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Beets

Beets

Root veggies are hot, even trendy. Leading the way at farmers markets, restaurants and in home gardens are beets! They come in amazing colors: red, yellow, magenta and even lollipop stripes. With a bold, earthy flavor, these bulb-shaped veggies are their absolute best when cooked fresh.

Nutrition

One cup of beets contains about 60 calories and is:

  • Cholesterol-free
  • A good source of dietary fiber, providing ~15% of the Daily Value.(That's huge!)
  • A good source of folic acid, which is necessary for DNA synthesis in the cells. (Just don't overcook them or you may lose this benefit.)

Varieties

Baby Red and Red Beets: Deep magenta in color, baby varieties are much sweeter than large reds that have an earthy, somewhat bitter flavor.

Baby Gold and Gold Beets: If you want a more mild flavor than red beets, try gold varieties. Another benefit…their bright orange-yellow flesh doesn’t require peeling.

Baby Candy Cane and Candy Cane: Milder than red varieties, it’s fun to slice them crosswise to reveal their “rings” of magenta and cream-colored flesh.

Selecting

Look for beets with crisp, fresh-looking green leaves attached. The bulbs should be firm with fairly smooth skin. Small and medium bulbs are more tender than larger ones, making them a bit more tasty.

Storing

Store fresh beets, unwashed, in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Cut off the leaves about 1-2 inches from the beet top and do not trim the roots. This will prevent them from bleeding profusely when cooked.

Preparing

Scrub fresh beets just before cooking, being careful not to cut or break the skin. Cut large beets into chunks, leaving the skin on when roasting, baking, or boiling, keeping them from over-bleeding. The peels are easily removed after cooking, while still warm.

You can’t beat beets in your favorite recipes:

Raw: Finely grated, they add excitement, color and flavor to salads.

Roasted: The earthy flavor of beets becomes even more intense when roasted in the oven. Try our Roasted Beets recipe.

Baked: Wash beets with 1-inch stems attached and wrap in heavy duty aluminum foil. Bake in 400 degree oven until fork-tender, about 30 to 40 minutes, depending on size. When cool enough to handle, slip off the peels.

Boiled: Wash beets with 1-inch stems attached; do not peel before cooking. Place in pot, add water to cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1/2 to 1 hour, depending on size. (They are done when the skins slip off easily.) Drain and pour cold water over the beets; peel when cool enough to handle. Serve or refrigerate for later.

Related Recipes

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