Early yesterday morning, I was setting up to make our new favorite blended breakfast, the delicious Winter Smoothie featured here about a month ago. I’d stopped by the Farmer’s Market on Saturday to re-stock our beet supply so we could enjoy several more of these citrus season optimizing smoothies and opened the fridge with a smile – I love reaping the benefits of planning ahead. I grabbed a fresh beet and set it with the rest of the Winter Smoothie ingredients. When I cut into it, even in the half darkness I could see that this was not a beet, it was an overgrown candy cane radish. So weird because I could picture the bin and even the sign, “Beets” from which I’d grabbed the pink root. But shucks, no luck. I substituted a carrot in it’s place – delicious actually – and continued on. We both enjoyed our Monday morning modified Winter Smoothies.
This morning, on the prowl to create a new citrus smoothie using grapefruit, I returned to the produce drawer and again pulled out the beets. Studying them in full light, I could in fact see that they were a little lighter pink than our typical beets. Still, they looked like beets. They smelled like beets. I set one on the cutting board and gave another slice. Another radish greeted me. Huh? Again I studied the lighter pink beets and wait a minute… Google to the rescue and viola, a new discovery today – Candy Cane Beets!!! Which are technically called Chioggia Beets and hail to 19th Century Italy – who knew?
I so love new discoveries, especially one that’s waiting to unfold right in your own home! Spending a little more time poking around online, I realized that Chioggia Beets are not exactly unheard of, but still, these are new to me and they’re really fun. If Dr. Seuss were to invent a vegetable, I am certain it would be the Candy Cane Beet.
Another delight that unfolded re Chioggia beets: they do not make any stain. I put them in on a paper towel and they left no mark. Remarkable approaching sublime. Also, they taste like a milder version of red beets, in other words a little lighter on the earthy flavor.
I realized that I hadn’t yet come Chioggia beets because they are apparently not sold very widely outside of farmer’s markets and specialty grocery stores. The good news is, the smoothie below will work just as well with a good old red beet. Still, these are too fun to keep a secret – I had to share my new discovery!
This smoothie is very light – the avocado found in the Winter Smoothie is omitted here. With one grapefruit, a beet, and a carrot, this is an Antioxidant and Vitamin C home run. It’s got a killer tangy – sweet combination that is delicious for an addition to breakfast or a mid-day snack.
– 1 Medium Beet, Chioggia or Red, Chopped into Smallish Pieces
– 1 Pink Grapefruit
– 1 Medium Carrot, Purple or Orange will work, Chopped into Smallish Pieces
– About 1 inch Fresh Ginger
– 2 Tsp Honey
– 1 Tsp Vanilla
– 3/4 Cup Water
– Because the white pith around grapefruit flesh is much more bitter than other citrus fruits, remove the pith entirely from the grapefruit.
– Remove the grapefruit sections from the membrane with a sharp knife. Add sections to the blender, removing seeds as you go.
– Add all the other ingredients to the blender.
– Blend at a low speed at first, increasing to a higher speed to achieve desired consistency.
Here’s to your health, and to new discoveries!