- [Instructor] Mom may have said eat your vegetables but how do you fit them into a healthy diet?
Penn State Nutrition Links is here to help.
Through the Penn State Extension Nutrition Links video series, you will learn how to buy, store, cook, and enjoy a variety of produce.
In this video, we will look at beets.
Most beets are a deep red color but you can also find red, orange, yellow, and white varieties.
Beets are in-season mid-July through the end of November.
Beets have a slightly sweet flavor and some recipes incorporate vinegar, which makes the beets tart and sweet.
A half cup serving of cubed red beets is only 30 calories.
Beets are also a great source of folic acid and potassium.
Potassium is a mineral that helps normalize blood pressure.
When selecting beets at the store or farmer's market, choose beets that are firm.
Smaller beets are sweeter and more tender.
If the beet greens are still attached, choose those that are less wilted.
Avoid beets that are soft or have blemishes or discolored marks.
After buying, cut the majority of the greens and their stems from the roots, leaving about two inches of the stem attached.
This prevents the roots from bleeding during cooking and prevents moisture loss during storage.
Store your beets uncut and unwashed in your refrigerator in an unsealed or perforated plastic or paper bag.
It's okay if the bag contains dirt.
Beats may last up to three weeks.
There are quick and easy ways to prepare fresh beets.
Make sure you always remove the skins.
If you are using raw beets in a recipe, first wash and scrub them as well, then peel with the vegetable peeler or knife as you would a potato.
If you're using cooked beets in a recipe, it's easier to remove the skins after you've cooked them.
To boil beets, cook them for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size, until tender when pierced with a fork.
Let cool and remove the skins.
To roast beets, first preheat your oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit, wrap the beets in foil, then bake for 45 to 60 minutes.
Beets are a very versatile vegetable, they can be eaten cold in salads, pickled, roasted, or hot in a sweet and sour sauce.
The beets, beans, and greens dish is a quick, easy recipe that your family will enjoy.
For this recipe you will need a fourth cup cider vinegar, one garlic clove, two teaspoons mustard, black pepper to taste, two tablespoons vegetable oil, canola or olive oil preferred, two cups sliced cooked beats, you can used canned or fresh, one medium head of dark lettuce, two cups cooked or rinsed canned beans such as pinto, garbanzo, kidney, navy, black beans, or black eye peas.
If you're using canned beans, be sure to rinse the beans to reduce the sodium.
This can be a no cooking required recipe if using canned beets.
First, make the dressing.
Combine lemon juice, garlic, mustard, oil, and pepper in a large bowl.
Next, slice the beets and place them in a small bowl, toss the beets with one tablespoon of the dressing to coat them.
Then, in a large bowl, toss the lettuce and beans with the remaining dressing.
Place the lettuce mixture onto plates and top it with the beets.
This recipe makes six one and one half cup servings.
It has almost one fourth of the fiber that you need in one day and it has the same amount of protein as an eight ounce glass of milk.
And there you have it, an easy and delicious way to prepare beets.
So, remember, beets are relatively low in calories but high in potassium and magnesium.
They can be used in many kinds of meals.
Firm beets are the best approaches and they can stay good for up to three weeks if stored properly.
For more information on beets, other Pennsylvania produce, and the Nutrition Links program, visit the PennState Extension website.