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Tasted Fresh Beets for the First Time!

 
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Always had them canned or pickled.  Wow what a difference!  They taste so amazing!  And entire plant is edible and so gorgeous!  I think I"ll be planting 2'x 4' area of these as often as I can. (Only grew 1' x 2' area this last time.. 8 clusters).

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pollinator
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The sky's the limit on beet colors and shapes.  Only a small sampling below of what is possible.  Great to see your excitement about this colorful chenopod!....
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The really nice part is that I find them easy to grow. Every year I put in two 4x8 beds.
 
Jennifer Lowery
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Those are gorgeous!  Which variety is the pink/white striped one?
 
Jennifer Lowery
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Btw, made a Mexican style soup with pork butt bone and bits of pork butt yesterday.  I threw in onion, and a bit of tomato sauce, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, oregeno, vinegar, crushed red pepper, black pepper, hot sauce .  I also chopped up beet stem and leaves and threw it in.  I've never seen this done before, but wow in my opinion the flavors really complement each other!  I am going to try chopping up some beet root as well next time to throw in the soup!  Garnished iwth a bit of cilantro out of the garden.
 
pollinator
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the red and white one is probably a chioggia beet.
 
John Weiland
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I agree with greg on the chioggia call.  Playing around with that pattern, Irwin Goldman in the Horticulture Department at the University of Wisconsin came up with 'Badger Flame' not long ago that combines red rings with a yellow/orange background.  Would be fun to see all of the combinations that come out of the breeding programs!....
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pollinator
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Thumbs up!
I hate beets. It's really the only vegetable that I dislike, but I love that you are growing and enjoying them.
The first time I tasted organically grown celery, about 30 seconds from being harvested, it was a revelation. It didn't taste like crunchy water!~ It tasted salty and mineraly and absolutely delicious.
Not like beets that taste like dirt and blood.
 
Jennifer Lowery
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Chris Sturgeon wrote:Thumbs up!
I hate beets. It's really the only vegetable that I dislike, but I love that you are growing and enjoying them.
The first time I tasted organically grown celery, about 30 seconds from being harvested, it was a revelation. It didn't taste like crunchy water!~ It tasted salty and mineraly and absolutely delicious.
Not like beets that taste like dirt and blood.



I'll have to try celery.  Haven't ever grown it nor tasted it freshly picked!
 
pollinator
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Last year I used up a seed packet of rainbow beets. The cream-coloured/yellow one was the sweetest and did not taste like "dirt" at all.

I tried to order a packet of Golden burpee this year, but they were sold out. So back to regular beets, and this year I am growing a lot of them.

ETA: Seems like the beet variety I had in my seed packet was not the Golden Burpee, but either Avalanche or Albina verduna / vereduna alba. Just did some googling and came up with these, the description say it is very sweet-tasting.
 
John Weiland
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Anita Martin wrote:....... either Avalanche or Albina verduna / vereduna alba. Just did some googling and came up with these, the description say it is very sweet-tasting.



Albina verduna is interesting....it has the sweet taste and white flesh of a sugar beet, yet its root shape and probable growth habit is very much like other table beets.  The depiction below is a bit misleading since I think many home gardeners will agree that table beets tend to grow a bit higher in the soil with the root bulb a bit more exposed.  For sugar beet, the image is quite accurate with most of the harvested root being below ground.  So it's curious.....was Albina verduna bred from existing sugar beets?  Or was it selected within table beet breeding for white flesh and sweet flavor?  Either way, in the form of beets or Swiss chard,....or roots, stems, and leaves.....a great complement to the garden!
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I've heard that some people, a minority, find a dirt flavor in beets and hate them. Most of us don't taste that in beets. So if you like beets by all means grow and eat them -- I love 'em! But when I am cooking for other people, I leave them out or cook and serve them separately so that those who dislike them can avoid them. They roast up wonderfully in the oven like other root vegetables and winter squash, but for guests I serve those separately in the dish so people can take the ones they like.
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Roasted root veggies served to allow guests to choose which ones they like
Roasted root veggies served to allow guests to choose which ones they like
 
Jennifer Lowery
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I taste the subtle "dirt flavor" in beets and like the taste of it.  Maybe I'm weird. Just seems like it'd be loaded with minerals.  I just cooked up a dish with an entire beet (leaves, stem and root).  Fried some ground beef with onion in frying pan along with the diced beet root and cut up stem & leaves.  Added in salt, black pepper, minced parsley fresh from garden, garlic powder, lemon juice, heavy cream and cooked a bit until thickened.  Added a bit of beef base and salted to taste.  Topped with grated white cheddar.  Tasted delicious.   (If I had some capers I would of threw a few in.).
 
Jennifer Lowery
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Rebecca Norman wrote:I've heard that some people, a minority, find a dirt flavor in beets and hate them. Most of us don't taste that in beets. So if you like beets by all means grow and eat them -- I love 'em! But when I am cooking for other people, I leave them out or cook and serve them separately so that those who dislike them can avoid them. They roast up wonderfully in the oven like other root vegetables and winter squash, but for guests I serve those separately in the dish so people can take the ones they like.



Since you grow so many beets, do you even bother growing swiss chard?  I tasted both, fresh from my garden, at same time and to me they pretty much taste identical.
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