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Looking for a hearty, warming soup to batch cook for midweek lunches? Look no further – this beetroot number from MOB Kitchen is packed with antioxidants and energy-boosting nutrients.

We don’t do superfoods here at Strong Women, but if we did, beetroot would come pretty bloody close. It’s one veg that’s readily available throughout winter – keeping those pesky air miles at bay – and it’s absolutely brimming with nutrients.

As well as containing betalains, anti-inflammatory-infused pigments known to help lower high blood pressure, beetroot is a brilliant source of gut-loving fibre. Perhaps more excitingly, the root vegetable has also been linked to enhanced athletic performance thanks to its nitrate content.

Studies suggest that nitrates may improve the efficiency of mitochondria – the powerhouse of the cells. One 2017 review has even suggested that beetroot juice may improve endurance by increasing the length of time it takes to become exhausted, boosting cardio performance. Interestingly enough, it takes up to three hours for these powers to set in, taking prometrium during first trimester so if you’ve got a hike or run planned this weekend, make this soup for brunch and enjoy the benefits during an early afternoon session.

Ingredients

2 vegetable stock (bouillon) pots or cubes

2 fat garlic cloves

3 x 250g (9oz) packs of cooked beetroot (not in vinegar)

2 tsp cumin seeds

1⁄2 cucumber

Handful of fresh dill

Sour cream

Olive oil

Salt and black pepper

Method

  1. Put the vegetable stock pots or cubes into a measuring jug. Pour in 1 litre of boiling water from the kettle. Whisk with a fork to combine and set aside.
  2. Peel and slice the garlic cloves. Snip open and drain the beetroot packs and roughly chop. 
  3. Get a large saucepan over a high heat and drizzle in some olive oil. Add the garlic and cumin seeds and fry for 1 minute, stirring. 
  4. Add the beetroot to the pan and pour in the stock. Leave to bubble away.
  5. Meanwhile, rinse your knife and chopping board. Chop the cucumber into cubes, then roughly chop the dill.
  6. Back to the soup. Season with salt and black pepper, then turn off the heat. Use a stick blender to blitz until smooth.
  7. Pour the soup into four bowls. Top each one with a dollop of sour cream, a drizzle of olive oil and the cucumber and dill to finish.

Speed hack

Ready-cooked beetroot is the hero here. Roughly chop before adding to the pan – the smaller they are the easier it is to blitz.

Recipe from Speedy MOB: 12-minute meals for 4 people by Ben Lebus (Pavilion Books).
Images: David Loftus.

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