Beets come in a range of colors and sizes – including candy-cane-striped chioggia beets and baby beets.
There are standard red beets – earthy, sweet and delicious.
Chioggia beets are naturally striped with a brilliant red-and-cream candy cane effect.
Baby Beets are a specialty item. They are small, the size of golf balls, very tender and tend to have beautiful, luscious GREENS – don’t let those go to waste! (see Beet Greens for more information)
When you buy beets with their leafy greens still attached, you’ll know they are fresh. The great thing about red beets, however, is that they are great storage vegetables. Getting a bit less tender as they are stored, perhaps, but also gaining sweetness along the way.
* unique source of phytonutrients called betalains
* Betanin and vulgaxanthin are the two best-studied betalains from beets, and both have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support.
* In recent lab studies on human tumor cells, betanin pigments from beets have been shown to lessen tumor cell growth ranging from colon, stomach, nerve, lung, breast, prostate and testicular tissue.
* Foods belonging to the chenopod family — including beets, chard, spinach and quinoa — continue to show an increasing number of health benefits not readily available from other food families. It is recommended that you include foods from the chenopod family in your diet 1-2 times per week, with a serving size of at least one-half whole medium beet.
Tips for Use:
* Healthy betalains undergo very steady loss from food as the length of cooking time is increased, therefore it is recommended that you keep beet steaming times to 15 minutes or less, and roasting times under an hour.
* SAVE YOUR GREENS! Beet greens are usually a valuable source of lutein/zeaxanthin which are two carotenoid phytonutrients that play an important role in health, and especially eye health.