Posted by & filed under organic produce, tips & tricks, Uncategorized.

Hey there everyone! I want to start out by introducing myself and telling you a little bit about what’s going on at Golden Gate Organics. My name is Tamara Thompson, and Corey has brought me on to make sure that we have plenty of new and interesting things for you to read about here. I’ll be writing a new blog twice a month, and I’ll also be filling in to deliver boxes on Tuesdays. (I met a few of you on the route last week – thanks very much for your encouragement on what was decidedly a very hot and very long first day!)

As a writer/editor by profession and an organic foodie by appetite, I’m really excited about working with Golden Gate Organics. Every interaction I’ve had with the folks here has been amazingly positive and healthy, and that is exactly the kind of place where I want to put my energy.
We’ve talked a lot about where we want this blog to go, and we’ve kicked around a variety of ideas for future posts – everything from interviews with farmers, to tips on reviving wilted produce, to reviews of books such as the recent Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss, or Cooked, the latest from Michael Pollan. But we’ll get to all that in the weeks ahead.

For now, though, the main thing we’ve been thinking about is how to reduce waste and help folks use all the great stuff in their boxes to the fullest. It can be hard sometimes, especially if you aren’t familiar with a particular produce item, or with the direct-from-the-earth form in which it has arrived on your porch.
For example, I know that the veggie-only boxes this week featured bunches of beets, and a lot of other folks subbed or added them to their orders as well. Beets are one of my favorite veggies because they are a two-fer — that is, you get the beets that you can roast (or boil or pickle or juice, etc), but you also get the wonderful bunch of dark greens at the top. It is two very different veggies all in one – beet bonus!

Many people have only been taught how to use the beets themselves, leaving the greens for the compost bin. But what a shame! Beet greens taste fantastic, and they are full of excellent nutrition. They’re sky-high in Vitamin K (a whopping 871% of the recommended daily allowance per cup), as well as Vitamin A (220%) and Vitamin C (60%). Because of those high levels, beet greens are considered to be strongly anti-inflammatory, which is good news for all bodies. (Beets themselves contain unique phytonutrients called betalains, which have been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties.)
You can mix beet greens with other greens like kale, chard, collards or mustards and cook them together, or you can add beet greens to stir frys, soups, green power smoothies, or even salads (hey, while you’re at it, throw in a few of those carrot tops too!)

My favorite way to use beet greens, though, is to chop them up and sautee them in a skillet with a little olive oil. When they are wilted and have tender stalks, I toss in a handful of dried cranberries or dried cherries and then give it a splash of balsamic vinegar. If you have a sweet tooth (like I do), add a pinch of sugar or a little agave nectar as a counterpoint to the balsamic. Slivered almonds or cashew pieces are a great topper that adds a little crunch. Super yum!
This quick and easy dish is a great way to start using beets from top to bottom and to have less waste from your produce box, too. If you try it, please let me know what you think, and if you have ideas for future blog posts or a topic you’d like to see discussed, shoot that my way as well. I’m looking forward to what you all have to say!

Wishing you healthy and happy munching,