The mixing of two familiar foods less commonly thought of as herbs. Baking can be magic in that way. Walnuts and beets are both examples of culinary style herbalism.
When September comes, it seems like beets are everywhere. Week after week they arrive in my CSA box. Even if I liked beets (regrettably I don’t) how in the world can someone use all of them? In my nutrition frame of mind I know it’s worth trying. So I roast them, peel them and whirl them in the food processor, then store to use later. Frozen in ice cube trays, they can be added to smoothies. Measure 1 cup portions to mix into batters because beets make amazingly moist chocolate cakes. Pickle them and they last forever this way, besides fermented foods are important and my mom loves them. When huge yellow beets appeared a few weeks ago, I felt muffin inspiration. Because beets add sweetness, the actual sugar amount is proportionally low in this batter. My lovely daughter, a vegetable affectionate yet also not a beet lover, avoids sugar. She approved.
Recent studies have linked eating walnuts with improvement in memory. Eating a handful packs nutrients that our brains need like essential fatty acids and antioxidants. Traditional Chinese Medicine doesn’t ignore walnuts, classifying them as yang tonifying herbs that strengthen bones, tendons and vision. TCM also considers walnuts warming for the lungs and mixed with honey can help chronic coughs. Now there’s a yummy kitchen therapy.