beetrootWe’ve come a long way from the days when you could only get beetroot in a can – and a big thumbs up to that.

Full of sweet earthy flavour and so versatile, fresh beetroot should be a staple in your fridge’s vegetable crisper.

You can roast it, boil it, or pickle it, but one of the simplest and tastiest ways to enjoy it is raw. Peel, then grate and combine with an  equal amount of grated carrot and simply add a little mayo or some vinegary dressing for an easy side salad. Add some raisins or nuts if you want something a bit more substantial.

Here are some other creative ways to use the lovely fresh beetroot that is in season and available now:

Beetroot chips: Cut beetroot into thin slices and put in a dehydrator or coat in olive oil and cook in a very low oven for 1-2 hours then season with salt.

Beetroot and goats cheese salad: A classic combo. You’ll need to roast the beetroot for this one – trim the stems, leaving about 5cm of stem (this stops the beets from leaking juice all over your baking tray). Wash/scrub away any dirt then Wrap whole beets in foil and then roast at 180c for 45 minutes or until they are easy to skewer. Peel then cut into wedges. Combine with Nimbin Valley Goats Cheese, local pecan and the beet greens you have kept or another leafy green like rocket or spinach.

Beetroot chocolate cake:  It sounds a bit odd at first, but adding beetroot to a chocolate cake makes it rich, moist and extra tasty.

Beetroot juice: Beetroot juice is said to lower blood pressure and boost stamina. Juice it with other ingredients like carrot, apple, celery, greens, orange and ginger for extra goodness.

Beetroot leaves: Don’t throw your beet leaves away. They’re highly nutritious and can be used anywhere that you’d normally use spinach, silverbeet or leafy greens like book choy. They them sautéed with some garlic and olive oil.