beet

Vegetable of the Week: Beet


Just like the radish, beets are also a two in one vegetable (roots + greens). Mediterranean native, beets have been foraged since ancient times. Historically, the beet greens were used for food while the beet roots were used for medicinal purposes. This nutritious dense vegetable has been enjoyed for its health benefits for ages.

Beets are a close relative to chard and are a part of the amaranthaceae or chenopod family.

There are several beet varieties with the Red Ace and Detroit Dark Red being common in the United States. You will also find Burpee’s golden (gold beets) and Chiogga (red and white flesh).

Nutritional Benefits of Beets

Beets red color is a clear indication that they are a blood tonic and are good for anemia, the heart, and for circulation. Beets purify the blood and aid the liver. Beet roots are powerfully packed with dietary fiber, manganese, potassium, and folate and are also a good source of vitamin C, iron, and magnesium.

Beet greens are an excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper and manganese.

Beets also contain betalains, a phytonutrient which has been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support.

How to Select Beets to Eat

Beets roots should be firm with smooth blemish free skin. If the beet greens are attached then they should have a lively green color and should not be wilted. As a general rule, select beets that are small to medium in size. Growers recommend that you select beet roots that are 1 to 1.5 inch as they are tender and sweet.

Beets Storage

Remove the beet greens, if attached, leaving about 1 inch of the greens stems. This is to prevent the beet roots from bleeding. Store the roots in an open plastic bag for up to 3 weeks and the greens in a closed plastic bag. Use the greens within a few days.

You can preserve beet roots by drying, freezing blanched or roasted beets, or by pickling.

How to Eat Beets

Beets are another great salad or raw food addition. Beet greens make an excellent salad green when young and tender. You can also saute, steam, or prepare as you would any other green. Beet roots can be used in salads as well or boiled, steamed or roasted. It is best to cook beets without peeling first to retain nutrients and color. Once cooked, the skin will easily rub off under running water.

Spring Vegan’s beet recipe ideas:

I love having thinly sliced or julienned beets in salads. Beet juice also make an awesome dramatic addition to your fresh homemade juices. I usually cook beets by making roasted beet fries.

Other beet recipe ideas found on the web:

Beet Burgers from Diet, Dessert and Dogs and Addicted to Veggies

Beet Pepperoni from Diet, Dessert and Dogs

Beet Gnocchi from Veganlicious

Lastly, one recipe to veganize:

Beet Ravioli from Rosey Posey

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Becoming a healthy vegan was is still a challenge.
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Looking for more? Go to the Spring Vegan Recipes Section.

5 comments

  • Ricki 8 years ago

    Thanks so much for including my recipes in this roundup! I adore beets and try to eat them as often as possible. I also love them raw in salads. So many great beet recipes! :)

    • Cheyenne 8 years ago

      Of course! Both your beet burgers and beet pepperoni look awesome. I can’t wait to try them out.

      Ps. I had some computer issues, so sorry for the delay in my response.

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