eggs (free range if poss.)
150g dark brown sugar
150g self raising flour, sifted
20g cocoa powder, sifted
1tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Prep time - 10 mins
Cook time - 30 mins
Equipment needed - muffin tray, muffin cases x 12, weighing scales, 3 mixing bowls, metal spoon, fork, electric whisk, and if possible, a hand-held blender.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4.
Arrange 12 muffin cases in a muffin tray.
Break up 150g chocolate into pieces and melt in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Don't let the bowl touch the water.
Chop the remaining 100g chocolate into small pieces (the size of chocolate chips) and set aside for later.
Add the oil or butter (or a mix of the two) to the bowl of melting chocolate. When the chocolate has melted, remove from the heat, stir to combine and set aside to cool a little.
Place the beetroot in a bowl and either mash with a fork to a puree, or puree with a hand held blender.
Break the eggs into a separate bowl, add the sugar and beat with an electric whisk, until pale and thick. Add the beetroot puree, and the melted chocolate mixture and beat until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Fold in the sifted flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt very gently with a metal tablespoon, taking care not to over mix.
Divide the mixture between the muffin cases and bake in the oven for about about 25 minutes. They are cooked when they are crisp on top and just springy to the touch. Don't overcook them, as you want them to be slightly fudgey inside.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin. When they are cool, sprinkle with icing sugar to decorate, if, indeed, there are any left at this point ...
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For more vegetable-themed cakes, see www.gofasterfood.com, or get the book!
Chocolate Beetroot Muffins
High in nitrates, beetroot is a rich source of carbohydrates and protein, and is packed with important vitamins (lots of Vitamin C) and minerals, including potassium, calcium, folic acid, iron, zinc, sodium, and magnesium. It’s also a good source of fibre.