I love summertime. I love barefoot. I love the heat, the long days, the thunder storms—all the things. But honestly, right about now I'm just plain tired; I'm ready for fall. The cooler, shorter days and garden cleanup, the uprooting and moving back indoors. . . why, it's almost as much fun as the planting and moving outdoors was, just a few short months ago.
My canning shelves and deep freeze are filling back up; the odd sugar snap pea left in the garden for fresh eating, as well as a bit of kale and chard. Tomatoes, peppers, and squash will continue to ripen, under cover.
Time to focus on the root veggies. Like, beets.
I planted gold beets for the first time, last year, and, feeling adventurous, I had switched them up for the red ones in the relish; a colossal mistake. While they tasted like beets, they looked like peaches. We hadn't managed to stomach the Heinz purple-ketchup craze a couple decades ago—which, I recall, didn't last but a few years—and root vegetables masquerading as Okanagan achene (Noun [āˈkēn]: a small, dry one-seeded fruit that does not open to release the seed 😉) was not much different.
Lesson learned: Sweet beet relish must be red. And gold beets are best cubed, canned, and used in soups and stews, where they will not turn anything pink and may honestly (and forgivably) be mistaken for turnip, but never a peach. Your welcome.
When Hippocrates said, Let food be thy medicine, beetroot would have likely made the top of his list—and dark chocolate, of course. Either will boost nitric oxide levels, benefitting both heart and brain function by dilating the blood vessels.
There are a LOAD of other health benefits, as well—I googled it!
So, I've juiced a bunch of carrots and red beets, and froze the raw juice in ice cube trays, for adding to smoothies. Besides nutritional benefits, the carrots add just enough sweet, the beets give great colour; AND the pulp from both can be used in baking.
Anyone else out there who went a little crazy with the beet seed in spring? (or know someone who did?) I'm including links to a couple simple recipes we enjoy.
Easy Roasted Beets from Melissa, over at Bless This Mess
Beet Hummus from a favourite herbalist, Rosalee de la Forêt
And a healthful cocoa truffle-type treat that should be enjoyed every day—guilt free!
Happy harvesting, and God bless us, every one!