Featured Specialty Crop – Beets!

Beets Facts & Trivia

The Wild beet, the ancestor of the beet is thought to have originated in prehistoric times in North Africa and grew wild along Asian and European seashores. Beets prefer a cooler climate although they are tolerant of heat. They can be harvested any time during their growth cycle. Growers say the faster beets grow, the better the flavor.

The Red beet, Beta vulgaris, is a plant in the Chenopodiaceae family. The color of the Red beetroot is due to a variety of betalain pigments.

Why are Beets So Good For You?

The betalin pigments present in beets have repeatedly been shown to support activity within the body’s detoxification process, activating and processing unwanted toxic substances up with small nutrient groups.

What does it look/taste like?

Red beets are made up of both an edible root and edible leaves, 10-12 inch red and green leafy stems ascend from red beet’s ruby red, smooth, bulbous root. Small or medium beets are generally more tender than larger ones. As beets have the highest sugar content of any vegetable, their flavor is typically sweet.

How do you eat them?

  • Red beets are showcased best when slow roasted or steamed.
  • They pair well with a wide variety of proteins, spices and other vegetables including cheese, bacon, smoked fish, walnuts, horseradish, chives and citrus.
  • They can also be preserved by pickling, which offers an incredible flavor profile for the beets.
  • The leaves are commonly used as a pot herb or as a braising green.

Source: www.specialtyproduce.com

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Filed under Farmers Market, Atchison, Kansas, In Season

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