Produce Spotlight on Beets
Beets are filled with nutrients like iron, fiber, potassium, folate, and antioxidants. These nutrients help our heart, blood, and digestive system. Fresh beets are available year-round but might be less expensive and fresher from July through October.
Shopping for Beets
When shopping, look for firm, round beets with smooth skin and a deep color. If the leaves are still attached, make sure they are green and not wilted. For the best flavor, choose small to medium-sized beets (up to 2½ inches across).
Red beets – the most famous variety; these sweet-tasting beets are dark red or purple in color with large green leaves.
White beets – white or tan in color with tall green stems and leaves.
Chioggia beets – sweet; when cut, the inside flesh has rings of red and white.
Golden beets – yellow or orange in color with large green leaves, which can also be eaten raw or cooked.
Storage and Preparation
Store unwashed beets in an open or perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.
Scrub beets gently under running water before cooking.
Beets can be cooked ahead of time to shorten preparation time in a recipe; refrigerate and use within five days.
Whole unpeeled beets can be cooked by the following methods: boil, microwave, or slow cooker. Unpeeled beets can be cut up and roasted.
Cooked beets can be frozen in an airtight container labeled with the date.
- Use beets in a smoothie along with fruits and other vegetables.
- Beet greens can be sautéed or used raw in a salad.
- Cooked beets can be mixed with other vegetables and used as a topping for salads, dip, and salsa.
One pound of fresh beets =
2 medium beets with tops or 2 cups sliced. One 15-ounce can of beets =
1 cup when drained.
Using Locally Grown Produce
For recipes featuring fruits and vegetables, visit our website https://extension.umass.edu/nutrition/recipes/. To locate places to buy local produce, visit https://www.mass.gov/orgs/massachusetts-grownand-fresher.