Finally 4 months after sowing the beetroot seeds, which is very late for beetroots, I was able to harvest some really good looking and beetroot. Most years I grow quite a few varieties, and I used to like Cylindra but in my heavy soil at the allotment I decided not to bother with it this year as the roots tend to get deformed. I planted the seeds direct outside in late March in hope of a baby beetroot harvest in June, but had to wait until the first week of august unfortunately.
The seeds went into drills, and germinated after about 14 days and started to grow really well but the weather wasn’t on their side later on. I sow them 3 – 4 cm deep and normally have the first small roots in June, and from then on I can pick few beetroot every weekend throughout the summer well into the autumn.
I am growing Boltardy which is bred for bolt – resistance but to be honest I have never had problem with beetroot bolting, and believe me I have tried many varieties. Boltardy is a bit faster than Detroit in my opinion but Detroit produce larger roots. And my third choice this year is Bull’s blood for its leaves for salads, but you can of course eat the roots as well just like a normal beetroot. Bull’s blood is the slowest of the three; let’s see how big it will grow by the end of the season. Here is the range of seeds we sell.
Beetroot health benefits
I would call it Super-Root really as beetroot is so good for you. So you should really grow and eat more and not only because it is believed to be an aphrodisiac since Roman times. Research shows that beetroot can boost stamina; no wonder as it contains iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, Vitamins A, B1,2,3,6, C and folic acid, also soluble fiber and powerful antioxidants.
Beetroot is helpful in creating healthy red blood cells and helps to maximize the amount of oxygen being carried on the red blood cells. Beetroot contains a small amount of silica too which helps the body to utilize calcium. The betacyanin, which gives the colour of the beetroot, may protect the liver from the build-up of fatty acids which is caused by too much alcohol consumption or diabetes. (Beetroot juice is great if you have hangover)
Also studies show that the high nitrate content in the beetroot lowers the blood pressure. The nitrate will help to produce the nitrite oxide in the circulation which helps the blood vessels to widen and therefore reduces the blood pressure. The soluble fibers, flavonoids and caretinoids help to prevent high cholesterol levels in the arteries.
Roast Beetroot with Pinenuts
Wash the beetroot and wrap them in kitchen foil. Pop them on the oven at 160 degrees. The roots should be ready in about 40 minutes, you can check if ready with a fillet knife. When the beetroot is ready the knife should go through it with ease.
Let it cool, and in the meantime fry the pinenuts on the hob in a drop of olive oil. Peel and dice the beetroots, add the pinenuts, a drop of olive oil and a drop of lemon juice. Hmm… it is really tasty, and goes well as a side with any meal in my opinion. Check out this forum thread for more beetroot recipes and feel free to add yours.