Beets don’t stir up nearly the same level excitement as other seasonal produce. I mean, how jazzed are you when tomatoes show up at the market? Or fresh corn on the cob? Or strawberries?! I get it though – the earthy flavor is a hard sell for some. The preparation isn’t the easiest either. They need to be peeled and can stain everything in sight. And maybe you just can’t get over the canned beets your parents gave you as a kid (traumatic, I know).
Why Eat Beets
Despite what others may see as downsides, I am definitely a fan of beets. I love how the bold flavor pairs with other intense ingredients, like goat & blue cheese, caraway seeds, dill, horseradish, tarragon, balsamic vinegar, bitter greens, and mustard. Plus, you get the beet greens along with the root (and actually, you can make my Beet Stem Jam with the stems, so it’s like a 3 for 1 veggie). And you can’t overlook the nutritional benefit beets provide.
While I have roasted many a beet, I would never have thought of adding beets to a smoothie until I saw a recipe in The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook. I wanted to balance the earthiness of the beets so I decided to use the base of beets, greens and apples from the original recipe but then added orange juice, ginger and honey to round out the flavor. I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome! You get the beet flavor up front rounded out by the other flavors on the end.
Why Grow Beets
As much as I love eating summer produce, I don’t love growing it. Spring and fall gardening, which is when beets are grown, is more productive and satisfying in my experience. Here’s what I love about gardening during this time:
This is my second year gardening in my backyard and I am still experimenting with what works best. I use the Square Foot Gardening technique and have found that beets, radishes, scallions and various greens have consistently grown well in the spring and fall (unless that damn neighborhood cat who has been digging in my garden gets to them first…I’ll get you yet!). I currently have beets ready to harvest so I am excited to continue experimenting with new ways to incorporate them into our meals.
So I hope after trying this smoothie, you’ll agree that beets are just as exciting as any other vegetable, maybe even tomatoes!