Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!
Nutritional and Other Information
About Beets from
the Barren County Farmers' Market

Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!


Beets are related to Swiss chard and have been grown since ancient times. Both the root and the leaves of beets are edible. The bright red pigment that gives beets their characteristic color is betacyanin. When some people eat beets, their bodies are unable to break down the betacyanin and as a result, their urine becomes pink.

Most of the beets grown are red but you can find pink, purple, white, and yellow beets. Golden beets donít bleed when cooked but donít taste as sweet as red beets. White beets look like turnips and are even less sweet than the golden ones. Some beets are cylindrical in shape instead of round.


Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!

Selecting a quality product Choose beets that are firm and well-shaped. Avoid those that are shriveled or soft or larger than 2 Ĺ inches in diameter as they will likely be woody. Beets less than 1 Ĺ inches in diameter are quite tender and cook quickly. If you purchase beets with the tops attached you can eat the greens.

Tips on Storage

To reduce moisture loss, if you purchased beets with their tops attached, remove them immediately but leave about 1 inch of the stem. Wrap the beets in a damp cloth and store in the vegetable crisper section of your refrigerator. Do not wash beets before storing.

Tips on cooking

Donít cut or peel beets before cooking to prevent "bleeding," do not cut stems shorter than one inch before cooking. Wash carefully with a vegetable brush.

Ways to use:

Pickled sweet or sour
Grated on salads
Cubed and added to soups and stews
Greens can be added raw to salads
Steam or stir-fry the greens


Beets With Yogurt, Sour Cream And Chives

1 lb beets; small to medium
1/4 cup lowfat yogurt
1 tbsp sour cream
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1 pinch black pepper
1 tbsp fresh chives; chopped

Put the beets in a steaming basket, cover, and steam until very tender when pierced with a small knife, 30-40 mins. Remove from the steamer and let stand until cool enough to handle. Meanwhile stir together the yogurt, sour cream, lemon juice and salt in a medium bowl. Using a small knife, peel and trim the beets. Cut them into 1/3" to 1/2" thick slices and cut the slices into 1/3" to 1/2" thick strips. Add to the yogurt mixture and toss gently to mix. Refrigerate until very cold, 2-3 hours. Just before serving, taste the beets for salt and pepper, adjust as needed. Sprinkle with the chives and serve cold.

Cranberry Glazed Beets

1 can (15 oz.) sliced beets
4 tsp corn starch
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup cranberry juice
1/3 cup raisins

Drain beets, reserve 1/4 cup of juice, set aside. In a sauce pan, combine sugar, corn starch, vinegar and salt. Mix till smooth. Stir in beet juice and bring to a boil. Cook and stir 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in raisins and let stand 5 minutes. Add beets and cook over heat for 2 minutes.

Polish Beets

1 small onion; finely chopped
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup yogurt
5 med cooked beets; peeled and shredded
3 tbsp horseradish; or to taste
1 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper
2 tb parsley; chopped

Saute the onion in the butter for three to five minutes. Stir in the flour. Add the yogurt and heat to just below the boiling point. Add the beets, horseradish and sugar, and heat thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with the parsley.

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