The deep red variety is the most common, but look out for beets in different colors, including golden and white. Each type has a slightly different flavor profile.
Beets can be eaten raw, or roasted, baked, boiled, steamed, pickled and juiced. So versatile! Roasting tends to enhance their natural sweetness. And don’t toss your beet greens! They are edible and nutritious, offering vitamins A and K. Sauté or add them to salads.
Beetroot has ancient roots! The wild beet, from which the modern beetroot is derived, was first cultivated by the ancient Romans and Greeks. Initially, it was the beet greens that were consumed, rather than the root. Then the Romans used beets for medicinal purposes, treating ailments such as fevers and constipation. And the Greeks also valued beets for their health benefits. By the 16th century, beets had spread to Europe, where they were selectively bred for their roots. The red beet we are familiar with today was developed in Europe around this time. In the 18th century, a German chemist discovered that beets could be used to produce sugar. This led to the development of sugar beets, a variety cultivated specifically for sugar production Beets became a staple in Eastern European cuisine, featuring prominently in dishes like borscht. Over time, they gained popularity worldwide and are now enjoyed in various culinary tradition.
Beets have cultural significance in different regions, with many well-loved dishes from around the world.
Now…go eat your beets!
SAGE Education and Events Coordinator Sandra Makdessi uses beetroot whenever it’s available locally and has kindly shared her favourite sweet and savoury beetroot recipes.
SAGE Education and Events Coordinator Sandra Makdessi uses beetroot whenever it’s available locally and has kindly shared her favorite sweet and savory recipes.
Shani Keane, a local grower from Left Field Farm and Stepping Stone Farm, and a regular seller at the SAGE Farmers Market, attended this year’s Deep Winter Agrarian Gathering.
Shani kindly provided an interesting report for SAGE readers, including the Deep Winter Statement which was developed following consultation with the gathering.