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About this recipe: According to psychologists, we sense food with our eyes as well as our palates, and the colour and texture of dishes impart strong messages. The vibrant colour and luxuriously smooth texture of this vitamin-packed blend of beetroot, raspberries and cranberry juice make it irresistible.
For a refreshing cold soup, thin this drink down slightly with a little still mineral water. * For extra kick, add a little hot horseradish sauce or some snipped fresh chives or chopped parsley or dill. * Bought pre-boiled, vacuum-packed beetroot can be used for this recipe, but pickled beetroot preserved in vinegar is not suitable. * To cook fresh beetroot, trim and wash, leaving them whole (skin, roots and leaf stalks in place). Place in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20–40 minutes, depending on size, until tender. Drain, then cool under cold running water. Rub off the skin and drain the beetroot on kitchen paper. * For a savoury beetroot-flavoured drink, purée a 5 cm (2 in) piece of cucumber (peeled or unpeeled, as preferred) with the beetroot, adding about 20 fresh mint leaves and 200 ml (7 fl oz) water. Add 100 g (3½ oz) Greek-style yogurt and 1–2 tbsp lemon juice, to taste. Garnish the glasses with cucumber slices and sprigs of mint.
Traditionally, beetroot was believed to be good for the health of the blood – probably because of its deep red colour. It does contain plenty of folate, which is essential for the formation of red blood cells as well as the proper development of the nervous system in unborn babies. * The raspberries and cranberry juice drink provide vitamin C; raspberries also contain B-group vitamins. * Cranberry juice contains a compound that helps to prevent E. coli bacteria from causing bladder and urinary-tract infections.
C * folate * B2, calcium, potassium