Last year I went to one of my favourite farmshops in Chapel Brampton (Northamptonshire) and loaded up on some goodies – Cornish Yarg cheese, farmhouse bread, garlic stuffed olives, free range eggs and some other bits and bobs.
When we went to pay, the clerk asked if I wanted her to cut the beet tops off for me. I declined: “Uh . . . nooooooo thanks. They’re the best part!” I had in fact specifically chosen this bunch of beets because the tops were so lovely and I could already taste them – steamed and drizzled with butter, sprinkled with salt and pepper and finished off with a splash of vinegar. “Fresh beet greens are one of my favourite summer treats!” I added. The clerk look intrigued: “You mean you can eat the tops!? I didn’t know that. Well, if you want more I have a whole bunch of them out back!” And that’s how I got a whole lot of free beet greens! According to my husband, people don’t eat beet greens over here in the UK.
Now I was intrigued. The UK is pretty big into eating local, eating healthy, eating organic. Is it possible I have been consuming something over the years that is not intended to be eaten? Surely the savvy eaters here would be eating the beet greens if they were edible. Wouldn’t they? Apparently not. And when I did a bit more reaserch I discovered that not only are beet greens an excellent source of Vitamins A, C and E, but they are actually more nutritious than the actual beets themselves!
I had a whack of them and steamed some, ran some through the juicer for a toxin-removing tonic, AND made soup! I just finished the last of the soup out of the freezer. Fortunately, this year, I have a lovely crop of beets in my own garden. The other day my husband said, “Those beetroot greens are looking really tasty!” Yea! Convert #1!