Beets are an incredible vegetable! Both the roots and greens can be eaten and both are unbeatably nutritious. Beet roots are a good sourve of vitamin C, and their greens are an excellent source of vitamin A. They also provide folate (B9), vitamin K, manganese, copper, potassium and fiber. Other compounds that beets provide are antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, nitrates, betalains and betaine. While you may not be familiar with these compounds, researchers are learning that antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds reduce the risk of various cancers, nitrates and betalains help detoxify the blood and improve blood flow throughout the body, and betaine acts as an anti-depressant!
In Michigan, fresh beets are generally available from July to October but they can be grown, harvested and/or stored well into the winter. They come in a variety of colors, and they can be prepared in a variety of ways - roasted, steamed, fried, pickled, juiced, boiled or eaten raw on salads or with dips. And be sure to use those greens, which are delicious braised or raw in salads!
Facts and Tips
- Michigan-grown beets are available late July to late October.
- Beets are a good source of vitamin C, and their greens are an excellent source of vitamin A.
- Beet roots can be red, purple, golden, white or a mixture of colors.