The Nutrition of Beets

Beets are one of the first things we harvested from the garden this year and they are much bigger than last year. I’m not sure if that is because of the type, the location, or all of the rain we have been getting, but they are growing great.

We canned beets last year and will be again in a few days. What we didn’t do last year, that we tried recently, was cooking and eating beets with a meal. I know of other folks that really like them this way, but we hadn’t ever tried it until now.

How did we cook them? Easy. Trim the roots and stems, and boil gently for 15 minutes. Drain off the water, slide off the skin, slice or dice to desired size, add butter, salt and pepper. We fixed two large beets which was too much for one meal. While I was removing the skins and slicing them, I thought they had cooled too much, so I put them back on the stove on low to reheat and evenly distribute the butter.

Our first beets, squash & onions of the year. Canned beans from 2013.

I was very skeptical. I’m not a big beet eater at all. Until we canned beets last summer, I didn’t eat them. Frank did, but not me. Now, I will eat our beets with a salad or something, but not just eat them. I was very surprised with these simply cooked beets. Guess what? They were good! I expected them to be a little bitter and tough because they were so big. So I was prepared to not like them. Instead, we both liked them. Great! Now we have added another item to our diets that are healthy and that we can grow and preserve. 

So, what is the nutritional value of beets? Here is a list of nutrients.

  • Vitamins A & C
  • A small amount of protien
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Sodium
  • Phytosterols 

Beets contain nutritional qualities that are good to have on hand, whether fresh, canned or pickled. They can add to your health in a variety of ways now, or in a survival situation. I think one of the benefits of beets is how early in the season they will produce food. You can eat the greens, which are also very nutritious, fresh or cooked long before the root reaches an edible size. Beets can withstand a light frost and produce better in the cooler temperatures of spring or fall, so you can also grow more than one crop a year. We are going to try canning this spring crop, then growing a fall keeper that will be edible for humans and livestock. We just have to figure out the best way to store them.

According to Mercola.com, beets have a number of health benefits.

  • lower blood pressure (beet juice)
  • boost stamina (beet juice)
  • fight inflammation
  • anti cancer properties
  • rich in valuable nutrients and fiber
  • detoxification support

The links above provide some interesting information about beets that I didn’t know. It’s good reading about what we are eating.

2013


There are many different levels of learning about any given subject. It’s kind of like peeling an onion, there are many different layers. I think I may just write about them next, or it might be squash, or peas.

Until next time – Fern

19 thoughts on “The Nutrition of Beets

  1. You are welcome, Olivia. I never really have been a beet eater until this year. And, like you, I am trying to incorporate them into our diet for the nutritional aspects. Thank you for sharing.Fern

  2. I just recently discovered beets and how healthy they actually are, so I decided to research on it further. I'm really glad that there are bloggers like you that writes about vegetables that are not so common but has so many health benefits like beets. I'm currently in the process of figuring out how I can incorporate beets into my diet that's why I'm taking as much information as I can about them. Thanks for sharing this.Regards,Olivia

  3. Must try eating the leaves and stems. Similar to Collard Greens or spinach. Very tasty with a little salt and vinegar.

  4. I pray your garden flourishes and provides you with abundant food for your family. It's hard to imagine a planting zone so much later than ours. I would feel so behind. Have fun playing in the dirt.Fern

  5. Your beets look beautiful!! I am in zone 3 so stuff just got planted. Hope it’s a good growing season, we need one. Take care!

  6. Thank you for sharing the information on these two other varieties, Fiona. We've pickled eggs in pickle juice before, but not beet juice. It would be pretty.The leaves do go well in a salad when they are small. The goats and chickens like the greens, skins and trimmed off pieces of top and root, as well. So, one way or another, almost the entire plant gets eaten.Fern

  7. Frank likes canned beets too, Joy. Not pickled, just canned in water. It's pretty easy to do and then we have one more thing on the shelf to choose from all winter long. We kind of rationed out the ones from last year since we didn't get very many. This year I think we will have more than enough. Thank you for sharing.Fern

  8. Beets are one of our favorite things to eat. Try Golden Beets or Chioggia. The Golden are wonderful and very sweet plus they don't bleed purple everywhere; The Chioggia are an old Italian variety that are striped inside and are just a delight to serve. The Chioggia's beet tops are wonderful greens, they do not get quite as coarse as other beets. I go through the beets when they are young and pinch off a leaf here and there to get young leaves for a flavorful salad. We of course pickle and can them too. One thing I do for fun and to pretty up boiled eggs is to use the purple brine from pickled beets to pickle boiled eggs. Just set the cool and peeled boiled eggs in the jar of purple brine and tighten the lid. Let the eggs set for about two days in the fridge and they are bright and fun and quite tasty. Your beets look so good! Take care!

  9. My grandma made harvard beets at every big family dinner. They are sweet and sour and SO good, basically vinegar, sugar and cornstarch. There are a lot of recipes online. Instead of water, use the beet juice.

  10. I hadn't tried beets before my husband introduced them to me, about 10 or so years ago. I was surprised, they taste good! We boil them, add some butter and salt, but now after reading these comments, I may try baking them. He also likes canned beets, from the grocery store.

  11. Yes, you really have to try baked beets! We douse ours in just a touch of olive oil before we wrap them in foil, but oh baby are they good! We fix them just like a baked potato once they are done – split in half with a dollop of butter and a little salt and pepper. Mmmhmmm!

  12. I hadn't heard of this technique, Bob, we will have to try it. Last night we sauteed some beets, squash, onions and green peas together, all fresh from the garden. It was very colorful and tasted pretty good.Thanks for the new idea.Fern

  13. We love beets, plain, pickled and harvard. Thanks to IdahoBob for his directions to bake them; we'll be trying that too. My beet seeds went into the garden really late so it will be awhile before we'll have any to eat. You've had much more rain than we've had this spring too.

  14. Thank you, Sandra. We really enjoy eating what we grow. Today we will probably have a salad with beets. I guess I could be funny and say, \”You just can't beet it!\” Fern

  15. For a real wonderful way to eat beets, try baking them!Bake them just like you would a baked potato, wrapped in foil and baked at 450 for an hour. Unwrap, peel the skin, and viola, wonderful veggie!! You do not lose any of the juice as when you can them, and they are so sweet! Anymore, this is the only way we eat our beets!Enjoy!BobIII

  16. I love beets, especially in a garden salad. I have never grown my own. I don't know if anyone else in my house would eat them, but I should try anyway! Your canned beets look wonderful!!

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