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Spiced pickled beetroot with dill

If you have never pickled before, try it. It is so much easier than it sounds and is incomparable in taste compared to shop bought versions. The fermentation process encourages the growth of “good” bacteria which supports gut health plus beetroot is packed with antioxidants and pickles well. If you make your pickled beetroot this week it will be ready just in time for Christmas to liven up those leftover cold cuts. Spiced pickled beetroot with dill

1kg beetroot

Olive oil

For the pickling vinegar

700ml white wine vinegar

1 heaped tsp allspice

1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds

1 bunch of dill,

2 bay leaves

Sea salt

100g soft brown sugar

Wash and trim the beetroot, rub each with oil, then wrap individually in foil. Roast on a tray at 200C/180C fan/gas 6 for 1 hr or until tender. Cool, peel, then cut into wedges or thick slices.

To make the pickling vinegar, add the mustard seeds to a pan and roast over a medium heat for a minute. Pour the vinegar and sugar into the pan and let dissolve. Add the allspice, bay leaves and dill. Bring to a simmer.

Pack the roasted beetroot wedges into sterilised jars, add 1 tsp coarse crystal sea salt to each, then pour over the hot vinegar and seal. Perhaps add a Christmas ribbon. Ready to eat in 2 weeks but will last longer.

More on what’s great about pickled beetroot? The fermentation process encourages the growth of “good” bacteria plus beetroot is high in vitamin C, folate (B5) and potassium. It is a vasodilator; this means that it causes the blood vessels to widen which reduces blood pressure and increases oxygen delivery. Beetroot also contains a unique phytochemical – betatin, which is a powerful antioxidant and contains unique substances that support the liver in detoxing the body.

This pickle is very tasty but it is high in sugar. You could reduce the amount of sugar added slightly and have a more vinegary tasting pickle or reduce sugar intake through the rest of the day.

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