Season: May to June and September to November
Description: Beets are a source of folate, which may reduce your risk of heart disease. Eating foods with folate before pregnancy helps lower the risk of delivering a baby with neural tube defects. Beets also provide potassium, magnesium and fiber. Potassium helps maintain healthy blood pressure, magnesium helps build and maintain strong bones, and fiber helps control cholesterol and keeps you regular. Beet greens are a source of vitamin K, calcium and magnesium which help build and maintain strong bones. Vitamin A in beet greens helps maintain eye health.
Vitamins: Folate, Potassium, Magnesium, Fiber, Calcium, Vitamin K, Vitamin A
Selection: Beets that are similar in size, smooth, round and are a deep red color. If available, choose beets with fresh, dark green tops.
Storing: Cut leaves from roots. Wash greens in a cool water bath and swish until dirt and sand is removed. Drain leaves and wrap in a paper towel. Store wrapped greens in a perforated plastic bag in the crisper. Store roots in a plastic bag in the refrigerator 2 to 3 weeks.
Preparation: Clean beets gently to prevent tearing the thin skins. Cook before cutting or peeling to retain color and flavor.
Serving: Roasting is the best way to keep the sweet taste. To roast, rub a light coat of olive oil on the skins, wrap each beet in foil and roast for 1 hour at 400 degrees F. Add grated raw beets to a salad just before serving because beets stain other vegetables. Add thin-cut strips of beet leaves to soups. Add grated or sliced raw beets to salads or soups.