Beets – Also known as ‘Beetroot’, they have many health benefits with antioxidants in them. Both the leaves and the roots can be eaten.
I never liked them when I was a kid because I only had them pickled. I didn’t like them that way then and still don’t like beets pickled. Then I discovered them steamed and roasted. Wow-What a difference in flavor! This year, I’m growing more beets than I ever have. They have a fantastic shelf life if stored in the refrigerator. I love beets now in a lettuce salad with a dab of goat cheese with sunflower seeds and a lite vinaigrette—divine. Also slow roasted in the oven-more divine. Now I love beets! Here’s what I’m growing this year and why.
Chiogga beets hail from Chiogga, Italy and are beautiful with red and white concentric circles inside when you cut them. I like them because of their beauty and they are sweet. They make a nice contrast to other beets.
Touchstone Gold beets– OP variety. New to me this year, I wanted a yellow beet to compliment the red beets. This has a fine, buttery texture, very sweet, and does not bleed like red varieties do. Can’t wait to try it.
Heirloom Detroit Dark Red beets are an old standby. This is not the hybrid variety of ‘Detroit Red’ but a heirloom variety so don’t be confused. It has very good sweet flavor and does well here. You can get the seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co.
Cylindra beets come from Denmark and are excellent. The are long cylinder shaped instead of round and slice more uniformly than the round type. They grew well here. Very sweet-they are my second favorite. You can get the seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co.
Craupaudine beets are my favorite beet of all time. Oldest beet variety in existence. Incredibly ugly and incredibly delicious. Very sweet beet and fantastic when wrapped in foil after you rinse it, (leaving the water on the beet) and placed over a BBQ where you add a few wood chips and smoke it slightly as it cooks till tender. The water on the beet helps to steam them a little too. To cook it like the French do go to my other article, ‘Rouge Crapaudine’ Beets-say what?!! They are a little harder to germinate so plant more seeds then you think you need. They are only available in the states from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co.
The last three are harder to find so I gave the source for getting seeds. Chiogga and Touchstone Gold are commonly available through many seed companies.