4 beetroot recipes to help lower blood pressure this summer

Beetroot is rich with dietary nitrates, which have been shown to play an important role in managing blood pressure. (Getty Images)
Beetroot is rich with dietary nitrates, which have been shown to play an important role in managing blood pressure. (Getty Images)

Beetroot is a beloved vegetable in British cuisine, and is especially popular when it’s in season between May to October. On top of being delicious, it carries a number of health benefits and should be a regular part of your diet.

Recently, NHS doctor Dr Suraj Kukadia, known as Dr Sooj on TikTok, shared a video explaining how beetroot is an "excellent" vegetable that can help manage blood pressure.

The video, which has been viewed more than 20,000 times, shows Dr Kukadia talking about the benefits of beetroot.

"Beetroots are excellent. Dietary nitrate has been proven to lower blood pressure both centrally and peripherally. On top of this, it can also help improve athletic performance," he said.

The deep red or purple root vegetable is a rich source of dietary nitrate, which is a compound that is also found naturally in green leafy vegetables. The body uses nitrates to produce nitric oxide through a chain reaction.

Nitric oxide plays an important role in regulating blood pressure, blood flow and muscle contraction. Research has suggested that – while it won't be a magic fix and maintaining a healthy lifestyle overall is key – drinking a cup of beetroot juice each day could significantly improve high blood pressure.

According to the British Heart Foundation, high blood pressure is a major risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease, which can cause heart attacks or strokes.

Beetroots and beetroot juice are also often consumed by athletes to improve performance and stamina. Sexual health is another area in which the nitric oxide reaction from beetroot can be beneficial.

According to Alexa Mullane, a nutritional therapist and spokesperson for Wiley’s Finest supplements, nitric oxide causes vasodilation. “In sexual health terms, this means increased blood flow (in a similar way that Viagra works) to the genitals, meaning increased pleasure.

"Beetroot is also linked to libido – it contains a compound called boron which has been found to beneficially impact the body’s use of sex hormones, oestrogen and testosterone, thus increasing sex drive."

Scientists recommend consuming beetroot in order to add dietary nitrate into our daily diets. However, they advise against boiling the vegetables because dietary nitrate is water soluble, and recommend steaming, roasting or drinking in a juice instead.

Here are four delicious beetroot recipes to try out this summer:

Creamy Beetroot Pasta. (Sorted Food)
Creamy Beetroot Pasta. (Sorted Food)

Serves: 2


  • 200g dried pasta

  • 250g cooked beetroot (or cook according to your preference ahead of time)

  • 100ml double cream

  • 1 lemon

  • 80g cooked chestnuts

  • 1 clove garlic

  • 100g feta


  1. Fill a kettle with water and put it on to boil - this will be for the pasta later.

  2. Tip 200g of pasta into a medium saucepan along with a generous pinch of salt. Cover with boiling water from the kettle.

  3. Place the pan over a high heat and cook the pasta for eight to 10 minutes, until soft but with a slight bite. Get on with the rest of the dish in the next steps while you wait.

  4. Cut 250g of cooked beetroot into quarters and tip it into a measuring jug.

  5. Add 100ml of cream and 80g of cooked chestnuts, then finely grate in the zest from one lemon and one peeled clove of garlic.

  6. Using a hand blender, blitz everything together until silky smooth. Season to taste with salt, pepper and juice from the lemon.

  7. Once the pasta is ready, drain it and return to the pan. Tip the beetroot sauce into the pasta and mix everything together. Place the pasta back over a medium heat, then simmer and stir for one minute, until the sauce thickens slightly.

  8. Divide the pasta between plates and spoon over any excess creamy sauce. Crumble over 100g of feta and serve.

Yorkshire Wensleydale, Watermelon & Beetroot Salad. (Wensleydale Creamery)
Yorkshire Wensleydale, Watermelon & Beetroot Salad. (Wensleydale Creamery)

Serves: 2-3


  • 200g Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese

  • ½ of a small watermelon, with skin and seeds removed and diced into small chunks

  • 300g steamed beetroot, cut into cubes

  • 2 tbsp of pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted

  • 4 sprigs of fresh basil

  • 2 allotment salad heads, washed and gently broken into bite size pieces

  • 2 tbsp of olive oil

  • A squeeze of fresh lemon

  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper


  1. Place the cubed beetroot and watermelon into a bowl.

  2. Pour over the olive oil and lightly season with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

  3. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds onto a baking tray and place in a hot oven at around 180C for a few minutes until lightly toasted.

  4. Place the salad leaves on the base of the plate and spoon the beetroot and watermelon on top of the leaves to form a mound in the centre of the plate.

  5. Sprinkle the salad with the toasted pumpkin seeds and gently tear the basil leaves over.

  6. Finish by crumbling over the Wensleydale cheese, squeeze some lemon juice over the salad and serve.

Heritage Beetroot with sunflower seed humus, bitter leaves and lemon dressing. (Coworth Park)
Heritage Beetroot with sunflower seed humus, bitter leaves and lemon dressing. (Coworth Park)

Serves: 4


  • 100g toasted sunflower seeds

  • 100g pomegranate seeds

  • Selection of bitter salad leaves, I love chicory, radicchio, watercress

For the beetroots:

  • 1 kg heritage beetroots, different colours/varieties (can also use regular beetroot)

  • 1 bunch thyme

  • 1 bunch rosemary

  • 1 head of garlic, cloves crushed

  • Sea salt

  • 100ml rapeseed oil


  1. Preheat oven to 175c fan. Wash and peel the beetroots, then separate into the different colours and place each type into separate bowls.

  2. Divide the herbs, crushed garlic cloves and rapeseed oil evenly between them.

  3. Season well with sea salt and wrap each beetroot individually with the seasoning in tin foil.

  4. Bake the beets for around 45 mins until tender. Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature (once cooked these should not see the fridge).

  5. Once at room temp remove from the foil and portion into wedges and rounds, dependant on the size and shape of the beets, then set to one side.

For the sunflower seed hummus:

  • 400g sunflower seeds

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • 140g rapeseed oil

  • 1tsp curry powder

  • 130g chickpeas

  • 25g tahini

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed

  • 250ml water

  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons


  1. Mix together the sunflower seeds, salt, curry powder and 20g of the rapeseed oil and bake at 175c fan for 10min until golden brown.

  2. Place 300g of the toasted sunflower seeds, the chickpeas, tahini, garlic and half the water into a food processor and blend.

  3. Slowly add the remaining water until the desired consistency is reached.

  4. Gradually blend in the remaining 120g rapeseed oil and season with the lemon and salt to finish.

For the lemon dressing:

  • 75ml elderflower cordial

  • Juice and zest of 2 lemons

  • 200ml rapeseed oil

  • Salt and pepper


  1. Place the lemon juice and zest in a mixing bowl then slowly whisk in elderflower cordial, followed by slowly whisking in the rapeseed oil.

  2. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve:

  1. Spoon a generous amount of the sunflower seed hummus into the middle of a plate or bowl.

  2. Arrange the different types of beetroot and bitter salad leaves around the outside of this.

  3. Dress the whole bowl well with the lemon dressing.

  4. Sprinkle over the pomegranate and the reserved 100g toasted sunflower seeds, and serve.

Beetroot and Goat's Cheese Tarte Tatin. (Peter Gladwin)
Beetroot and Goat's Cheese Tarte Tatin. (Peter Gladwin)

Serves: 6-8


For the fillings:

  • 100g caster sugar

  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar

  • Salt and pepper

  • Mixed spice

For the tart:

  • 500g cooked beetroot, diced

  • 1 tsp chopped thyme

  • 500g ready-made puff pastry

  • A little flour, for dusting

To serve:

  • Pennywort

  • Beetroot leaves

  • Wild herbs

  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil

  • 100g goat's cheese, crumbled


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Heat the sugar in a small saucepan over a low heat, allow it to melt and then to caramelise to a deep golden colour.

  2. Take the pan off the heat and add the vinegar, standing well back, as it will splutter. Season the caramel with salt, pepper and some mixed spice.

  3. Pour the mixture into the bottom of a 20cm non-stick cake tin. Immediately place a neat layer of sliced beetroot on to the caramel, sprinkle with a layer of thyme, add the remaining beetroot slices and press down into the tin.

  4. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface to form a 25cm circle. Place the pastry over the beetroot and tuck the sides down all round the edges.

  5. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until golden brown.

  6. Remove the tart from the oven and allow it to cool for five minutes, then run a round-ended knife around the edge to loosen it from the tin. Place a plate on top, turn the whole thing over as one, then lift off the tin.

  7. Make a quick wild herb pesto in a food processor by blitzing together some of the foraged leaves and herbs, retaining some to decorate the finished tart. Season well, then drizzle in the oil while the blades are still running.

  8. Reheat the tart before serving, then sprinkle with crumbled goat's cheese, dot with herb pesto and decorate with leaves and herbs.

This recipe features in Peter Gladwin and his family's forthcoming cookbook, An English Vineyard Cookbook, which will be released on 9 July 2024.

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