“The beet is the ancient ancestor of the autumn moon, bearded, buried, all but fossilized; the dark green sails of the grounded moon-boat stitched with veins of primordial plasma; the kite string that once connected the moon to the Earth now a muddy whisker drilling desperately for rubies.” — Tom Robbins (Jitterbug Perfume)
By RENEE KELLY
The beet. Bold, wonderful and unmistakable, similar to a beautiful duchess entering a room.
The fuchsia gems are lining the farms this time of year waiting for our creative hands to turn them into something delicious.
You could pickle them, there are several recipes; quick, spicy, sweet, sour and the list goes on according to our preference.
Roasting is always a must as the earthy rubies can accent any plate with a bit of golden orange to balance.
Juicing carrot, celery and beet is one of my simplest and favorite delights. Usually I pour the sweet juice into the fanciest glass I own. Possibly because of the deep rich pink color, which makes me feel like a girl.
For the next adventure in the beet world, lets try dessert. Carrots and zucchini have made it to the okay list of vegetables to use. Let’s allow the crimson, fuchsia, sweet rubies a debut on the dessert plate.
The natural sweetness of beets has lent it to be made into sugar. That’s right, sugar beets are supplementing our cane sugar with very little difference in taste or texture.
This Chewy Beet Bar recipe floated into my in-box by one of the beloved growers at Gibbs Road Community Farm, where beets are plentiful. Thank you Nikki Baxter.
Chewy Beet Bars
Makes 10-12 servings
4 cups raw shredded beets
1 cup room temperature coconut oil, plus 1 tablespoon more for greasing the pan
1/2 cup honey
2 tsp salt
1 cup fruit & nut trail mix
3 1/2 cups flour
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all ingredients except the flour in a large bowl using your hands until well mixed. Add the flour 1 cup at a time, kneading it thoroughly as dough forms.
Press into a 13-inch-by-9-inch glass pan greased with coconut oil. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until bottom and sides have browned.
Tops and sides will be slightly crispy and center still moist but solid. Lightly run a little butter across the top. Let cool and cut into bars.
Renee Kelly is the owner of Renee Kelly’s Harvest in Johnson County. Her passion lies in changing the food system, one plate at a time. Her inspiration is Mother nature and the many growers in the Kansas City area.