This past summer, I had the pleasure of diving head first into the Red Deer community gardening scene. And by head first, I mean three garden plots totaling nearly 2,000 square feet of growing space!
The City of Red Deer, together with ReThink Red Deer, has done a phenomenal job with its community garden and community food forest development! When I left behind my little 4’x4′ plot in Calgary last year, I was concerned I wouldn’t have anywhere to grow food for my family other than the sunny little south balcony of our apartment. I was more than pleasantly surprised to find that the gardening community of Red Deer is very much alive and thriving!
Scott had never done much gardening beyond what his father had forced on him as a child in the back yard of their city lot, and it had been a very long time since I had gardened on this scale and the last time had been in a very different climate and soil. While we were very committed to growing as much of our own food as possible this summer, we also gave ourselves a lot of grace this season to get the hang of this new endeavour in a new environment.
As part of our “learning” year, I planted several new varieties of vegetables I had never grown before. As I was looking for new and interesting things to plant, I stumbled upon the amazing variety of coloured beets!
Typically, when you think of beets, you think of the deep, rich red colour for which they are famous, but little do many know that there are several other colours of beets, too. Red and white striped, yellow and white striped, solid white, and even deep, rich golden. Especially deep, rich golden.
While I’ve always been fond of the standard red beets, now that I’ve had golden beets, things will never be the same. Sweeter and less earthy than their red counterparts, golden beets have a mellow flavour and rich texture that almost makes you think they come with the butter built in. They are, by far, my new favourite beet, and they will certainly have a prominent place in my 2018 garden plot.
If you haven’t tried them yet, I encourage you to check out your nearest farmers’ market and see if you can find some for yourself. They are delicious and a great excuse to up the yellows in your diet rainbow! If you’re stuck with how to prepare them, give this easy, simple recipe a go. It’s quick to get in the oven and toddler (and husband) approved!
Golden Glazed Beets
- three pounds of golden beets, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup orange juice (may include orange zest for extra orange flavour if desired)
- 2 tablespoons dried thyme
- 1/2-3/4 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir or toss to coat beets evenly.
- Pour into a 9×13 oven-safe baking dish and spread beet slices as evenly as possible.
- Bake beets until tender (approximately one hour, but may depend on the thickness of your slices and your elevation), stirring once part way through to ensure even baking.
- Serve and enjoy!