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All About Beets

Jul 1, 2024 | Buying Local, Fun Food Facts | 0 comments

by Robin Hoy

Red beets are packed with health benefits. They are full of betalains that have powerful antioxidant effects and help reduce inflammation, making them helpful for cancer, arthritis, heart disease and more. They are also rich in nitrates that have been proven to reduce high blood pressure and increase cell function and energy.

 

Choosing Beets

When choosing your beets, select fresh, young beets that are not larger than 3 inches in diameter and have crisp, fresh greens.

 

Storing Beets

Do not wash them before storing.  Cut off the greens, leaving 2 inches of stem above the beet root. Do not trim the root tip or peel the beets. Store the beet roots in a cool, dry crisper drawer of the refrigerator in a plastic bag with holes punctured in it to enable the release of some of the moisture, which can promote rotting. Beets can keep for up to five months!

Don’t waste those powerhouse greens, which are full of fiber and vitamins C, K and B9! To store them, rinse, pat dry and store separately in plastic bags in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Add to salads, soups, quiches or smoothies or just steam or sauté like spinach or kale.

 

Using Beets

Beet roots also freeze well. Trim off the greens, leaving one inch of stem. Wash them and drop them into boiling water, staggering them according to size, with smallest ones taking 30 minutes and larger ones taking up to an hour. When tender, drain them in a colander and run them under cold water, slipping off the stem, skin and root tip as soon as you can handle them. When cool, slice, dice or quarter them and pack into heavy duty freezer bags, squeezing out as much air as possible. Label with name and date, and freeze for up to 8 months. Terrific for winter borscht!

 

A Few Beet Recipes

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