Beetroot & Banana Superbowl
Defined as being nutrient rich and especially beneficial for health and wellbeing; superfoods are undoubtedly the catchcry of this decade. They're exotic and seductive and honestly who can't help but be romanced by the idea of serving up rare ancient foods at the table. While they have a place in my kitchen I'm also mindful that such privileges come from faraway countryside where practises and equalities can be far from ideal. Besides that I also find a elegant simplicity in humble foods. Those that need no pronunciation cue.
Beetroot and banana are such that. It escape me to think of anything more akin to old faithfuls in my kitchen, though combining the two I must admit is not often at the front of my mind. In this bowl they make for a sweet blend, that is both filling and pleasantly earthy. My favourite topping is citrus buckwheat which adds another dimension to the flavour and is no effort at all.
As staples these beauties aren't any less remarkable than superfoods in their health benefit. Belonging to the same family as chard and spinach, beetroot is an excellent source of folic acid, fibre, manganese and potassium it likewise has long been used anciently for medical purposes to stimulate the liver's detoxification process. Both the leaves and roots are edible which makes beetroot ever more endearing as an all rounder.
Botanically banana are actually a berry produced by several large kinds of flowering herbs often mistaken for trees. Much like beetroot they're rich in potassium; a mineral electrolyte that assists in the flow of energy around the body and cardiovascular health. Both their fibre content and pectin also help to maintain overall digestion by balancing "friendly" bacteria in the lower intestine. Best of all for most people both banana and beetroot are a local crop.
Beetroot and Banana Superbowl / Serves 2
1 small beetroot bulb
2 frozen sliced banana
150g (5 oz/ 1 cup) frozen blueberries
250ml (8 1/2 fl oz/ 1 cup) of unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
2 tbsp of nut butter (I particularly like almond in this blend)
Topping: citrus buckwheat, fresh fruit, natural yoghurt
Peel and coarsely grate the beetroot. Place it along with the frozen fruits, almond milk and nut butter in a high speed blender. If you don't have a high speed blender use a hand blender and mix in a tall jug. Spoon the mixture into bowls and top with the citrus buckwheat, sliced fruit and natural yoghurt. Serve immediately.
Citrus Buckwheat / Makes approximately 2 cups
2 cups (12 1/2 oz/ 360g) of buckwheat
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
Zest of an orange and 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) of juice
2 tsp cinnamon
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scrapped out and reserved
Pinch of nutmeg
Optional: 1 tbsp orange blossom water
Preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F) and line a baking sheet with baking parchment. In a saucepan combine the maple syrup, coconut oil, orange zest and juice, spices and orange blossom water (if using) and gently stir over low heat until combined. Remove from the heat and fold through the buckwheat groats. Leave to stand for 15 minutes before spreading the mixture evenly across the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes stirring after 20 minutes and then every 5 minutes or so until golden and crisp. Let cool completely and then store in an air tight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.
Seasonal guide / temperate climate
Beetroot, year round; banana, year round though best through autumn and spring; blueberries, late winter through mid autumn.
Base your choice of banana depending upon when you want to consume them. Green bananas will take longer to ripen than those of a yellow hue. The fruit should be firm, but not too hard, bright in appearance and free from bruises. Their size does not affect quality. Banana are very fragile and care should be taken in their storage. They should be left to ripen at room temperature before being placed in the refrigerator to store for longer. Banana can also be frozen for up to 2 months; either puree or peel the banana and place in an air tight container.
Bee pollen, hemp seeds, cacao nibs, fresh strawberries, raspberries and fig, dried coconut, coconut yoghurt