Friday, October 25, 2013

This Week at the South Durham Farmers' Market

This Week at the Market

  • Education by Master Gardeners
  • In Season: Radishes, Kale, Potatoes, Green Beans, Garlic, Broccoli, Lettuce and more

We Got the Beets
My parents’ childhood experience of beets had been limited to those sold pickled in a can, so like many children of baby boomers, I grew up without ever trying the beetroot.  I was told that they were too mushy, and the same went for brussel sprouts and broccoli. (I suppose they were served one too many overcooked vegetable casseroles in the 1950s.) Then I went away to school in DC, and I tried roasted beets in garlic sauce at a family-style Greek restaurant. Delicious!

Since then, I grate raw beets into salad, roast slices with olive oil and salt and have bowls of borscht throughout the winter.  And last year, I celebrated a friend’s birthday with beet cake! Not to mention, as I wrote in last Sunday’s Herald Sun, beet greens are full of flavor. (Originally, beets were actually grown more for their leaves than the root.) If you have yet to try the greens, beets are closely related to chard, and the greens have a similarly savory bitter taste.

The red beets we have at market don’t have as much sucrose as sugar beets, which are grown commercially for sugar production, but they still have more sugar than sweet potatoes, corn or watermelon. Beetroots are even sweet enough to be made into wine! But, the red jewel’s sweetness is no reason to hold back. This veggie’s got lots of soluble fiber, iron, folate, potassium and vitamin K.

Baby boomer or millennial, if you are still unsure about beets, now is the perfect time to give them a second chance. Beets love this cool weather, so we have lots of fresh, local beets available, and like Dwight Schrute, the beet farmers of the SDFM are dedicated to growing only the highest quality beetroot. Also, Two Chicks is bringing their crunchy pickled beets with caraway, which might just convert the beet doubters among us.

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