Beetroot has been around for centuries, it descended from wild sea beet. People used to eat the leaves rather than the swollen root. The root only became popular in the 18th century, when French chefs realised its potential.
Nowadays most people eat just the root, though I quite often put the young leaves in our salads as they taste nice and add a bit of colour.
Beetroot has loads of antioxidants and research shows it is good for regenerating immune cells and boosting the body’s natural defences in the liver. It also contains silica, which is vital for healthy skin, bones, tendons and ligaments and fingernails. So it is good to eat.
The variety I grow is ‘Boltardy’, as it doesn’t run to seed so quickly when conditions aren’t so good, like this year.
Beetroot is one of those things that is usually just cooked and eaten, or pickled.
I try and find different ways to use my garden produce so nothing gets wasted. Therefore, below is a cake recipe that I make using cooked beetroot. It tastes delicious and I didn’t even admit to my family that I used cooked beetroot in it, until a few weeks ago and they were astonished as you can’t taste it.
Beetroot and Chocolate Cake Recipe
250g cooked beetroot
200ml sunflower oil
175g Self raising flour
200g Caster sugar
1 teaspoon of baking powder
50g Cocoa powder
A sprinkling of icing sugar for the top
Preheat oven to Gas 4 / 180C / 350F
Grease the bottom and the sides of an 8 inch cake tin and sprinkle flour over it to stop it the cake from sticking to the tin
Sieve the flour, cocoa, baking powder and sugar into a bowl
Drain the beetroot and blend in a food processor until nearly smooth, whilst adding the eggs one at a time, followed by the oil.
Add the beetroot mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Pour into the cake tin and cook for approx. 45 minutes.
Take out of the cake tin and cool then top with a sprinkling of icing sugar.
I doubled the above recipe today, so I could sandwich the two cakes together with jam and put butter icing on the top to make it even more special.
Cleaning the old fashioned way continued…
Today I am focusing on white vinegar.
White vinegar is cheap to buy and most supermarkets sell it. It can be used in a multitude of ways and is antibacterial too, so it kills most germs. It does smell when you first spray it, but the smell doesn’t linger and no one will know you have used it. White vinegar is milder than malt vinegar and dries odourless.
I put my white vinegar into a spray bottle so it is easier to use.
Important: Don’t use vinegar and bleach together and as vinegar is acidic always be careful where you use it to clean. Test it on a small patch first and never use it on marble.
Below are some ways to use white vinegar:
Clean your windows and mirrors with white vinegar. I put the vinegar in to an old spray bottle as it’s easier to use this way. Wipe it with old crumpled newspaper, it really does work and it stops the smears. I find it best to wear rubber clothes so the print doesn’t go all over your hands though.
Use white vinegar as a rinse aid in your dishwasher. It makes your glasses sparkle.
Use white vinegar instead of a conditioner in your washing machine. It helps stop the build-up of lime scale and makes your clothes soft and once dry there are no smells of vinegar.
Unclog your washing machine with 1 cup of vinegar on a normal cycle (with no clothes), once a month. This is also good for cleaning your dishwasher too.
Use white vinegar to clean your kitchen and work surfaces. It is a good degreaser. Add a few drops of Tea Tree essential oil as this has anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties too.
If you have any spills on your cooker, spray with vinegar and leave for a few minutes and you will be amazed how easily it wipes off.
Spray your stainless steel sink with vinegar and leave for a few minutes and then wipe it down with a damp cloth and it will sparkle like new.
To disinfect your kitchen floor tiles, add 1 cup of vinegar to your bucket of hot water and mop.
To remove lime scale from taps, wrap the taps in an old dishcloth and soak the cloth in vinegar. Leave for a while and then just rinse with water.
Descale you kettle with white vinegar by mixing 1 cup of water mixed with 1 cup of vinegar and leave in the kettle for one hour. Rinse the kettle a few times afterwards.
Clean your bathroom with white vinegar with a few drops of Tea Tree Oil in. A quick wipe around your sink each day will keep it shiny. You can also use it daily to clean around your toilet seat.
Vinegar will easily breakdown soap scum in your soap dishes too.
Wrap an old cloth around a shower head and soak the cloth in white vinegar and leave for an hour or two (longer if it’s really bad). This will remove the lime scale. Wipe clean with a damp cloth afterwards.
Use diluted vinegar, one part water and one part vinegar, to clean tiles ( if you don’t dilute the vinegar it will eat away the grout).
To remove lime scale in your toilet, pour the vinegar in the toilet at night and easily brush the lime scale away in the morning.
Another way to clean your toilet is to put a sprinkling of bicarbonate of soda in, followed by a splash of vinegar before brushing.
To remove price stickers and labels from jars, spray or wipe the sticker with vinegar until it is soaked and after a few moments it can be wiped away easily.
I will continue tomorrow with some more ‘old fashioned cleaning tips.
I hope you have enjoyed reading todays post.