The beet, sometimes
called beetroot to distinguish it from the
less-commonly-eaten leafy green upper part, is a root crop
with an intense purple-red color similar to veinous blood.
Beet juice is commonly used purely for coloring. Eating
fresh (possibly cooked, but not canned) beets can cause
one to produce red urine, making beets a tool for cruel
Beets may be pickled, but
most beets are sold fresh (possibly peeled and pre-cooked)
or canned. Beets are somewhat sweet, and not strongly
flavored. Beets are usually sliced and served as a
vegetable on one side of a plate. Beets are used in
Eastern European soups.
Young beets, about an
inch and a 1/2-inch diameter are fine textured, tender, and
excellent in salads. Medium and large size beets are good
for cooking; very large roots are too woody for eating
regardless of cooking method. Which ever size of beets you
choose, look for smooth, hard, uniformly round beets that
are free of cuts and bruises.
Itís best to store
beets that have their tops chopped off in individual
plastic bags in the coolest part of the refrigerator.
These should last up to one week. The greens should be
eaten as soon as possible.
Wash and scrub the beets
before cooking. Beets peel best after cooking, so wear
gloves if you wish to avoid red stained hands.
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