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The Versatile Veggie: Mastering the Art of Cooking with Beets

June 26, 2024

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The Versatile Veggie: Mastering the Art of Cooking with Beets

Beets: The Gateway Veggie to a Whole New World of Flavor

I’ll admit, when I first started my plant-based journey, beets weren’t exactly at the top of my list of must-try veggies. In fact, they kind of intimidated me. I mean, what in the world was I supposed to do with these vibrant, earthy roots beyond the classic pairing with goat cheese? Little did I know, beets were about to become my gateway to a whole new world of culinary possibilities.

It all started when my sister Christine and I set out to create a foolproof formula for veggie burgers. After seeing the success of our Perfect Smoothie Formula and Ultimate Energy Bar Formula, we knew there had to be other plant-based staples that could benefit from a little formula-izing.

And that’s when the lightbulb went off – veggie burgers! These protein-packed patties are the perfect blank canvas for all sorts of flavor combinations. But as we started experimenting, we quickly realized that the key to making truly delicious, cohesive veggie burgers wasn’t just about finding the right blend of ingredients. It was about understanding the science behind what makes them hold together and sing with flavor.

The Beet-Based Burger Breakthrough

That’s where beets came into the picture. You see, beets have this magical ability to bind ingredients together while also adding a wonderfully earthy, slightly sweet flavor profile. And when you combine beets with beans, grains, and a variety of aromatic veggies and spices, the possibilities for mouthwatering veggie burgers are truly endless.

Once we started incorporating beets into our burger formula, the game changed completely. Suddenly, we were whipping up patties that were not only packed with nutrition, but also had the perfect balance of texture and flavor. No more crumbly, dry veggie burgers – these bad boys actually stayed together and tasted incredible.

Beet-Based Burger Bliss: Mastering the Formula

The secret to our beet-based burger bliss lies in the formula we developed. It’s a simple, flexible template that allows you to mix and match a variety of ingredients to create your own unique veggie burger masterpieces. Here’s how it works:

– Beets (cooked and diced or grated)
– Beans (canned or cooked)
– Grains (cooked quinoa, brown rice, oats, etc.)
– Aromatic veggies (onions, garlic, mushrooms, etc.)
– Spices and herbs (cumin, chili powder, oregano, etc.)
– Binders (breadcrumbs, ground flax or chia seeds, etc.)
– Liquid (water, vegetable broth, etc.)

1. Sauté the aromatic veggies in a bit of oil until softened.
2. Combine the sautéed veggies, beets, beans, and any other desired ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until well combined but still chunky.
3. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the grains, binders, and liquid until everything is evenly incorporated.
4. Form the mixture into patties and pan-fry or bake until golden brown.

The beauty of this formula is that you can endlessly customize it to suit your taste buds. Love Indian flavors? Throw in some curry powder, grated ginger, and chickpeas. Craving a Southwestern vibe? Opt for cumin, chili powder, and black beans. The possibilities are truly endless!

Beets Beyond Burgers: Embracing the Veggie’s Versatility

But beets aren’t just for burgers, my friends. This versatile veggie can shine in all sorts of dishes, from roasted beet salads to creamy beet hummus to even beet-based desserts. And the best part? Beets are jam-packed with nutrients like folate, manganese, and vitamin C, making them a powerhouse addition to any plant-based diet.

One of my favorite ways to enjoy beets is in a hearty grain bowl. I’ll roast up a batch of beet cubes, then toss them with quinoa or farro, sautéed greens, toasted nuts, and a tangy balsamic dressing. It’s a meal that’s not only delicious, but also keeps me feeling energized and satisfied.

And let’s not forget about beets’ natural sweetness, which makes them a prime candidate for desserts. I’ve whipped up everything from beet brownies to beet cake, and the results are always moist, fudgy, and downright crave-worthy. Plus, the vibrant color they lend to these treats is just the icing on the cake (pun intended).

As one of our readers, Corinne Hoffmann, so eloquently put it, “I love most vegetables, so this would be a hard choice. I love green beans, but they’d be hard to hide in other dishes – same with my beloved beets. So I’m thinking it would have to be zucchini or spinach.” And I couldn’t agree more. Beets may not be the first veggie that comes to mind, but once you start exploring their versatility, they quickly become a staple in the kitchen.

Beets at the Heart of Thornapple CSA

At Thornapple CSA, we’re on a mission to celebrate the beauty and nutrition of farm-fresh produce like beets. As a community-supported agriculture (CSA) service, we work closely with local farmers to bring you the best seasonal, organic veggies and fruits straight from the source.

And let me tell you, beets are always in abundance in our weekly CSA boxes. Whether it’s vibrant red, golden, or even striped Chioggia beets, we love showcasing the incredible diversity of this underappreciated veggie. From classic roasted beet salads to creative beet-forward dishes, our goal is to inspire you to get creative and embrace the versatility of beets in your own kitchen.

So what are you waiting for? Dive into the world of beets and let your culinary creativity run wild. Whether you’re whipping up a batch of our signature veggie burgers or experimenting with beets in new and unexpected ways, I guarantee you’ll never look at this humble root veggie the same way again.

Happy cooking, my fellow beet enthusiasts!

About Us

Thornapple CSA: A community-driven initiative championing sustainable agriculture. We connect members with fresh, organic produce, celebrating the bond between land and community.

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