Beets are a root vegetable that grows quickly with many different varieties from deep red, to yellow, to white. Beets are not only delicious but a great source of potassium, magnesium, fiber, and more. Idaho beets are available from early July through October. You may have trouble finding locally grown beets in grocery stores, but they’re almost always available through your local farmers markets and farm stands.
What to look for: Choose firm, rounded beets with smooth skins and no noticeable bruising. Fresh beets sold in bunches should have the greens attached and 1 to 2 inches of the root end, which looks like a tail. The leafy greens indicate beet freshness, so don’t buy beets with wilted or browning leaves. If the greens have been trimmed, look for bunches with at least 2 inches of stem still attached.
Beet Basics Cont.
How to store: Cut the greens from the beets as soon as you get home, leaving 1 to 2 inches of stem attached. Beets won’t spoil if left at cool room temperature for a few days, but they do best when refrigerated for up to 10 days. Discard beets if they turn soft. Beet greens are packed full of nutrition, so don’t toss them –add the greens raw to vegetable juices or sauté as you would mustard greens and swiss chard. Wash and cook beet greens on the day you buy them, as they don’t keep well. If necessary, place them, unwashed, into a perforated plastic bag and refrigerate overnight.