info: Beets are a plant in the amaranth family. They are an excellent source of the vitamins B & C and a very good source of manganese and potassium.
storage: Store unwashed in a refrigerator crisper for about three weeks. Cut most of the greens and their stems from the roots, so they do not pull away moisture away. Leave two inches of the stem to prevent the roots from “bleeding.” Store the unwashed greens in a plastic bag (3-4 days).
preparation: Wash beets gently, scrubbing with a soft brush – be careful not to break the skin.
Beets, like many root vegetables, are a natural for baking and roasting. Leave the skins on and bake (300°F) or roast (375°-450°F) for about an hour.
You can also steam them, 35-40 minutes is good.
from WHFoods: Beets
The wild beet, the ancestor of the beet with which we are familiar today, is thought to have originated in prehistoric times in North Africa and grew wild along Asian and European seashores. In these earlier times, people exclusively ate the beet greens and not the roots. The ancient Romans were one of the first civilizations to cultivate beets to use their roots as food. The tribes that invaded Rome were responsible for spreading beets throughout northern Europe where they were first used for animal fodder and later for human consumption becoming more popular in the 16th century.
Beets’ value grew in the 19th century when it was discovered that they were a concentrated source of sugar, and the first sugar factory was built in Poland. When access to sugar cane was restricted by the British, Napoleon decreed that the beet be used as the primary source of sugar, catalyzing its popularity. Around this time, beets were also first brought to the United States, where they now flourish. …. read more