Beetroot pasta bake – a family favourite recipe to boost your immune system

Beetroot is usually associated with winter, but it’s often sweeter when grown in spring and summer.

Now that the weather is getting warmer many of us are hoping to eat healthier meals. Meaning that beetroot is a great vegetable to throw onto your lunch or dinner plate.

We heard from registered nutritionist, Jenna Hope, who works with Love Beetroot, to find out more about this bountiful plant.

Here’s Jenna’s lowdown on why we should be eating more beetroot and the best ways to incorporate it into an everyday diet…

Supporting the Immune System

Beetroot offers a range of nutrients, perfect for supporting the immune system, especially Vitamin C. Vitamin C deficiency is associated with an impaired immune function and increased susceptibility to infections too.

By increasing Vitamin C intake through beetroot, the chances of catching infections is limited.

Reducing Blood Pressure

Beetroot is high in potassium. Potassium helps to ease tension in your blood vessel walls, which helps further lower blood pressure.

Beetroot is also rich in nitrates. When eaten these nitrates mix with saliva and convert to nitrite. Nitrite causes blood vessels to dilate which can help to reduce blood pressure.

Supporting Brain Health

Beetroot contains chemical compounds known as anthocyanins which are indicated by its deep colour. Evidence has suggested anthocyanins play an important role in supporting memory performance, cognitive function and motor skills.

Additionally, due to the anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory mechanisms of anthocyanins, dietary sources such as beetroot can help to protect brain health.

Beetroot pasta bake recipe

Incorporate more beetroot into your weekly diet by whipping up this tasty pasta bake from Love Beetroot:

Ingredients:

  • 250g vac-pac beetroot
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 30g fresh basil leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Salt for seasoning
  • 400g pasta
  • 100g feta
  • 50g parmesan

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Carefully open the vac-pac beetroot, draining the juice into a jug and set it aside. Chop the beetroot into quarters.
  3. Meanwhile, put the oil into a large frying pan on a medium heat. Add the onions, celery and carrot, and two thirds of the drained, quartered, beetroot, cooking until soft, about 10 mins.
  4. Roughly tear the basil into the pan and add the garlic, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat after 30 seconds.
  5. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and add the pasta, simmering for 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 200ml of pasta water.
  6. Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor blitz the onion and beetroot mixture, along with the reserved beetroot juice. Slowly add the pasta water to loosen the mixture until you have a pourable consistency.
  7. Pour the drained pasta into a large oven proof dish. Stir the sauce through the pasta, ensuring the pasta is well coated.
  8. Top with the remaining beetroot quarters, feta and parmesan.
  9. Bake in the oven for 20 mins, until crisp on top and the cheese has melted. Top with the fresh basil, if using.

Source: Read Full Article