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September Vegetable of the Month: Beet

Beets are the September Vegetable of the Month! Beets are a nutritious root vegetable that are flavorful, nutritious, and vibrant in color. When adding beets to your diet, get adventurous with it! From pickling, to adding to smoothies, or adding to salads, this powerhouse does it all!

A Beet is a Good Source of:

  • Fiber—great for liver and digestive health
  • Folate—important for red blood cell formation and healthy cell growth
  • Manganese—great for healthy bones
  • Potassium—helps body tissues and cell function
  • Iron—improves muscle and brain function

Did You Know?

  • The leaves and root (the beet) are all edible raw or cooked!
  • Young or small beets are best raw, while medium and large-sized beets taste better when cooked.
  • Red beets can stain your skin! They even use beets to make red food coloring. When peeling beets, wear disposable gloves to avoid staining.
  • You can cook and eat beet greens like you would spinach!

How to Harvest and Store Beets

Pull the beets from the ground as soon as 45 days from planting. If you harvest “thinnings” or the beets before they are fully mature, they can be eaten raw and whole! Trim the leaves until they are about 1-inch from the root. The beetroot can be refrigerated for several weeks, while the leaves will only last for a few days. Store the root and leaves separately.

Tips to Get Children to Eat Beets

  • Make a beet kabob, including other fruits and veggies, with your kids!
  • Add to a smoothie, which will turn it a bright red/pink color!
  • Sprinkle roasted beets with cinnamon for a kid-friendly flavor.

Ways to Prepare Beets

  • Raw
  • Bake
  • Sauté
  • Steamed
  • Pickled
  • Microwave
  • Juice

Let’s Get Cooking

Beets with Dijon Dressing

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs beets
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard (or yellow prepared mustard)
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp rosemary, chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400-degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Wash, trim, and dry beets, leaving ½-inch stem and root intact.
  3. Put beets in a bowl and add 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss the contents of the bowl with clean hands.
  4. Arrange beets in a single layer roasting pan. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes or until the beets are tender.
  5. Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool.
  6. Make the dressing while the beets are cooling. To make dressing, whisk mustard, orange juice, sugar, and vinegar together.
  7. Whisk in 3 tablespoons olive oil and rosemary. Set aside. 
  8. Rub skins off beets and cut into quarters.
  9. Combine with dressing and let sit for 30 minutes before eating.

Red Beet and Apple Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 large red beet or 2 small red beets
  • 4 apples
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp honey

Directions

  1. Wash the beet and peel if desired. If you peel the beet, it will taste less earthy.
  2. Grate the beet and the apples into a large bowl.
  3. For the dressing, mix the lemon juice, honey, and salt. Pour the dressing over the grated beet and apples.
  4. Mix well. Serve chilled.

For more creative beet-based recipes visit MyPlate Kitchen! With so many possibilities, like Sautéed Beet Greens, Beet and White Bean Salad, and Pink Party Salad you’re sure to find something that is tasty for the whole family!

Fact Check: SDSU Extension, MyPlate Kitchen, Gardening Know How

Can’t get enough fruits and veggies? Be sure to check out Harvest of the Month, a downloadable educational program designed to make learning about fruits and veggies easy, tasty, and fun!

Show me more Fruits & Veggies of the Month!

Can’t get enough fruits and veggies? Be sure to check out Harvest of the Month, a downloadable educational program designed to make learning about fruits and veggies easy, tasty, and fun!
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