I don't know if it's the change in seasons, my recent change in diet (as little meat as possible) or just all the travelling we've been doing lately, but my body is screaming out for iron. That is never a good sign. When we were kids in Los Angeles and in Israel (where they don't eat much meat anyway) we were vegetarians, and I was epically anaemic. For years. I wasn't anaemic necessarily because we were vegetarians, I was anaemic because all I ate was apples and corn on the cob. And potatoes. My system just couldn't take anything more. These things were light and easy for me to digest. My mom was constantly supplementing with iron and multivitamin tablets but you know, it just didn't make much of a difference for me.
I've found an excellent liquid supplement in my adulthood however. It's a complete B complex and Iron syrup which actually tastes good - Floradix. They do it in a gluten-free formula too. It's super stuff and within a day, any depleted energy is boosted and you feel strong and healthy again. Get some. I recommend. But as you know, the best way to take in your nutrients is through the food you eat. So when I went shopping the other day and saw a healthy firm bunch of beetroots, I knew they were mine.
Borscht was served in space when the Apollo 18 crew casually caught up - as you do - with their fellow cadets, the Soyuz 19 gang.
If it's good for the astronauts, YOU KNOW it's good for me.
A few nutritional facts about beets:
- They are an excellent detoxifier for the system. The goodness does a cleanse on the liver and boosts and purifies your blood. Tick - that's great for us right now. Because of all the air travelling we've been doing, I want to flush our system of as much of the yucky heavy metals as possible. (I normally take wheatgrass powder with me when I travel specifically for this reason, but we didn't this time. Even though we did manage to get a few pretty potent juice kicks in NYC, it was few and far between).
- Full of minerals and vitamins: Potassium, Magnesium, fiber, Phosphoros, Iron, Vitamins A, B&C, beta-carotene, beta-cyanine, folic acid. We've got the post travel sniffles...Need I say any more?
- Great for mental health. Beets contain tryptophan an essential amino acid which relaxes a busy mind and creates a calmer, sleepier state of well-being. Crossing time zones is always hard on the system so this is excellent in helping us get over our terrible jetlag and sooth us right back into a nicer frame of mind.
- Beets boost energy: because of their high sugar content. However, this type of sugar is released gradually into the blood system so no manic up and down spikes. Yup, we're feeling a little tired. This should help us out during the day.
- Natural Aphrodisiac: because they are high in Boron, which relates directly to the human reproductive hormones. Too tired at the moment for any of those shenanigans but ...ahem, good to know for future use.
This soup is one of the most straightforward soups you can ever make, all-in-all it's probably done in 20 mins. Drink up my pretties. This makes a huge vat of the stuff so alter the recipe accordingly.
* Of course there is no blood in this witch's brew, but it is really good for your blood and is a rich, deep burgundy color, better than actual blood. And in keeping with the Halloween theme, I wanted to get a bit gorey. Your kitchen and hands will certainly look like a slaughterhouse by the time you've done shredding you beets and the juice has splattered everywhere.
- In a nice big witch's cauldron bring your stock to a boil. Tip in the shredded beetroot, lower the heat to a simmer and allow the BEAUTIFUL bloody color to emerge (5-8 minutes).
- Tip in the carrots and potatoes. Continue to simmer until potatoes are cooked. Add herbs and bay leaves.
- In a pan, gently sauté the onions so they get just a little bit sticky and sweet, add the can of tomatoes. Simmer softly for a few more minutes so the flavour meddle. Tip into the bloody brew.
- Season with salt and pepper and the vinegar or lemon juice.
- Add the raw squished garlic just at the end before serving. No need to cook. (Extra gastro-immuno hit!)
- Done. Serve with dollop of creme fraiche/ sour cream and chopped dill/ chives etc. Adjust sourness to your liking.
Nice healthy big bunch of beetroot (5 approximately), peeled, shredded, use the stalks too, they are super delicious!
3 large organic carrots, peeled, shredded
3 nice big floury potatoes, peeled, cubed
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 large onion and 1 small onion
6/7 cloves of chopped/ squished garlic
5/6 leaves of bay leaf
mixed herbs - dill and thyme go really well, but any other dried herbs are good too
2 Liters stock of your choice
a lot of lemon juice (3/4 whole lemons - for flavour but also for the Vitamin C punch) or equivalent of cider vinegar (also a fabulous tonic for the system)
Crème fraîche for serving and extra dill/ lemon/ vinegar to taste
Delicious deep blood red beetroot borscht recipe. Fantastic vitamin/ mineral kick and immune boosting properties for after long bouts of travel or when feeling worn down.