Beetroot
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  • Related to the silverbeet and sugarbeet
  • A spherical root crop tuber
  • Red/purple skin often streaked with white
  • Leafy stalks which may be used in the same way as silverbeet
  • Dark red/purple flesh which is crisp and juicy
  • Roots are 6-8cm in diameter.

Wash in cold water leaving root and stem intact and being careful not to break the skin. This prevents bleeding during cooking. Cook the beetroot in boiling water for about 45 minutes or until tender. When cooked remove the skin taking care not to let the juice stain cutting boards, skin or clothing.

Beetroot grows best under cool conditions. Production during the hot summer months will be restricted to higher altitudes. Crops grown in cool weather produce roots of superior quality (high sugar content and dark internal colour). Beetroot has a fair tolerance to moderate frosts. Cultivars suitable for the fresh market must have strong, large tops and produce smooth globular shaped roots. Beetroot is propagated from seed and frequent irrigation is required as a lack of moisture results in stringy, tough vegetables.

The beetroot originated in southern Europe. Originally the beet leaves were used more than the root. It is believed to have started to be developed and cultivated in the Middle Ages.

Botanical Name: Beta vulgaris (Chenopodiaceae)

Alternative Names: Beet

Health Benefits

A good source of dietary fibre and folic acid. A useful source of vitamin C.

100g of raw Beetroot yields the following:

  • Calories – 43
  • Total Carbs – 3% of DV
  • Protein – 3% of DV
  • Dietary Fibre – 11% of DV
  • Vitamin A – 1% of DV
  • Vitamin C – 8% of DV
  • Calcium – 2% of DV
  • Iron – 4% of DV

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Selecting tips

Select beetroot with fresh stems and leaves, and smooth, firm roots.

Storage: Trim tops, carefully wipe away excess dirt, and store in an airtight plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper.

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