Beets are a root vegetable that grows in the soil and has long leafy stems that thrive above the soil. They are earthy in terms of their flavor and have a savory sweetness that makes them great in sweet and savory applications.

When I think of beets, I usually have a very specific image in my head as I am sure you do as well, but the truth is, they come in a whole host of colors and flavors.

The most common are garden or red beets which are those iconic, deep red ones.

There are also golden variety that have a deep golden orange color and have a less earthy flavor. I think they are sweeter than the red ones, but that might be a point of contention for some.

Chioggia beets are particularly stunning. On the outside, they are a beautiful lighter shade of red and on the inside, they have a stripe pattern that makes them look sort of like a candy cane.

Last but not least are baby beets. These are just like they sound, not fully-grown. These are pulled from the ground earlier than normal in order to make room for other beets to grow.

From top to bottom, they are 100% edible – roots, body, stems and all. They can be eaten raw, boiled, steamed, or baked. They are often used in salads and soups and as pickles but can also be found in baking.

Did you know that the original recipes for Red Velvet Cake used beets for moisture and for the deep red color?

If you can, buy your beets with the stems still attached. These will help them last longer in the fridge. When you are ready to eat them, give them a good wash and cut off the tops. The tops can then be cooked the same way you would cook swiss chard.

Here are some amazing recipes using beets:

What are the health benefits of beets?

These babies tout a low-calorie count while offering a ton of nutrients. Talk about a jackpot! They are a great source of fiber, folate, and Vitamin C among other things.

Is it dangerous to eat too many beets?

The general consensus on this is no in most cases. Some warn that those that are prone to kidney stones should eat beets with caution. They are high in oxalates which can contribute to the development of kidney stones.

What happens when you eat beets?

This is a less than savory topic, but always good to know. With that in mind, I will keep it brief. When you eat beets, especially the red variety, it can alter what you see in the restroom to match while it is in your system. It certainly can come as a shock if you don’t know. Don’t worry, it is perfectly normal.

How do you peel a beet after cooking?

Fair warning, the beet juice can and will stain your clothes and your hands. And while you can certainly eat the skin, some find it tough and want to discard it. To prevent staining,

I will either throw on some kitchen gloves to work with the cooked ones or use two paper towels to peel the skin off. Put one in each hand and slowly work your way around until the skin is all gone. Sometimes doing this under cold running water is helpful.

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