Breathe properly, stay curious and eat your beets
– Tom Robbins
What comes to mind when you think of beetroot?
Earth – dirt – stained tablecloth – purple juice. How about chocolate? Now before you swipe that thought from your mind let’s have another think about it.
Doesn’t cacao have that similar earthy texture and taste to it as beetroot does? The dark, bold flavour that is appreciated more as we mature, when our tastebuds grow up and we realise that cotton candy is never as good as we think it’s going to be and that some things look better on the shelf than they do around our waist?
At some stage in life we have two options. Either realise that being nourished tastes better than the junk food in isle 5 or walk the slippery slope to ill health until you kill yourself with the choices you make.
Food is powerful and it can be your medicine or it can be the poison that makes you suffer. To choose health is to choose life and in life there are only lessons so choose well for no one can take away the knowledge you posses once you have it.
Beetroot mud cake is one of my favourite indulgences. And I say indulgent because it truly does feel like I’m spoiling myself when I make it (and eat it) but the truth is, this is a super healthy, nourishing recipe that you could eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner without feeling guilty.
Beetroot is an amazing food source for women. And as a woman in her mid 40’s I have come to appreciate this little super food even more. Studies show that beetroot helps balance out hormones, specifically boosting progesterone and reducing oestrogen dominance which can be particularly beneficial post child bearing years.
What’s so important about progesterone?
Progesterone is one of our 3 hormones as a woman, alongside oestrogen and testosterone. I think of progesterone as the balancing hormone. Without it I feel frumpy, exhausted and cranky. Which is why I love beetroot so much! Progesterone, when in good balance with my other hormones helps:
Improve mood and better sleep
Nourishes hair and clears skin
Prevents auto-immune disease
Builds muscle and bone density
Protects against cancer
Some of the common signs that your hormone balance is off are:
Weight gain – especially around the tummy
Lower muscle tone
Lack of libido
Joint or muscle pain
I know right, get some beets into me now she says!!!
On top of the hormonal wonders of beetroot are some other nutritional facts that might encourage you to try this recipe.
Beetroot is rich in fibre which helps your body eliminate waste. One of the reasons I choose to bake with beetroot rather than juice it is because juicing discards the fibre in the vegetable, one of its super healing powers! The fibre in beetroot helps rid the body of excess oestrogen, it binds to other hormone disrupting toxins you may have ingested and assists the liver to cleanse the body via bowel movements.
Liver detoxification can be particularly important for women from a hormone perspective. If you look after your liver in your younger years you may not suffer through menopause as badly as someone who hasn’t looked after their liver (hindsight is a wonderful thing) and if you are already experiencing peri menopause or menopause, looking after your liver now is absolutely key to breaking down excess hormones in the body that may lead to fibroids, heavy periods, ovarian cysts or worse.
Beetroot is rich in B-vitamins, calcium and antioxidants which all support health liver function and healing. As a ground grown vegetable beets are full of minerals including iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, boron, phosphorous and potassium. You may have already read my article on magnesium and how the majority of us are lacking so adding beets to your seasonal diet may help . On top of that beets are packed with Vit C, A and B, making it an immune boosting power house of gorgeous, rich colour and earthy flavour.
I love mixing the earthy goodness of beets with sweetness for the ultimate decadence which is how I discovered this beet red mud cake in the first place. In this recipe I have chosen to use Lakanto as the sugar substitute but you could also opt for coconut sugar or rapadura sugar if you are not avoiding sugars. Personally I steer clear of processed sugar as much as possible due to the inflammatory diseases caused by sugar (see my article on inflammation here) and get my sweetness from whole fruit (including the fibre), Lakanto which is a sugar substitute made from Monk fruit with amazing health benefits, maple syrup or raw honey.
Be sure to shop for the best possible ingredients you can afford and always opt for locally sourced produce when available. On a side note we sell Lakanto sweetener and organic maple syrup in studio.
6 x medium, semi-ripe bananas
1 cup x organic coconut cream ( I use Honest to Goodness whipping cream)
1/2 cup x extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp x vanilla essence or vanilla bean
1 large beetroot (roasted until soft & cut up)
1 1/2 cups x almond meal (natural or unbleached if possible)
3/4 cup x brown rice flour, buckwheat flour or tapioca flour
1 1/2 cups x cacao powder
1 tsp x baking powder
1/2 tsp x bi-carb soda
1 cup x Lakanto or your chosen sweetener
2 Tb x Superfeast mushroom extract (optional)
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius bake function.
1. Mix all of your wet mix in a food processor until its smooth and gooey
2. Add all of your dry mix , sifting the flour and cacao
3. Fold together with a spoon until it looks like gooey goodness
4. Line base/sides cake tin with baking paper & pour mix in.
5. Bake for about 45 minutes. Check by touching middle of the cake. It should be slightly firm, have little resistance but not wobbly. If you stick a knife in, it should still be a little wet.
6. Leave to cool for 45 minutes in the fridge.
7. Serve with a dollop of natural or coconut yoghurt and a cup of your fav herbal tea for a guilt free pleasure
Oh and did you hear? We are opening a health retreat in June! Super exciting for you and me and we will be offering amazing getaways including nourishing experiences with food. We will be taking bookings soon so if you haven’t already started following us you can do on social media @sanctuarybytheseant and check out the website as it unfolds here
In the not too distant future we may be sitting on the deck together listening to the kookaburra laugh at us while we enjoy a slice of hormone balancing beetroot mud cake together!