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All About Beets: Benefits and Tips for Growing

All About Beets: Benefits and Tips for Growing

Beets are one of my favorite crops to grow, in part because I love that I can use (and I actually love the taste of) all parts of them: the greens and the roots. They are a low-maintenance crop, and they allow for great versatility in the kitchen.

Health Benefits of Beets

According to the website The World’s healthiest foods, beets are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains. Betanin and vulgaxanthin are the two best-studied betalains from beets, and both have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxification support.

Beets are a good source of folate, manganese, fiber, potassium and vitamin C, among other minerals and vitamins.

Cooking with Beets

Here are some of my favorite ways to eat beets, plus links to some wonderful beet recipes:

  • Baby beet greens make a nice addition to salads
  • Sautéed beet greens can be tossed with a bit of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, cumin and garlic for a simple, delicious side dish
  • Add finely grated raw beets to green salads, pasta salads and grain-based salads
  • Roast beets in the oven by themselves or with other root vegetables
  • Try this recipe for Baked Beets in Béchamel Sauce
  • Make some beautiful jars of pickled beets and store this crop in your pantry to enjoy even when they’re out of season
  • Check out this recipe for Simple Beet and Balsamic Salad

Growing Beets

You can direct sow beet seed right in the garden, and in many climates you can plant a spring crop and a fall crop. Loosen soil and dig in a bit of compost before you plant. After seedlings emerge, mulch around plants with an organic mulch such as loose hay.

For much more about growing this crop, including variety recommendations, see these resources:

Check out more articles about growing and cooking with nutritious foods:

Photo from Fotolia

Read more: All recipes, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, General Health, Health, Lawns & Gardens, Vegetarian, , , , , , , , , , ,

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Shelley Stonebrook

Shelley Stonebrook is an Associate Editor at Mother Earth News—North America’s most popular magazine about sustainable, self-reliant living—where she works on exciting projects such as Organic Gardening content and the Vegetable Garden Planner. Shelley is particularly interested in organic gardening, small-scale, local food production, waste reduction, food preservation and cooking. In her spare time, she posts in her personal blog, The Rowdy Radish.

64 comments

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9:29AM PST on Feb 7, 2013

Thank you Shelly, for Sharing this!

9:23AM PST on Dec 14, 2012

All good and don't forget pickled Beets and Eggs a good treat!
Use tops for salads! Thank you

8:21AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Marvellous, have always loved the colourful beet except when eating it donned in a white t-shirt...liked the suggestion about beet sandwiches and loaded up on recipes from the internet, thank you for the article and all the tasty suggestions listed by people making comments!

8:04AM PDT on Jun 13, 2012

thanks

10:51PM PDT on May 20, 2012

Will try. Thanks!

5:50PM PDT on May 6, 2012

I should eat some beets

11:10PM PDT on Apr 23, 2012

Started eating one daily, like an apple which I haven't had for years now because they smell like plastic to me...
Beautiful enticing colour I just never thought to eat it raw and when I finally did, got ´hooked´ and eat one a day.

12:21AM PDT on Apr 20, 2012

Aaaah beetroot, the prince of vegetables. Love it in a freshly made juice with celery, carrot, ginger, apple and pear, or roasted - divine!

9:27AM PDT on Apr 15, 2012

I have always loved beets and beet greens. Recently have found the golden variety at the local farmers market. I love them. I roast them with a little olive oil and kosher salt. Keep in frig for snacking.

8:37AM PDT on Apr 13, 2012

I grew beets in a garden I had once upon a time and they were delicious. This year I will have a garden and I will grow. Good article, thanks.

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