Garden Beets

The coolness in the air is a sure sign the seasons are changing from the warm days of summer to the crisp days of fall. Beets are often considered a summer vegetable because they are gown in many backyard gardens. However, in Ohio beets are considered to be in season from June through October.

Beets are packed with good nutrition including:IMG_3390

  • Folate
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin C
  • Fiber

Best of all – they are low calorie with only 58 calories in a one cup serving and are inexpensive too!

Beets can be served either hot or cold, depending on your preference. Beets add color to your meals with the deep red coloring. Looking for ideas of how to add beets to your diet? Why not try one (or more) of these suggestions:

  • Stir-Fry – add beets and their leaves to your favorite stir-fry dish. This could be a vegetable stir-fry or one which contains meat.
  • Grilling – add beets to a skewer with other favorite vegetables and heat thoroughly on the grill.
  • Soup – try adding beets to your homemade vegetable soup or minestrone. Be sure to clean and slice beets into small pieces before adding them so they will cook more quickly.
  • Microwave – cooking beets in the microwave only takes about 8-15 minutes. Place 2-3 small beets in a microwave safe bowl, add some water and cook until the beets are soft.
  • Baking – wash fresh beets and cut off the green tops but leave about one inch of the stem to keep the color from bleeding out during the cooking process. Wrap the beets in foil and bake at 400° F for approximately 45 – 90 minutes, depending on the size.

If you wabeetsnt to save some of the goodness of beets for later, preserving them is simple: either freeze or can them. If canning beets, be sure to process them in a pressure canner. Due to the low acidity level in beets, they must be pressure canned to reduce the risk of Clostridium botulinum. Details on safely preserving beets can be found at http://nchfp.uga.edu/index.html .

Sources:

National Center for Home Food Preservation, http://nchfp.uga.edu/index.html

Beets Brochure;  http://www.panen.org/sites/default/files/beet_brochure_072710.pdf, Pennsylvania Nutrition Education Network

United States Department of Agriculture, SNAP-Ed Connection, https://snap.nal.usda.gov/nutrition-through-seasons/seasonal-produce/beets

Written by: Treva Williams, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Scioto County

Reviewed by: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County

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