The root vegetable, beetroot, is fun for children to cook with because of its dark, red flesh which can be used as a natural food colour.
One of the least messy ways to prepare beetroots is to bake them in a medium hot oven hot (375ºF, 190ºC, Gas Mark 5, Fan 170ºC) for about an hour or until they are tender. If you can, try and time this alongside baking something else such as bread or jacket potatoes. Allow the beetroots to cool before peeling the skin off. You can also steam or boil beetroot. Beetroots will take about 30-40 minutes to cook if you boil them. For even cooking time, chose vegetables of the same size.
To stop the beetroots from bleeding when you cook them; cut off the leaves above the stalk and be careful not to tear the skin. You can peel raw beetroot and then grate it, to add colour and crunch to salads. Add cooked beetroot as late as you dare, because it will turn everything pink as the beetroot juice bleeds into the other ingredients.
Beetroot and Chocolate Muffins
200g self raising flour
75g Fairtrade cocoa powder
225g unrefined caster sugar
200ml vegetable oil
250g pureed cooked beetroot (about 4 cooked beetroots)
What to do:
Preheat the oven to 375F 190?C 170ºC Fan Gas Mark 5
1. Line a 12 mould muffin tray with muffin cases.
2. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a bowl. Add the sugar and mix all of the dry ingredients together.
3. Break the eggs into a bowl and use a fork to whisk in the measured oil. Add the beetroot to the beaten eggs and oil and whisk well.
4. Add the beetroot (liquid) mixture to the dry ingredients and mix everything together until it is ‘just’ mixed.
5. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the muffins are well risen.
6. Remove the muffins from the tin and put on a wire rack to cool.
7. Decorate with a sprinkling of rapudura sugar and blueberries