RECIPE : Spiced Plum & Beetroot Chutney

This is the time of year when there's an abundance of harvest fruit and vegetables in our gardens and the supermarkets. I don't grow my own produce but sometimes I'm lucky enough to be given some by friends or family who do. There are bargains to be had in the shops too and if you're making chutneys, it doesn't matter if you are buying slightly under or over-ripe fruits as you can compensate with the flavourings you use.
This spiced plum and beetroot chutney was inspired by some rather disappointing sour plums I bought recently. I knew that I could turn them into something delicious just by adding a few interesting ingredients and I think you'll agree that this looks and tastes pretty spectacular!


My chutney is 0pp/approx.450kcal for the WHOLE jar, also suitable for a Filling&Healthy or SimpleStart day, so a real winner!


YOU WILL NEED: (Makes approx.450g) 

400g plums
6 small, pre-cooked beetroot
(the ones I used were cooked in mild vinegar)
1 red onion
1-2 cups water
1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1-2 tablespoons artificial granular sweetener
a few basil leaves
1 tablespoon low salt soy sauce
1/2 a banana
black pepper


Chop the plums into rough quarters and remove the stones. Pop into a heavy-based pan.
(I used a large frying pan)

Chop the beetroot into small chunks and add to the plums. The beetroot adds an earthiness to the finished chutney and makes it the most incredible colour. 
(If you prefer, you could use raw beetroot but you will need to allow a much longer cooking time).

Add a cup of water and bring to the boil.

Add the Chinese 5 spice, cinnamon, sweetener, basil and soy sauce. You'll need to adjust the flavours according to your personal taste. If the plums are very sweet, you may need less sweetener than my recipe states. If you use raw beetroot, you may want to add a little vinegar.

Chop the onion finely and add to the mixture. Let everything bubble and boil for about 40-50 minutes. Stir occasionally and add more water if you need to. You will find that the plums break down totally but the beetroot and onion hold their shape and texture.

To further thicken and sweeten the chutney, add 1/2 a banana. Cook for about 10 minutes until it breaks down into the sauce. You won't be able to taste it but this means you won't need to add any sugar for sweetening or cornflour for thickening.
Taste again and adjust the flavours to your personal liking-more spice, more sweetener, black pepper etc.

If you are going to preserve this for a while or to give as gifts, place into freshly sterilised jars while the chutney is still hot. Allow to cool down in the jar before storing then using.
(You can see how to do this in more detail in my Apple Chutney recipe. Click HERE)

Alternatively, allow to cool and serve with cold meats or cheese. The chutney will keep for a few days in the fridge.

Sweet, tangy, earthy, fruity chutney.




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