If you're a fan of healthy eating, chances are you've heard of beets. Whether in a salad, as a roasted side dish, or blended up in a smoothie, this root vegetable has long been a staple of healthy eating. But what exactly are beets? In this post, we'll explore what beets are, the nutrition facts behind this humble vegetable, and some delicious recipes you can make with beets.
What Are Beets?
Put simply, beets (or beetroots as they are sometimes called) are root vegetables that belong to the Chenopodiaceae family. This group of plants includes a wide range of colorful vegetables, from Swiss chard and spinach to more exotic varieties like quinoa and amaranth.
Beets are believed to have originated in the Mediterranean region, and have been used for centuries as a health food. Throughout history, beets have been touted for their many medicinal properties. In fact, ancient Greeks and Romans recommended the consumption of beets for everything from cleansing the blood to promoting a healthy digestive system.
Nutrition Facts Behind Beets
Beets are an excellent source of several essential nutrients. A one-cup serving of beets contains:
• 154 calories
• 1.3 grams of protein
• 5.8 grams of fiber
• 15.7 grams of carbohydrate
• 14 grams of sugar
• 2.1 grams of fat
Beets are also a great source of vitamins and minerals, particularly potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C. They are low in calories and high in antioxidants and dietary fiber, making them an excellent addition to any healthy diet.
Benefits of Beets
Beets are known for their many health benefits, which range from improved digestion to better cardiovascular health. Here are a few:
• May lower blood pressure. Studies have shown that consuming beets may reduce hypertension and improve overall heart health.
• May help protect against cancer. Beets contain a compound called betalain, which is linked to antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity.
• May boost stamina. Beets are a rich source of nitrates, which are believed to increase blood flow to the muscles and improve exercise performance.
• May improve digestive health. Beets are high in dietary fiber, which is essential for a healthy, balanced diet.
• May help detoxify the body. Beets are believed to stimulate the liver and kidneys, aiding in the body’s natural detoxification process.
Delicious Recipes Featuring Beets
Now that you know a bit about beets, let's move on to how you can incorporate them into your diet. Here are two delicious recipes featuring beets:
• Roasted Beet Salad. This simple and flavorful dish is the perfect addition to your next dinner party. For this roasted beet salad, just combine diced red beets, honey, olive oil, shallots, and walnuts and bake in the oven until fork-tender. Top with feta cheese and enjoy!
• Beet Soup. This thick, creamy soup is a great way to warm up on a chilly day. For this recipe, simmer peeled and chopped beets with vegetable stock, garlic and thyme in a pot until tender. Puree the mixture until it's smooth, then serve with a dollop of yogurt and chives.
Beets are an incredibly versatile veggie that can be used in a variety of recipes. Whether you're looking to add some color and flavor to a salad, whip up a soup for a chilly night in, or blend a smoothie for breakfast, beets can do the trick!
By understanding what beets are, learning about their nutrition facts, discovering the advantages of adding beets to your diet, and trying out some delicious recipes featuring the veggie, you can reap the benefits of this colorful root vegetable. So what are you waiting for? Give beets a try today!
The Journey of a Beet from the Field to the Dinner Plate
Beets are a popular root vegetable enjoyed by people around the world. While they may be known for their vibrant color and sweet, earthy flavor, most of us don’t consider the complex journey this vegetable takes before it reaches our dinner plate. In this blog post, we’ll explore how beets are grown, harvested and processed before they make their way to our groceries, how long it typically takes for a beet to travel from the farm to our plates, and finally, the nutritional benefits of this delicious vegetable.
How are Beets Grown and Harvested?
Beets are a highly versatile crop, and can be grown in almost any climate, including temperate regions and in tropical and subtropical latitudes. Beets are typically planted in the cooler months in warmer climates and in the warmer months in cooler climates. Planting occurs through a variety of methods, including hand-planting, seeding machines and mechanical transplanters.
Beets generally take between 60-90 days to reach full maturity. Because the crop rushes to maturity, multiple harvests can be made in one season. Depending on the variety and method of planting, beets are ready to harvest when roots reach the size of a golf ball or hen’s egg.
Harvesting beets is a labor-intensive process. Hand-harvesting is still commonly used for small-scale production. During the harvest season, special harvesters equipped with metal plows traverse the fields. The blade of the plow lifts the beets from the ground and cuts them from the stem, which is left in the ground. The harvested beets are then dumped into the hopper of the harvester and transported to the packing facility or storage center.
How are Beets Processed and Distributed?
Once harvested, beets are transported to either a packing house or storage center. At the packing house, beets are first inspected for quality and faults. Faults include broken signs, frost damage and clod damage. Beets are also checked for size and shape uniformity. The beets that pass the inspection are then deep-brushed to remove soil particles and debris. Then they are washed and sorted into various sizes, colors, and grades. Depending on the final product, beets may be cut into slices, cubes, or other shapes.
The beets passing inspection are then packed into bags, boxes, or bundles, and placed in storage. Alternatively, beets may be processed into a variety of products such as canned beets, pickled beets, or beet juice.
No matter the form in which the beets are packed, they are then labeled and transported to the grocery store or specific market. As we’ll discuss later, the entire process from the farm to the dinner plate usually takes about 6-7 days, depending on the form of transportation and location.
Nutritional Benefits of Beets
Beets contain numerous essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. About half of the calories of beets come from carbohydrates. The remaining calories come from proteins and fibers, with the majority of the carbohydrates being simple sugars. A 100 gram (3.5 ounce) serving of raw beets provides around 43 calories and contains vitamins A and C, iron, and magnesium. Beets are also a rich source of dietary fibers and various health-promoting phytochemicals.
One of the most notable phytochemicals present in beets is betaine, which is a natural detoxifier and helps efficiently flush toxins out of the body. Betalains are responsible for the red, purple, and blue colors of beets and have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cancer-fighting properties. Beets are a great source of the energy-promoting B-complex vitamins, which help convert carbohydrates from food into energy.
The Journey from Farm to Plate
So, how long does it take for a beet to travel from the farm to your plate? It depends largely on the form and method of transportation. Generally, the duration of the journey from farm to plate is between 6 to 7 days, and can vary slightly depending on where the beets are being shipped to.
Beet harvest typically begins in late June in the US, and the harvesting season runs until early October. After harvesting, beets are transported directly to fresh markets, grocers, and restaurants. In the event that beets are shipped, they are usually transported in trucks and transported within two to three days.
Beets are also often exported internationally. Depending on the distance and the transportation used, these shipments may take up to weeks to reach their destination. For instance, beets shipped by sea from the US to Europe might take about two weeks.
Once beets arrive at the local grocery or market, these vegetables will stay fresh in the refrigerator for about 1-2 weeks. Even when kept frozen, beets retain their shape, texture, and flavor, and can last for up to 6 months in this condition.
Beets are a versatile and delicious root vegetable with unique benefits and important nutrients. By understanding the journey that beets take, from the moment they are sown in the field until they reach our plates, we can have a better appreciation for this nutrient-dense vegetable. Beets typically take anywhere from 6 to 7 days to get from the farm to our dinner plates. With an array of medicinal benefits and its unique sweet, earthy flavor, beets can make a welcome addition to your next dish.
|Vitamin A||0.002 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.04 mg|
|Vitamin K||0.2 ug|
|Vitamin C||0.0049 grams|
|Vitamin B1||0.03 mg|
|Vitamin B2||0.04 mg|
|Vitamin B3||0.33 mg|
|Vitamin B4||0.006 grams|
|Vitamin B5||0.16 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.07 mg|
|Vitamin B9||0.109 mg|
Daily Value 1.3 g
Daily Value 0.018 g
Daily Value 0.4 g
Daily Value 1.25 g
Daily Value 4.7 g
Daily Value 2.3 g
Daily Value 0.011 g
Daily Value 0.9 mg
Daily Value 0.0023 g
Daily Value 0.055 mg
|Aspartic Acid||0.116 grams|
|Glutamic Acid||0.428 grams|
|Total Sugars||0.131141 grams||
|Palmitic acid (16:0)||0.03 grams||
|Total Saturated fatty acids:||0.03 g|
|Oleic acid (18:1)||0.03 grams||
|Total Monounsaturated fatty acids:||0.03 g|
|Linolenic acid (18:3)||0.01 grams||
|Linoleic acid (18:2)||0.06 grams||
|Total Polyunsaturated fatty acids:||0.07 g|
|Total Sterols:||0.03 g|