How to Select Quality Beetroots and Beet Greens

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Tips for Selecting Beetroot

Bigger Is Not Always Better. If you want to select "rock star" beets at the local market and take home the best beetroots and beet greens for your money, follow these tips:

  • Choose small or medium-sized beetroots that are firm, smooth-skinned, uniform in size, and rich in color.

  • Avoid beet skins that are bruised, shriveled, or flabby.

  • Avoid selecting giant beet roots as they will contain less flavor and be quite fibrous. Beetroots should be harvested at prime maturation before they become too tough and fibrous; the larger the root means it may have been harvested late in the season.

  • Choose organic when possible.

Looking for ways to eat more beets? Try Beet Almond Pancakes (GF), Rosemary Roasted Beets and Carrots, Beetroot and Garlic Hummus, or Beet and Grapefruit Juice with Cayenne.

Tips for Selecting Beet Greens

Did you know that the beet is edible from root to leaf? Yes! Beet greens are edible and extremely nutritious. Beet greens fight Alzheimer's disease, strengthen bones warding off osteoporosis, and improve the immune system.

When selecting beet greens, look for the following: 

  • Organic greens should appear fresh and have a bright, green color.

  • Leaves should not be withered, yellowed, or spotty.

Beet greens are quite diverse and can be eaten raw in salads, sautéed and steamed, or blended in smoothies, such as this Minty Shamrock Smoothie with Beet Greens and Banana.

Don't throw away the beet stems! To eliminate waste, save nutritious beet stems to add to smoothies or soups or to create a Quick-Pickled Beet Stem side-dish.

For more fabulous ways to eat the beet, visit Eating the Beet from Root to Leaf

How-To Store Beetroot and Beet Greens

  • It is best to not wash beets before storing.

  • When storing beets, cut the majority of the beet greens and their stems from the roots, so they do not pull away moisture from the root.

  • Leave about one-two inches of the stem attached to prevent the roots from "bleeding."

  • Place beet roots in a plastic bag and wrap the bag tightly around the beets.

  • Squeeze out as much of the air from the bag as possible and place in refrigerator where they will keep for up to three weeks.

  • Store the unwashed beet greens in a separate plastic bag squeezing out as much of the air as possible.

  • Place in refrigerator where they will keep fresh for about four days.

  • Freezing cooked beets is fine; they will retain their flavor and texture. Freezing beets is a great way to enjoy nutritiousness and deliciousness of beets on the go.

  • Raw beets do not freeze as well as cooked beets since they tend to become soft upon thawing.