Beetroot is one of those vegetables I often think about using but never do. Perhaps it’s because growing up, beetroot only came from a can, precooked and sliced, its bright juice ready to stain as much clothing as possible on the way to your mouth. I was never a fan of its earthy flavour.
Well I can finally say I have cooked with it, although I took the easy option this time of buying it in a vacuum sealed pack already cooked (next time, next time). And I also managed to come out the other end stain-free!
Beetroot is a very good source of potassium and manganese, but while it’s very low in fat, it’s also high in natural sugars.
I paired the earthy flavour with feta and thyme for these savoury muffins. Feta and beetroot are a classic combination; goat’s cheese would also work well. I used a mixture of white and wholemeal flour, but you can certainly use just white flour if you prefer.
I was very happy to see my muffins still had a lovely pink hue on top when I took them from the oven (although you can’t really see that in my photos). But when I broke one apart, the inside was a normal muffin brown colour (can anyone enlighten me about this?).
BEETROOT, FETA AND THYME MUFFINS
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 25-30 mins
Makes 12 regular-sized muffins
200g self-raising white flour
100g self-raising wholemeal flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
100g feta, crumbled or diced
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
200g cooked beetroot (1 large beetroot), finely grated
2 eggs, lightly beaten
90ml vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
Preheat the oven to 200C. Either lightly spray a 12-hole muffin tray with cooking spray or line with paper cases.
Mix the white and wholemeal flours, baking powder, feta and thyme in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl or jug, combine the grated beetroot, eggs, milk, oil and salt (if using). Add this to the flour mixture, mixing until just combined (mixing as little as possible keeps your muffins light in texture).
Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 muffin holes.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until cooked through when tested with a skewer.
Tip out onto a wire cooling rack.
- use goat’s cheese instead of feta.
- if you don’t have any fresh or dried thyme, substitute with chives or parsley.
Tip: to avoid getting beetroot juice all over your kitchen when grating it, put your grater into a good-sized bowl to catch the juice and wayward pieces as you grate.