The purple stuff is about to invade your soups, juices and even yogurts ...

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Image: Is beetroot the new kale?

Jeremy Keith / CC-BY-SA 2.0 / adapted / Flickr: adactio

Those velvety smooth beets are taking over the kale's crown …

Health hipsters are jumping to a different beet and, no, it’s not all about kale and chia seeds.


We’re talking about beetroot.


According to Kantar Worldpanel, UK sales of the sweet and earthy purple veg have risen from £30m a year a decade ago to £50.5m this year – and rumour has it, figures are set to soar to £1m a week.


So, how did beetroot reach the dizzying heights of trendiness we hear you cry? Well, it’s all down to its popularity with celebrity chefs, such as Ottolenghi (hello there beef meatballs in beetroot and celery soup), and healthy food bloggers including Deliciously Ella (beetroot chocolate cake with coconut frosting, anyone?).


Beetroot is also sneaking its way into a lot more food and drink products: we’re talking crisps, soups, juices and even yogurts.


Anthony Gardiner, marketing director at G’s Fresh, a supplier of beetroot, told The Grocer that the supposed health benefits of munching on the veg has had an impact, too: “There has been a lot of university work on the benefits of beetroot over the past six years and we are expecting more."


Earlier in the year, Queen Mary University in London claimed that regularly drinking the purple stuff could reduce high blood pressure – although more research is still needed before this is concrete.


Alison Hornby, a dietitian and a British Dietetic Association spokesperson, told the NHS: “Beetroot and beetroot juice, along with green leafy vegetables, cabbage and celery, are useful as part of a balanced diet as the nitrate content may help to contribute to reducing blood pressure.”


The moral of the story? Don’t be bashful with beetroot, guys. 

Pep up your beetroot with Hemsley + Hemsley’s beetroot cinnamon smoothie, beetroot, red onion and goat's cheese tart recipe, or pan-fried mackerel with kale, beetroot and blood orange salad