photo of Borscht by Dmitry Dzema via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons | cropped

Beets have a lot going for them, and it’s a relief they’re plentiful (and good keepers, too) when tomatoes, cucumbers and the summer vegetables are winding down.

An study published in the Journal, Nitric Oxide: Biology and Chemistry, said consuming beets helps keep brains healthy. The study wrote that drinking 2 C beet juice at breakfast for just four days increased blood flow to the brain’s frontal lobes, which may help prevent cognitive impairment.  Not saying that you’re going to drink 2 C beet juice each morning, although we sell it, but you can eat more beets (or use beet powder, which we have in our supplement area).  Beets also enrich the blood, detox the liver and help with constipation.  Did you know the Romans lauded beets as an aphrodisiac?   Well, now you do, and here’s a simple beet soup which my mother served us many Sundays for lunch.

Serves 8 (leftovers are great – this keeps for a good week in the frig without the garnishes)

4-6 medium beets, about 2# ½ C honey (or agave)
1 med zucchini or summer squash, about 1# 8 C water
1 large onion, peeled and quartered ¼ C lemon juice
1 Tbsp good salt some black pepper

optional toppings

fresh dill for garnish (may also use chives, parsley, etc.) sour cream, creme fraiche, or full-fat yogurt (can use Coconut Cult coconut yogurt)
4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled, quartered 1-2 pounds potatoes
2 oz good caviar grilled asparagus (3 spears, cut into thirds, per bowl)
A drizzle of virgin avocado oil 1 Tbsp hempseeds
fresh sage leaves sauteed crisp in butter a light dusting of golden local bee pollen


Wash all the vegetables.  Trim the ends of beets and zucchini.   Using a food processor, grate unpeeled beets and squash, and onion.  Place beets, squash and onion in soup kettle.  Add water and salt and bring to a boil.  Turn off heat.  Let pot sit covered 10 minutes.  Stir in lemon and honey (lemon will return color to beets).

Cool, then refrigerate until cold, 3 hours, or overnight.  Taste, adjust seasoning.

Serve as is, or with a generous dollop of sour cream and sprinkling of dill.  That’s the traditional way.  The potato and hard-boiled eggs are also traditional.  Try to add the potatoes at the very end, so they stay warm on the top.

Or go ahead and be exotic.  Elegant and simple, or pile those toppings on!  Drizzle the avocado oil on in a spiral over your grilled asparagus and sour cream, dotted with caviar, dusted with bee pollen and fried sage leaves.  Do we sell caviar at Debra’s?  No.  But we’ve got everything else you need.  Do you have to use all the garnishes?  Of course not.  It’s up to you.