How to grow beetroot:
Contrary to popular belief beetroot does not come from a can, it’s grown in the ground! And is perfectly suited to your little one’s raised garden bed. Fresh beets have a far superior taste to their canned counterparts and taste amazing grated in salads, on top of a burger or even in a chocolate cake! Best of all, they have a pretty easy-growing nature and will rear their pretty crimson bulbs quite quickly when grown from seed. Beetroots will grow throughout the year in temperate climates but will need consistent moisture, so make sure your little green thumbs’ watering habits aren’t too erratic!
What you’ll need
- My First Garden
- Beetroot seeds from your local nursery
- Quality potting mix
- High-potassium liquid fertiliser – (try liquid potash)
How to grow
- Soak your beet seeds overnight before sowing
- Prepare your raised garden bed by filling it up with potting mix (leave about 5cm free at the top)
- Sow your seeds thinly across the surface and then cover with another 3cm of potting mix
- Water twice daily and wait for your seedlings to appear
- Once seedlings are around 2cm tall, thin them out so there is a 5-10cm gap (they need room to bulk up!)
- Cut watering back to around twice a week but more often in hot weather
- Once a fortnight feed your beets with liquid potash or something similar
- In 8-10 weeks you should be able to pick your crimson beauties from your garden bed.
Aunty Nat’s Choc Beet Brownies
(a good way to sneak a little nutritional goodness into a ‘treat’)
3-4 medium sized beetroots
100g unsalted organic butter (plus a little extra for the tin)
200g bar of 70% cocoa chocolate
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g caster sugar
100g plain flour
25g cocoa powder
- Top, tail and peel beetroots and roughly chop them. Place in a bowl with a splash of water and cover with plastic wrap. Heat in the microwave on high for 12 minutes or until tender (alternatively, cover with water and boil for 15-20 minutes or until tender). Place in a sieve to drain excess fluid.
- Heat oven to 180°C. Grease tin.
- Roughly chop up chocolate and butter. Place in food processor with beets and vanilla essence. Whiz until smooth.
- Place sugar and eggs in a large bowl and use an electric hand mixer to beat until thick and foamy.
- Add beetroot/choc mix to the bowl and fold into whisked sugar/eggs.
- Sift in flour and cocoa powder and mix until a smooth batter forms.
- Pour into prepared tin and bake for approximately 25 minutes.
- Allow to cool and then cut into squares.
Beetroot is nutrient dense and high in magnesium, potassium, iron, vitamin A, C and B6. Plus it’s high in betacyanin, the antioxidant that gives beets their luscious purply colour. Emerging research has also found that beetroot juice supports blood flow around the body, including to the muscles, and boosts exercise stamina. Just another excuse to munch on these brownies, so get some in your raised garden bed today!