Generally In-season: July to September
Despite what the produce aisle at the supermarket might lead you to believe, not all beets are red. Beets come in a range of colours and sizes—from red, white and yellow to stunning candy cane-striped Chioggia beets.
We’re particularly fond of the yellow beets here at Danbrie Farms! Nutritionally, the golden beet is quite similar to that of red beets. They have similar carbohydrates, fat and protein content and both are equally packed with potassium. But there are also some differences beyond basic nutrition. For starters, golden beets are sweeter in taste and less earthy in flavour. For those who do not like the taste of red beets, there’s a good chance that you may enjoy golden beets!
The main nutritional difference between the red and yellow beets are the pigments. The pigments that give beets their rich colours is a type of antioxidant called betalains. There are two basic types of betalains: betacyanins and betaxanthins. In general terms, dark-coloured beets contain mostly betacyanins and yellow beets contain mostly betaxanthins. Despite a difference in structure, both betalains function as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. Since both betalain pigments in beets are water-soluble we don’t recommend boiling them. Either eat raw, steam or bake beets whole to preserve as many nutrients as possible.
Beets boast an impressive nutritional profile. They are low in calories, yet high in valuable vitamins and minerals. In fact, they contain a bit of almost all the vitamins and minerals that you need, such as; vitamin C, vitamin A, beta-carotene, potassium, lycopene, flavonoids, and zeaxanthin. Beets also contain inorganic nitrates and pigments, both of which are plant compounds that have a number of health benefits. Nitrates have a blood pressure-lowering effect. This may lead to a reduced risk of heart attacks, heart failure and stroke.
Thanks to its beautiful yellow colour, golden beets can brighten up any food dish and look marvellous in all kinds of salads. This humble root vegetable is a welcomed contributor to our plates as we try to eat the colours of the rainbow each day.
The beauty of the golden beets is that you can peel and chop them up before roasting without staining your hands like with red beets. They can be juiced, roasted, steamed, canned or pickled.
Don’t forget about the leafy greens! Beet greens are sweet, mild, and cook up into the silkiest, most tender greens you'll ever eat. And the stems? They're far more delicious than those of kale and collards.
They're also more nutritious. Beet greens are some of the most nutrient-rich greens around, containing more antioxidants and other phytonutrients than the bulbous roots themselves, so don’t let them go to waste!
They might even be better than kale! They’re much sweeter than kale, and the leaves cook up as silky as spinach. Plus, beet greens and stems get tender faster than kale.