FoodLink - Purdue Extension


Beta vulagaris
Available from May to November


Color: red, golden, white, striped.

Shape: round, oblong.


Beets can be eaten raw, or they can be roasted, baked, boiled, or microwaved.

Raw: Rinse beets in stream of cold water, cut tops and roots off beet and peel. Cut into thin, round slices and eat them with your favorite dip. Or, grate or process beets in food processor to top a salad or add to coleslaw. Note: if you rinse the beet shreds and squeeze dry they will not color the other vegetables.

Roast Heat oven to 400°F. Rinse beets in stream of cold water, cut tops and roots off beet and peel. Cut from stem to root and lay flat on cutting board. Cut beets into 1/2-inch cubes and toss in a bowl with olive oil and a little salt. Spread beets in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes. Beets are done when they are tender when you poke them with a fork.

Bake: Heat oven to 400°F. Wash beets in cold water, and cut off tops and roots. Wrap in foil, place on baking sheet. Bake beets for about an hour. After cooling, remove from foil. Rub the beets gently to remove skins. Serve mashed or sliced with butter, salt, and pepper to taste.

Boil: Cook unpeeled beets in boiling salted water about 45 minutes, or until you can easily slice them with a sharp knife. Remove from heat and immerse them in cold water. Use a damp cloth to remove the skins.

Microwave: Wash, peel, and cube beets. In a microwave-safe dish, add 2 tablespoons of water per 2 ½ cups of beets. Cover with a lid and cook about 5 minutes and stir. Cook an additional 3 minutes. Repeat until tender.



Short-Term Storage

Remove stems and leaves. Store in a bag with a damp paper towel in the refrigerator, and use within 7 to 8 days.

If leaves are crisp and bright green, store the greens seperately in plastic bag with a damp cloth. 

Long-Term Storage

Beets can be frozen, pickled, dried or canned.

To freeze beets: 

Trim tops, leaving 1/2 inch of stems and tap root, to prevent bleeding of color during cooking. Cook in boiling water until tender-for small beets 25 to 30 minutes; for medium beets 45 to 50 minutes. Cool promptly in cold water. Peel, remove stem and tap root, and cut into slices or cubes. Package, leaving ½-inch headspace. Seal and freeze.

Learn more about canning beets.

Learn more about pickling beets.

Learn more about drying vegetables.

Quick Fact

One beet variety, called a sugar beet, is used to make sugar. Beets have the highest nautral sugar content of all vegetables.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size

1 cup







% Daily Value

Total Calories









Dietary Fiber



Total Sugars



Total Fat



Saturated Fat













 22 mg






 1 mg








Vitamin A

 45 ug


Vitamin C

 7 mg








Food Safety Tips

Always keep fresh produce away from raw meat and raw meat juices to avoid cross-contamination.

Follow the safe food guidelines for all fresh produce.

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