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Beets are a hardy vegetable both in the nutritional and physical sense. Beets are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and unique plant derived anti-oxidants. Beets contain a chemical compound that lowers one of the highly toxic compounds in the blood that will lead to the development of coronary heart disease. The root also contains a rich source of B vitamins, iron, manganese, copper, and magnesium. The top greens are high in vitamin C along with anti-oxidants and vitamin A.
Do not transplant beets. To start the crop, seed into the ground or flat every 3 inches. If planted too close, you will have to cut the sprouts that are too close together. Make sure you water regularly to ensure root growth.
Beets will take about a month to mature from seed. You can tell they are ready when they start to pop out from the surface of the soil. You can harvest at any size, but typically the smaller (golf ball size) are easier to cook. When harvesting, pull from the bottom of the leaves to make sure you remove the entire root (beet). Wash and prep.
Storage and Spoilage
If not stored in water, the leaves will wilt, but will not effect the root's quality. Store them in a cool dark area. Beets will last longer with the leaves attached (about a week). Discard the beets when they wrinkle and soften.
Sweet Potato & Beet Chips
2 sweet potatoes 2 beets 1 garlic clove, minced 1 teaspoon very finely minced fresh rosemary leaves 2 tablespoons salt 10 cups vegetable oil Combine garlic, rosemary and salt in a bowl. Slice the beets and potatoes as thin as possible (about 1/8 in.). Fry the slices in the vegetable oil at 350 degrees for 2-3 minutes. When done, set them in a paper towel to drain excess oil. Top with rosemary and salt mixture.