The beet, sometimes called beetroot to distinguish it from the less commonly-eaten leafy green upper part, is a root crop with an intense purple-red color similar to veinous blood. Beet juice is commonly used for coloring or dyeing.
Characteristics[edit | edit source]
Beets have a uniquely strong, sweet flavor. Young beets, about 1½ inches in diameter, are fine textured, tender, and excellent in salads. Medium and large size beets are good for cooking; very large roots are too woody for eating regardless of cooking method.
Selection and storage[edit | edit source]
Which ever size of beets you choose, look for smooth, hard, uniformly round beets that are free of cuts and bruises. If applicable, remove the beet greens and use immediately. Store beets with their tops chopped off in individual plastic bags in the coolest part of the refrigerator—these should last up to one week. Wash and scrub the beets before cooking. Beets peel best after cooking, and they will stain many things they come into contact with—wear gloves if you wish to avoid stained hands.
Uses[edit | edit source]
Cooked beets can be sliced and served as a vegetable on one side of a plate. They are often used in Eastern European soups. Beets may be pickled, but most beets are sold fresh (sometimes peeled and pre-cooked) or canned. Beets are a common source of refined white sugar, which is known as "beet sugar".
Seasonality[edit | edit source]
|Seasonality tables|Autumn|Winter|Spring|Summer|All year|