If I don’t turn into a beetroot, I’ll at least ride really fast

I love beetroots. They are delicious, but don’t eat too many, they will turn your pee red and you will be freaked out. Below is a post about something that is fascinating me at the moment. If it plants a seed in your mind, great. Because the seed in mine is starting to grow.

Disclaimer: Ok so, I am not in any way qualified to make biology related comments, so do not ever take any of this content literally. The accuracy of information can’t be verified, so do yourself a favor and do your own research before eating a beetroot or buying an overpriced bottle of beetroot juice.

In conclusion beetroot may or may not be a performance enhancing substance. Make your own conclusions.

So blood doping is banned in professional sport. So why would a cyclist blood dope? Good question. The answer is I don’t know: I can’t read a person’s mind or know their personal motivations, but it can increase athletic performance, and that in itself is tempting enough, to some. Could beetroot be a non illegal alternative?

Enter not-so-accurate Biology lesson 2. Don’t take it for face value. Note again do your own research.

From what I can gather blood doping, in whatever form is a method of increasing the red blood cells’ (within your body) ability to carry oxygen to the muscles. Having a higher amount of red blood cells, means your body is transporting oxygen around your body more efficiently and can dramatically improve your aerobic capacity and fight off fatigue

The whole thing about your body needing oxygen and red blood cells to improve aerobic capacity and fight fatigue is very interesting.

My iron/anemia issues ultimately come back to how well the oxygen is transported around my body. And with no iron, the oxygen is not transported efficiently, so I feel ordinary… and sweaty.

Hello beetroots. No. I’m not kidding. (google it, it’s very interesting).

I’ve always loved them. They’re my favorite root vegetable by far. But a friend recently highlighted their value as, natures EPO. Check out my beetroot cupcake recipe in previous post!

Beetroots are high in nitrates. Like I mentioned above nitrates work to relax and widen blood vessels. This increases the body’s aerobic metabolism, increases blood flow to organs and tissues and delivers increased oxygen and nutrients to muscles. My athletic performance should improve because I need oxygen to pedal faster – the more oxygen, the faster you will pedal – right!?

Enter Beetroot shots. They are 30mls of concentrated beetroot juice that work like a nutritional gel, and they are packed with Nitrates.

I’m going to test them out (always read the label peeps); hopefully they’ll increase my blood and oxygen flow to my muscles and hopefully help me to perform better…until my anaemic sitch is sorted…

More info on what is Nitrate here

More info on Beetroot Juice here

Beetroot juice that I’m trying here

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I don’t bake, but this is one exception: Beetroot and Chocolate Cake

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Beetroot & Chocolate Cake
– or cupcakes…whatever is easiest to pour your batter into.
(makes one cake or about 24 cupcakes)

So….I hate baking, I really do. I hate catering for dietary requirements, even my own (I’m a no seafood, no fun vego). I hate the mess and the fiddling around with utensils. But I love chocolate. I love beetroot. And I love cleaning obsessively. If I sound like you, then try this cake.

Your hipster or super healthy or dietary restricted friends/colleagues will appreciate that this cake is full of “superfoods” (google them, they’re not surprising), is healthy and is incredibly delicious (I appreciate the deliciousness the most). It is also almost vegan… and dairy free.. and is/can be gluten free (make sure you buy gluten free products – I will not take blame if your gluten free friend/colleague gets sick and die).

So start here.

I don’t have these ingredients laying about – so I drag myself to the market to get almond meal (it’s way cheaper) and beetroots. Drag yourself there, it is so worth saving $2.50.

Cake Ingredients

  • 100g Dark Chocolate. I like Lindt.
  • 3 medium Eggs. Or whatever eggs you have. Flaxseed egg substitute also works- google the recipe I can’t be bothered typing it (it will be another post)…
  • 250 g brown sugar
  • 220 ml Olive Oil. Other oils are fine, I’m sure.
  • 300 g Cooked beetroots (see method below for how to cook the beetroots because they are hard to cook)
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 30 g ish (1 tbs ish) Cocoa Powder (you can pobably omit this and put in more cholcolate)
  • 300 g Almond meal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (or gluten free baking powder)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (just use salt, don’t waste your 1/4 teaspoon of expensive hymalayan salt, no one will notice/care)

Method

  • Pre heat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  • To cook the beetroots, peel and place in a pot full of cold water. Bring pot to the boil and cook the beetroots until soft when poked with a knife.
  • When cooked, run the beetroots under cold water in the sink. For cooling reasons.
  • Blend or mash the beetroots until slightly smooth. I use a stick mixer. Messy, but fun. Don’t wear white.
  • Melt the chocolate (100 g) over a double boiler or in microwave.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs (or substitute), sugar and oil.
  • Slowly add the cooked beetroot puree, the melted chocolate and vanilla into the egg mixture.
  • Beat just until combined. Don’t over work the mix.
  • Sift the cocoa into the almond meal (or plain flour), baking soda and salt, and then add to the beetroot batter.
  • Fold just until everything is combined. Did I mention not to over mix the batter?
  • Butter/greese or so something to prevent sticking and line a 10 inch cake tin. Pour the cake batter into the cake tin.
  • Bake for approximately 50 minutes. This is just a guide. You might need to poke it a few times.
  • The cake is ready when a tooth pick or skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and leave to cool in the pan.
  • It will be moist. So don’t think you’ve done something wrong. Unless it is runny. Then you have and put it back in the oven.

Make the icing while the cake is in the oven:

Ingredients for the cream cheese icing

Note: To make vegan,  just use plain old boring icing sugar, or use a substitute like Tofuttibetter than cream cheese“, or google a vegan icing recipe. But if you are vegan and reading this you, probably know what you are doing…and don’t need me. I love cheese too much to be vegan, so I make the cream cheese, cheese version

  • 1 cup cream (omit for vegan version, you know, right!)
  • 1 cup of Cream Cheese
  • ½ cup Icing Sugar or honey (they have different textures, so maybe try one once, then one another time and test the best. I prefer icing sugar)
  • 1 plain chocolate bar for chocolate shaving decorations, two if you have the tendency to eat it on the way home from the supermarket.

Method:

  • Place the cream in a bowl and whip to soft peaks.
  • Add the icing sugar and cream cheese and beat until combined (Add more or less sugar as you want, care). Put the icing aside.
  • Using a potato peeler, hold the chocolate bar in one hand and use the peeler to shave off curls of chocolate. The more time you take, the fancier the curls will look. If your hands are hot, the chocolate will melt and you will end up with chocolate on everything!
  • Now ice the cake like a you are a pastry chef, then sprinkle the shavings on top of the cake to make all pro looking.
  • You want the cake to be decorated in a manner that your friends/colleagues will be truly impressed with your magazine quality cake, they’ll think that you put in soooo much effort, and will never ask you to do it again because it looks as if it took 12 hrs.

So, bam! Your cake is done. Clap your hands. Clean your bench and…

Go forth and take photo’s of it for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ (ha yeah right). Share with friends, or simply don’t. Pretend it is your recipe, like I do, (I actually got it from: The Nutrition Guru and the Chef‘s blog), eat it and revel in your excellence.

Fin