Region of Origin

Commodity:

Beets

Origin

Beets are part of the same plant species as sugar beets (which are used for making beet sugar) and chard. Often known as garden beets or table beets, these plants are grown for their edible roots, leaves, and stems. Beetroots come in either round or cylindrical shapes and can be harvested at a range of sizes, most often from golf ball to softball. The most common color of beet is red, but there ar...

Other Names

Beetroots, Table Beets, Garden Beets

Health Benefits & Nutrition

Both beet greens and beetroots are nutritional powerhouses. The greens are high in vitamin C and vitamin A. The roots are also rich in vitamin C and fiber, but also a particularly good source of folate, an important B vitamin. They are high in sugar, but low in calories. Beets get their rich coloring from betalains, a type of plant compound that is believed to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

In traditional medicine throughout Mediterranean basin, beets have been used for all types of remedies, including healing wounds, fighting tumors, clearing ringing ears, alleviating toothaches, and stimulating desire.

Our Varieties

Beet Baby Candy Striped

Description

Baby candy stripe beets are harvested at just 1.5-2” in diameter. They have all the same attributes of a bulk candy stripe beet – including their beautiful red-and-white striped interior when raw – but with a petite size that makes for fun (and consistent) plating opportunities, such as whole roasted or quartered. Baby beets are shipped in bunches of 5-6 beets each with their greens intact.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Like bulk candy stripe beets, baby striped beets do not bleed, and turn a solid jewel-pink color when cooked. Use the greens from baby beets as soon as possible, as they don’t last long. Baby beetroots also have a shorter shelf life than their larger counterparts, so use promptly.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
USA
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good

Baby Beet Gold

Description

Baby gold beets are harvested at just 1.5-2” in diameter. They have all the same attributes of a bulk gold beet – including their mild flavor – but with a petite size that makes for fun (and consistent) plating opportunities, such as whole roasted or quartered. Baby beets are shipped in bunches of 5-6 beets each with their greens intact.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Like bulk gold beets, baby gold beets do not bleed. Use the greens from baby beets as soon as possible, as they don’t last long. Baby beetroots also have a shorter shelf life than their larger counterparts, so use promptly.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
USA
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good

Beet Baby Red

Description

Baby red beets are harvested at just 1.5-2” in diameter. They have all the same attributes of a bulk red beet, but with a petite size that makes for fun (and consistent) plating opportunities, such as whole roasted or quartered. Baby beets are shipped in bunches of 5-6 beets each with their greens intact.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Like their bulk counterparts, baby red beets bleed when cut. Use the greens from baby beets as soon as possible, as they don’t last long. Baby beetroots also have a shorter shelf life than their larger counterparts, so use promptly.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
USA
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good

Beet Bulk Gold

Example Cultivars

Burpee’s Gold, Golden Detroit, Touchstone Gold

Description

Gold beets were developed in the 1800s, but weren’t popularized until the 1940s when the first commercial gold beet seeds debuted. They are a lovely burnt yellow-orange color with vibrant sunny-yellow flesh. They are a very mild beet with little earthiness, which makes their sweetness stand out.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Gold beets do not bleed, making them an excellent option for salads.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
CAN/MEX/USA
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good

Beet Bulk Candy Stripe

AKA: Chioggia, Candy Cane

Description

Candy stripe beets are an Italian heirloom variety first mentioned in the 1800s. They are round, but slightly flatter than a common red beet. Their exterior is ruddy and pinkish, but inside their flesh is a dramatic bull’s eye of red and white alternating concentric rings. Many say that candy stripe beets are sweeter than other varieties with peppery notes – and that their flesh is especially tender – making them a great option for salads. They are most commonly sold topped, without the leaves – but can occasionally be found with tops.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Candy stripe beets do not “bleed” color and stain when raw or cooked. Note that candy stripe beets DO NOT maintain their stripes when cooked. When cooked, they become a beautiful jewel-tone pink color. In order to maintain the stripe pattern, the beet must be used raw.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
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CAN/MEX/USA
Fair
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Fair
Fair

Beet Bulk Red

Description

Red beets are the most common variety of beet. They are round with ruddy, dark reddish-brown skin. Size can vary, but they are often the size of a tennis ball or baseball. Inside, their flesh is a deep purple-red when raw that transforms into a brilliant ruby red when cooked, although different cultivars may have a slightly different intensity or tone of red color. Their flavor is bold and earthy, but also intensely sweet. They are most often sold topped, without their leaves, which gives them the longest possible shelf life, but they can also be found bunched with their greens.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Red beets are thought to have the boldest beet flavor. Note that red beets “bleed” after they have been cooked: their deep red pigments may stain fingertips and cutting boards. Raw beets can bleed somewhat, but much less than cooked beets. Cooked beets will also spread a vivid pink color to other foods or liquids they come into contact with. Even red beet greens will impart a pink color to foods they are cooked with.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
CAN/MEX/USA
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good

Foodservice Tips

Traditional Culinary Uses

Beets have a long culinary history in Europe, particularly Eastern and Northern Europe. They are the primary ingredient in the classic Russian and Eastern European borscht, which uses fermented beets to create a tangy, earthy, and hearty soup. Across Russia, Northern Europe, and Scandinavia, beets are often shredded or diced and made into cold salads with a creamy mayonnaise-based dressing. In Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine, pickled red beets are a staple snack and ingredient. In modern cuisines, beets are often roasted and served as part of a refreshing warm or cold salad. Increasingly, chefs are experimenting with raw beets and their earthy-sweet crunch that holds up well on the plate and does not oxidize. Cooked beets can also be incorporated into meatless burgers to add an earthy richness and red tint.

Flavor Pairings

Potato, Carrot, Dill, Tarragon, Lemon, Watercress, Arugula, Kale, Red Onion, Berries, Apple, Walnuts, Pecans, Honey, Balsamic Vinegar, Goat Cheese, Burrata

How to Prepare

To prepare beets, thoroughly scrub their skin under running water to remove any lingering soil. Once cleaned, beets can be cooked whole by roasting until fork-tender in a heavy, oven-safe pan with the lid on or boiled. Once cooled, the skin can be slid off of the beet, leaving the root ready for slicing and dicing. They can also be peeled and cut before being roasted or boiled, but because beets are very hard when raw it may be difficult to achieve the desired knife cuts. Note that the skin of beetroot is edible, but often has a gritty texture and earthy taste that is not typically desired.

If using the beet greens, remove the leaves with their stem and wash thoroughly. Then they are ready for use as a braising or salad green.

How to Store in the Kitchen

Bulk beets will last up to several months if their leaves are removed just above the root and the roots placed in an airtight container or bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Baby beets should be stored the same way, but will have a shorter shelf life due to their small size. Beet greens should be stored wrapped in a damp paper towel in a sealed bag or container in the refrigerator. They have a short shelf life and should be used as soon as possible.

Fight Food Waste Tips for root to stem cooking

Wrinkly beet? Don’t throw it out! Even when they start to soften and wrinkle, beetroots can still be used. Some even say they get sweeter. And be sure not to waste those beet greens and stems! They can easily be combined with other tender braising greens like chard or spinach to add color, flavor, and nutrition.

Warehouse Storage & Handling

Maintain these conditions for optimal short-term storage shelf life.*

IDEAL STORAGE TEMP:

32-36°F

TEMP STORAGE ZONE:

32-39°F (Cold Storage)

SUBJECT TO CHILLING INJURY:

No

RELATIVE HUMIDITY:

98%

PRODUCES ETHYLENE:

Yes - Low

SENSITIVE TO ETHYLENE:

No

Quality Assessment

Beets should be relatively uniform in shape, size, and color throughout the case. Beetroots should be firm, clean, and free from mechanical defects or decay.

Important Handling Notes

Good air circulation and optimal storage conditions are required to get the maximum shelf life out of beets.

Optimum Shelf Life

Depending on variety, conditions at harvest, and handling, topped beets should last upwards of 3 months. In beets with tops, the greens have an average shelf life of only 7 days at optimal conditions.

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