Seasonal Sunday: Beets

Beets can spark controversy – either you love them or you hate them. If you’re a fan, now is the time to get beets at a market near you; beet season runs from July through September in Colorado! With their beautiful color, long culinary history and wide-ranging health benefits, beets are a fantastic ingredient to add to your repertoire.

close up of red beets sitting on a wooden table

  • You can eat the beet root to stem! Don’t let those good leafy greens go to waste.
  • Conventionally a deep purply red, beets also grow in white, golden, orange and striped varieties.
  • Sugar beets were first cultivated in Germany. Today around 20% of the worlds’ sugar comes from beets.
  • In the early 1900s, sugar beets became one of the most important agricultural products in Colorado, producing millions of pounds of granulated sugar. The sugar beet industry came at the expense of Native American land rights, and its success came only after forced removals and illegal land grabs.
  • According to Greek Mythology, Aphrodite was fond of beets. The belief persists even today that two people who share a beet are destined to fall in love.
  • That “earthy taste” that some people dislike? Beets contain a substance called geosmin, which is also responsible for that fresh soil scent in your garden following a spring rain.
  • Beet greens were cultivated by the Ancient Greeks and Romans. The root was developed for consumption later, first recorded in 1542. The strong red color can be used to naturally dye your food – or even your clothes or hair!
  • Beets are a super healthy source of potassium, sodium, iron, folate, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, vitamin C, and B vitamins!

Beet greens

Recipes:

Add a beautiful pop of color to your plate with Beet Hummus.

Save a bit of summer in a jar by pickling some beets for later.

Try a Chocolate Beet Cake to add some nutrition to dessert.

For ‘the best ever’ veggie burger, make it a Beet Burger!

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