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TEXARKANA, Ark. –
Beets are often ignored by shoppers, even though they are available year round in
supermarkets, and May to June and September to November at farmers markets and local
gardens. Perhaps you are one of those who pass by the beets looking for other veggies.
Understanding the benefits of eating beets might make you reconsider and give them
a fair trial.
Whole fresh beets offer two vegetables in one. The leaves are edible and tasty if
steamed and topped with margarine or butter, lemon or lime, and your favorite spices.
They are similar to spinach in taste and texture and quite nutritious. Simply separate
the beets from the leaves and store them until you have enough.
The outer skins should be peeled from the red beets. They can then be grated raw and
sprinkled on salads or chopped into quarters, steamed and prepared as you would any
vegetable. Add grated raw beets to a salad just before serving because beets stain
other vegetables. Add thin-cut strips of beet leaves to soups.
Beets are high in nutrition and are considered a “cardiovascular health-friendly”
root vegetable. Beets provide 27% of RDA and are an excellent source of folate, which
may reduce your risk of heart disease. Eating foods with folate before pregnancy helps
lower the risk of delivering a baby with neural tube defects. Beets also provide potassium,
magnesium and fiber. Potassium helps maintain healthy blood pressure, magnesium helps
build and maintain strong bones, and fiber helps control cholesterol and keeps you
Beet greens (tops) are a source of vitamin K, calcium and magnesium which help build
and maintain strong bones. Vitamin A in beet greens helps maintain eye health.
Choose fresh, bright, firm textured beets that are similar in size, smooth, round
and are a deep red color. If available, choose beets with fresh, dark green tops.
If you are buying the whole vegetable, sever top greens from the root as they rob
moisture and nutrition from the roots. Wash greens in a cool water bath and swish
until dirt and sand is removed. Drain leaves and wrap in a paper towel. Store wrapped
greens in a perforated plastic bag in the crisper. Store roots in a plastic bag in
the refrigerator 2 to 3 weeks.
Clean beets gently to prevent tearing the thin skins. Cook before cutting or peeling
to retain color and flavor. Roasting is the best way to keep the sweet taste of beets.
To roast, rub a light coat of olive oil on the skins, wrap each beet in foil and roast
for 1 hour at 400 degrees F.
For more information, contact the Miller County Extension Office, 870-779-3609 or
visit us in room 215 at the Miller County Courthouse. We're online at email@example.com,
on Facebook at UAEXMillerCountyFCS, on Twitter @MillerCountyFCS or on the web at uaex.uada.edu/Miller.
Don’t forget to shop local farmers markets to find your fresh beets and then try the
following recipes to use both the beets and beet greens.
Sautéed Beet Greens with Garlic
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bunches beet greens, chopped
Heat oil in large skillet and sauté garlic. Chop the greens roughly and add to the
skillet, cooking until limp, about 5 minutes. Move to serving platter and serve warm.
Beet and Cabbage Slaw
2 medium beets, trimmed, peeled and grated
4 cups cabbage, grated
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
5 tablespoons olive oil
Mix together vinegar, mustard and honey. Whisk in olive oil. Pour dressing over grated
beets and cabbage, toss. Sprinkle walnuts on top.
By Carla Due County Extension Agent - FCSThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Carla Due County Extension Agent - FCSU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service400 Laurel Street, Suite 215 Texarkana AR 71854 (870) 779-3609 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay. The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons
regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin,
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