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I became an auntie for the first time last Monday.

Welcome to the world Esther Lucy. I can’t wait to meet you and give you a big cuddle, your mum and dad too. I think you might feel like a real little new born compared to Léo. He was such a chunky bugger. I hope when you’re older you can come and visit for holidays. Léo can show you our garden delights; veggies, fruits and flowers. You can experiment with me in the kitchen, I promise to let you lick the bowl. And I’m sure Uncle Juls will want to take you to the beach for a little paddle in the waves.

You are a very precious part of our expanding family. I can’t wait to watch you grow, learn, explore and discover, bringing joy to all who know you.

With love,
Auntie Nicola

Beetroot Dip - Balancing Glass Jars

Pink for girls, blue for boys. What bollocks! Yet here I am posting a very pink recipe.

Beets are a true whole food in that we can eat the leaves as well as the roots. The leaves are rather bitter and thus best eaten young, freshly picked and slightly sauteed rather than raw. Roasting the roots is my preferred cooking method because it intensifies their flavour and avoids reducing their strident vibrancy. Beets are best purchased with leaves attached to ensure the beets are still fresh. However, if storing for more than a few days, cut the stems off so they don’t draw moisture away from the root, drying it out.

The Healthy Bits. The brilliant purple of beets comes from betacyanin which has been demonstrated to be a powerful cancer fighting agent, particularly for colon cancer.

Beetroot Dip - Balancing Glass Jars

This beetroot dip has been on rotation at our place lately. Love it’s versatility and flavour. I spread it on toast with eggs for breakfast, slather it in salad wraps for lunch and dip in crackers when 3:30itis hits. The sweetness of beets with creamy yoghurt and subtle undertones of fennel, caraway and orange is just delightful.

Hope you enjoy.

Nicola

What’s your favourite colour?

Beetroot Dip - Balancing Glass Jars

Beetroot Dip
Makes approx 400gms

Ingredients
1 large beetroot
1 tbsp olive oil
1/3 C sunflower seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
50ml orange juice (approx half an orange)
1/3 C yoghurt

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Cut beetroot in half and then slice into 1cm thick wedges. Spread out on a baking tray into a single layer and drizzle over the olive oil. Mix well and then cover with aluminum foil. Roast for 1 hour and then let cool to completely.
2. Heat a pan over medium-high heat. Toast all the seeds until slightly browned and popping, stirring regularly to ensure they don’t burn. (About 4 minutes on my electric stove top)3. Add the toasted seeds to a food processor and pulse a few times. Add remaining ingredients and blend until desired consistency is reached. I like mine a little chunky. Stores in the fridge for at least a week.

Variations
For a vegan or dairy free alternative use coconut or soy yoghurt, or just leave the yoghurt out altogether. It will still have great flavour, just won’t be quite as creamy. I enjoy it both ways.

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