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These Recipes Can’t Be Beet!

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These Recipes Can’t Be Beet!

Sweet, earthy, and vibrant in color, beets pack a powerful punch when it comes to flavor and health benefits. Raw or cooked, in soup or salad, grilled or otherwise, this cardiovascular-friendly vegetable has so many possibilities for the palate and the body.

Beets are available year-round, but the best time to buy them is June through October, when they are most tender. If homegrown, beets can be stored over the winter in several different ways. A crisper in the refrigerator will keep beets just as firm as when they were first lifted from the ground for several months. And don’t rule out canned beets; they can be transformed into wonderful dishes. Plus they are very inexpensive and store for years.

Varieties of beets include red, golden, and Chioggia, which have a red and white bulls-eye pattern when sliced. Let’s not forget the greens that grow up tall from the beetroot. These are similar to spinach and can be prepared in a similar way. When harvested young, beet greens make a wonderful addition to salads, plus they can also be stored over the winter by blanching and freezing them. They are a wonderful addition to soups, burritos, and stir-fries.

Nutrition Information
Beets are incredibly nutritious. They are are high in folate. A healthy diet with enough folate may reduce a woman’s risk of having a child with certain birth defects of the brain or spinal cord. Beetroots are also full of the phytonutrient betalain, which together with the folate works as an anti-inflammatory, and lowers your risk of heart disease. The pigments that causes varieties of beets to be red, betacyanins, are a potent cancer fighters, especially against colon cancer.

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The Greens
Beet greens are even more nutritious than the bulbs. They are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, iron, and potassium. Vitamin A is important for vision, growth and development, skin health, immune function, and reproduction. Vitamin C is important in immune response, wound healing, and allergic reactions, and also helps with iron absorption.

Storage Tips
– Separate beet greens from the roots, leaving 1-2 inches of stem still attached to the bulb.
– Store roots and greens separately.
– Beet greens can be wrapped in a damp paper or cloth towel and stored in a refrigerator drawer.
– The roots can be left uncovered in a refrigerator drawer or kept in a paper bag.
– Beetroots will keep for several weeks, but greens are best used right away.
– Both beet greens and roots can be blanched and frozen for up to 1 year. The roots can be left chopped or pureed and added to soups, salads, pesto, red velvet cake, smoothies, or hummus.
– If storing beetroots from your garden or a CSA for the winter, check out this link for storage preparation.

– Wash beet greens in plenty of water and cook as you would any tender greens such as spinach. Saute in olive oil with a little garlic for a healthy side dish.
– Young beet greens can also be eaten raw. Try adding to green salads for an accent of color and flavor.
– Wash and gently scrub beet roots to remove dirt. Early in the summer the very young beets can be eaten with the skin on, but the matured beets will need to be peeled. Peel before or after cooking (the skin comes off much easier after cooking).
– Beet roots can be eaten raw as well as cooked. Try grating raw beets and adding to salads (good with grated raw carrots) or using as a topping on tacos, burritos, or tostadas.
– Beets are sweet and earthy and are good combined with other root vegetables such as onions, carrots, potatoes, or celery root. Beets can be roasted, steamed, grilled, boiled, and baked.
– Good seasonings for beets include olive oil, vinegar, lemon, mustard, cilantro, curry, yogurt, and/or sour cream.
– Cooked beets (in any form) can be pureed and used to make wonderful spreads and warming winter beverages.

Here are a few recipes for enjoying this versatile veggie!

Simple Roasted Beets
Beets (any quantity you desire)
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 425º F. Wash and dry beets. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, then and wrap beets in foil.  Roast for about 1 and 1/2 hours. Let beets cool in the foil, and then simply rub the skin off and slice. Can be used for so many recipes, topping for salads, soups, dips, smoothies!

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1 lisa { 09.28.14 at 9:04 am }

i cook my beets,peel them and add equal amounts of vinegar and sugar,put them in bottles and seal them…wicked good!!!

2 connie perkins { 09.28.14 at 8:49 am }

I love beets. Love pickled beets but I love harvard beets the best.

3 Bonnie { 09.28.14 at 8:34 am }

Kenneth, I’m not sure why you added any sugar to canned beets, unless you were making pickled beets? In that case, I think stevia or Splenda would likely work. The high vinegar content should make it safe to water bath can. If you are not pickling the beets, please be sure to pressure can them as they are low acid. Always pressure can vegetables, except for pickled veggies or tomatoes–and be sure to add vinegar, lemon or lime juice to tomatoes. I use a teaspoon of vinegar per pint, a tablespoon per quart for tomatoes. Then if I add other veggies, like peppers and onions, I’m back to pressure canning tomatoes.

4 Kenneth Kaufman { 03.18.13 at 4:35 pm }

I canned beets last season with tremendous success, they are wonderful. We are however trying to cut down on our sugar intake to loose some weight. It it possible to use an artifical sweetner like Stevia or Splenda in the canning process? Thanks for any help you can give..

5 Dewey Stevens { 03.01.13 at 2:08 am }

Beets is a wonderful tasting vegetable. Now is the time to plant seeds if you live in the coastal plains region of the state. Beets can be planted in raised beds or in the ground.
I tried raised beds last year which was a great success. If you plant in the ground and have difficulty getting the seeds to germinate try this…..after sowing your seed place a brick or other object sideways across the row then lay a board approximate 5-6 inches wide over the brick. This keeps the soil from sealing like cement over the seed. Beet seed are very sensitive and will not germinate well if planted in stiff-hard soil unless you try this method.
It works….I have used this many times in past years.

6 Carolyn { 02.28.13 at 10:23 pm }

I plant beets in the frount part of my flower bed. As they get big enough to eat I thin them out and set annuals in their place to have color the rest of the summer.

7 Jini { 02.27.13 at 9:53 pm }

If one doesn’t watch closely, beets can reach gigantic sizes – and then what do you do with them? One thing you can do is wash, peel, and grate them into a buttered baking dish. Add extra butter, salt and pepper, and bake in the oven (350 degrees) for 30 minutes, or until tender. This is the way my mother used to fix them when I was growing up. We all loved them done this way.

8 Marilyn Jones { 02.27.13 at 2:21 pm }

I love fresh beets! Remember that it is wise to use gloves when working with beets as they will color everything red, especially after cooking!

9 Jim { 02.27.13 at 9:58 am }

Plant below ground crops just after the full moon to just before new moon phase and not in the heart sign of the zodiac. So, now would be a good time to plant your beets if your soil temp is warm enough depending on your zone.

10 janet messer { 02.27.13 at 9:09 am }

what about the old fashion way, Recipes for canning beets, and also what is the time for planting beets.

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