Bowing down to the Beet
Beetroot – whilst recognized as a nutrient dense health food titan and a rich source of the amino acid glutamine – is not generally considered a super-food. There are a number of nutritional indexes available that measure the power of superfoods: one is the ANDI (Aggregate Nutrient Density Index) and the other the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity). These are very useful.
My favorite index is the exchange of wide-eyes with friends and family as we sample a new food. Recently we poured out equal measures of our first sample of Red Hot Juice and drank it in silent observant communion. The shiny-eyed verdict was instant, yes, whatever any index says, this juice is a force of life.
Hands down the best-ever accolade to a vegetable is Tom Robbins appreciation of the beetroot in Jitterbug Perfume: “the beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious. 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”.
Perhaps the beetroot is best left to poetry. Certainly, we have enormous respect for our beets, organically grown on our farms from seeds guaranteed not to have any genetically modified material and magically growing in all but the most extreme dry weather. Apart from our daily harvest, beetroot is the star of our Red Hot Juice and is also available in Beautiful Beetroot Chutney from the All Things Nice Spice Company.