Mid-July – November

Trim leaves off the root leaving 1/4 inch of stems so that the beets will not bleed during cooking. If boiling, do not peel first, the skins will slip off easily after cooking. Beets can be roasted or grated fresh into salads. See recipes for ideas.

Beets maintain best quality when the leaves are cut from the roots. Cut the stems 1-2 inches above the root so that the beet will not bleed as much during cooking. Leaves should be used quickly, store in a plastic bag in the crisper bin of the refrigerator. The beet root will last a couple weeks if keep in the fridge; though it is best when used within a week. It is not necessary to peel beets since many of the nutrients are just below the skin. However, beets peel best after they are boiled; the skins will slip off easily when fully cooked.

Beets are high in vitamins A and C and the carotenes and they have lately been touting the phytochemical lycopene, the red color in fruits and veggies as having ten times more antioxidant activity beta carotene. The beet greens are a very nourishing dark leafy green however they contain oxalic acid which inhibits mineral absorption when eaten raw so lightly cook for best results. They are also an excellent source of folic acid like the crucifer family.

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