Since this is a gardening website, we assume that anyone perusing the site has an interest in growing their own plants or in some aspect of the green and growing world around us. So, one of the questions we’re faced with as we continue to post articles is “what category should we list our various articles under?”.
Beets, obviously, are plants, so we could certainly insert them into the “Plants” category. But they are cultivated so frequently by the home gardener because of their place in the “healthy eating vegetables” world, that we are placing them in the “Health” category. You might want to think of them as “Plants” for your “Health.”
Beets, or beet roots as they are sometimes called, are another easy to grow vegetable for the home grower to try.
Start your seeds in the earlier part of the growing season as the plants do not like the overbearing heat of full summer. A second crop can also be grown as we go into the late summer/early fall cooler part of the year.
If you do plan to grow your own, I always recommend ordering your seeds from the Burpee © Seed Company--an old company that has supplied reliable seeds to gardeners for many, many years.
You can plant your seeds directly into the garden soil or sow them into containers on your deck or patio if you’re limited in space or just want to try an unusual bit of container gardening.
Be sure your planting site will receive plenty of sunshine (at least 6-8 hours a day), and that you are planting into fertile, well-drained soil that will receive adequate moisture either from heavenly rainfall sent from above or from your earthly watering sprinkler bucket owned and operated by you, the trusty gardener!
The plants will grow rather quickly and give you usable, edible beets in just a couple of months.
Now, on to the good part, the reason you’re growing beets anyway--the healthy eating part.
The beet roots can be eaten raw (not recommended) or they can be boiled, baked, or sliced and steamed by themselves or with other vegetables. The leafy green tops can be consumed in much the same way as leafy green spinach leaves are consumed--in salads or boiled or steamed.
Beets are low in calories and high in fiber. They are rich in Vitamin C, folate, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and copper. Beet fiber helps reduce cholesterol, making them a heart-healthy food.
Beets contain a high level of carbohydrates per serving, making them an excellent source of fuel needed for sports activities or for the simple activities required of daily living. Beet roots and beet juice are sometimes said to be a “tonic” for the body because of their cleansing effect on the liver.
Beets are also rich in antioxidants that may help prevent cancer and fight inflammation. Also good for eye health.
Wow--on and on we go about the health benefits of beets in your diet. They’re so amazing we could even say “you just can’t beat beets”, but we would never say anything as corny as that, soooooo..........