Beet, Carrot and Apple Fritters – CSA Week 4

Beets, Carrots and Apple Latkes, via Eat the Vegan Rainbow

It’s early July, and here in New England (which is, for those of you who hail from across the globe, a name for the Northeastern-most part of the United States that includes six states: Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont) the farm activities are in full swing. The greater Boston area is brimming with farms of different size and produce selection. For example, we went cherry picking on July 4th, and ended up with an amazing selection of cherries. We ate a lot, shared some with neighbors, and washed, pitted  and froze the rest. In this way, the frozen cherries are ready for smoothies, sauces or pies later in the year.

What’s in this week’s CSA basket?

At our local farm where we get our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share  the Upswing Farm, the vegetables this week included beets, like it did last week (and I shared  about how to pan roast beets and sauté the beet greens few days ago), carrots, zucchini, squash, cucumbers, yellow and green, cilantro, fennel, and so on and so forth. It was a really great week!

Beets are versatile!

If you are skeptical about beets, don’t be – they are versatile! Yes, you may think that I am saying that because I an Eastern European and there is a bit of a beet culture on the Balkans, but beets really can work in many different ways. In addition to the two recipes I shared last week, beets can be made into a hummus (yummy), used as a salad, sandwich or a veggie burger topping, and also made into tasty burgers (see here, and here for some great beet burger recipes to try). And they are an essential, as in not-to-be-skipped-under-any-circumstance, ingredient for fabulous BBQ ribs, either those made with wheat gluten or gluten-free.

So, how about beet fritters?

And this brings us to these fritters. Without a doubt, vegetable, and in some cases fruit, fritters are ubiquitous. Every cuisine has a recipe or two that fall into this category and take advantage of ingredients in season, often times potatoes, zucchini, squash, carrots, a grater, a bit of flour and usually some eggs, to make a quick meal. So, how about beet fritters? And how about vegan and gluten-free? Well, the recipe here answers these question in affirmative.

Chia seeds and flaxseed meal as binding agents

Grated beets, carrots and the apple make the body of these fritters. The easiest way to grate them is using a large grating attachment on your food processors, although, of course, grating by hand will work too! You don’t need to cooked the beets first, but do peel and wash them, as well as the carrots – apple is the only ingredient that does not require peeling. Just before you start grating you should start soaking your flaxseed meal by combining flaxseed meal with hot water in 1 to 3 ratio. Because the grated fruits and veggies have high moisture content, they do need extra binding agents and that’s why I recommend using quite a bit of flaxseed meal as well as chia seeds. Together, flaxseed meal and chia seeds work together to created fritters that hold their shape well without any eggs or flour.

Don’t forget the spices

I recommend using lime juice and zest, as well as freshly grated ginger and finely chopped fresh cilantro to enhance the flavors. The result are light fritters with interesting texture and



Beet, Carrot and Apple Fritters

What you’ll need:

1/4 cup golden flaxseed meal (you can use other types of flaxseed meal as well)

3/4 cup hot water

2 cups shredded carrots (4-6 carrots depending on size)

2 cups shredded beets (3-4 beets or so)

1 shredded Granny Smith apple

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 lime, zest an juice

1/2 inch ginger root, grated

1/2 cup chia seeds

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Oil or cooking spray for the pan

Extra lime slices, coarsely ground black pepper and/or apple sauce for serving

What you’ll do:

  1. Place the flaxseed meal and hot water into a bowl and mix well. Let the “flax egg” rest for at least 10 minutes. The final result will be a very gooey mix that will work together with chia seeds to bind the fritters together.
  2. While the “flax egg” is resting, grate beets, carrots and an apple by hand or using a food processor equipped with a grating attachment, then transfer into a large mixing bowl. Add all the rest of ingredients, including the “flax egg”, mix well and let stand for 20-30 minutes. This resting time is needed for chia seeds to soak the extra liquid released by the grated beets, carrots and apple, and transform into a gel-like substance.
  3. Place a large pan over high heat and let it get nice and hot. Add oil or some cooking spray – if you do have a great non-stick pan you can omit the oil – and place small firm patties in. To form a patty, take about 1/4 cup worth of your mix, and using your hands form a 1/2 inch thick patty. Brown over high heat for 2 minutes then lower the heat down to medium and continue browning for 3 more minutes.
  4. Flip the patties over and brown on the other side for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Serve warm as a side dish, or even as an alternative to breakfast pancakes. These fritters go well with yogurt, as well as maple sauce, and I bet they would be delicious cold as well!
Beet, Carrot and Apple Fritters, via Eat the Vegan Rainbow on Pinterest

Copyright © Eat the Vegan Rainbow, 2018

CSA Week 3, Part 2: Balsamic Vinegar Glazed Beets and Turnips

Balsamic Vinegar Glazed Beets and Turnips, via Eat the Vegan Rainbow

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a lovely way to support your local farmers, enjoy the freshest produce and diversify what’s on your plate. This summer I signed up for a share at Upswing Farm, our local, small scale farm that’s relatively new – it opened it’s doors just 2 years ago. So far, the shares were great, with excellent quality of local produce as well as a couple of items that I’ve never seen in my life before.

Introducing garlic scapes

By Evan-Amos [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons
In week 3, one such item were garlic scapes, which are twisty and curly green stalks that grow out of garlic plant and if left alone would develop a flower at the top. However, they are removed, usually in late spring and early summer, in order to help the growing garlic channel its energy into the bulb not the flower. The scapes are edible – who knew! – and full of the same garlic flavor so you can use them instead or in addition to (if you really love your garlic) the garlic cloves. I usually chop them finely, but they are funny looking and for this pan roast I decided to leave them intact, after trimming off the ends. If you don’t have garlic scapes, you could use garlic cloves, or whole scallions (green onions), or green (young) garlic. Any one of these will work to infuse your beets and young turnips with some nice flavors.

Pan roasting beets and turnips

The stars of our Week 3 CSA share were a bunch of beets and a bunch of baby turnips. Unlike huge and heavy turnips you usually find in the grocery store, these turnips are smaller and softer. You can cook them without peeling, and they require much less prep time then their more mature versions. They are delicious roasted, as are the beets.

But, we are in the middle of a heat wave and turning the oven on seems extremely unappealing. So, Dutch oven to the rescue! If you don’t know what a Dutch oven is, it’s a very heavy cast iron pot that is perfect for achieving nice caramelization without actual roasting. The best way to do this is to be patient, keep the heat on medium, put the lid on, and stir infrequently. This will help cook the veggies through while at the same time giving them nice roasted look and feel.

Don’t forget the glaze

What also helps the stove top roasting process is a simple balsamic vinegar glaze. This is nothing more than a splash of good quality balsamic vinegar that gets cooked and concentrated with the beets and turnip. The result is a shiny and rich side dish that works well warm as well as cold, especially as a topping for salads.

Don’t throw away the leaves

And since these are all really fresh pieces of produce, don’t forget that you can use the entire plant. So, don’t throw away the leafy parts of your beets and turnips as they can be made into a yummy side dish!



Balsamic Vinegar Glazed Beets and Turnips

What you’ll need:

1 bunch (5-6 medium) beets, washed, peeled and cubed

1 bunch young turnips, washed and cubed

5-6 garlic scapes, washed, trimmed, and roughly chopped into long pieces

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar


What you’ll do:

  1. Place a large Dutch oven or a cast iron pan over the medium high heat. Add the oil and garlic scapes. Brown for 1-2 minutes than add the cubed beets and turnips.
  2. Let the vegetables brown on one side before turning them over. This will take 5 minutes or so per side.
  3. After they’ve browned on two sides, add the vinegar and deglaze the bottom of the pan.
  4. Lower the heat to medium low, put the lid on and “roast” the vegetables for 20-25 minutes. Stir occasionally. Both beets and turnips should be soft when you pierce them with a fork, but not mushy or falling apart.
  5. Serve warm, or enjoy cold. The “roasted” beets and turnips will keep for close to a week in the fridge.

Copyright © Eat the Vegan Rainbow, 2018