Baby White Beets
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|Food Buzz: History of Beets|
|Food Fable: Beets|
Baby White beets are harvested young for their edible roots, stems, and leaves. The globular to ovate root has semi-rough, ivory skin with many fine root hairs and is connected to thick, crunchy, pale green stems with darker green leaves. Underneath the thin skin, the flesh is firm, white, and crisp. Baby White beets have a mild, earthy, and nutty flavor and when cooked, they develop a very tender, soft texture.
Baby White beets are available year-round.
Baby White beets, botanically classified as Beta vulgaris, are edible, underground roots that sprout tall leaves and are members of the Amaranthaceae family. Many different varieties can be sold under Baby White beets, as the name is a general descriptor used for white beets that are harvested at an immature state. Initially used for their leafy green tops, Baby White beets have increased in popularity for their mild flavor and are cultivated primarily as a table root, used in everyday cooking in savory preparations.
Baby White beets contain manganese, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, folate, and fiber.
Baby White beets are versatile and can be utilized in both raw and cooked applications. When raw, Baby White beets can be sliced and tossed into green salads or lightly shredded over soups. When cooked, the roots can be roasted whole to develop a caramelized consistency, steamed to create a soft, tender flesh, or sliced thinly into wedges and fried into chips. Baby White beets require less cooking time than the mature roots, and the skin can be easily removed after cooking. The leaves are also edible, commonly sautéed or used in salads, and are prized for their tender, crisp texture. Baby White beets pair well with creamy dressings and vinaigrettes, bacon, smoked fish, eggs, chèvre, turnips, green beans, basil, radishes, parsley, chives, walnuts, hazelnuts, sausages, citrus, apples, and tomatoes. The roots will keep up to two weeks with the leaves removed when stored in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator and up to one week when stored with the tops still attached.
Baby White beets are a popular variety grown in home gardens for their unique, pale hues. It is important to note that when the root begins to sprout the wavy, green leaves, the tops of the beets must be covered to prevent the white skin from turning green. In addition to the roots, Baby White beet plants are also favored for their nutritious, leafy green tops which contain vitamins A, C, and K, calcium, iron, copper, and magnesium. In the United States, some gardeners choose to cultivate the plant solely for its tops and use the roots as a secondary crop.
White beets are native to Europe, found in Holland, Switzerland, and Germany, and have been growing wild since ancient times. Initially, the plant was cultivated for its leafy green tops, and the roots were often discarded or used as animal feed. Consumption of the root itself did not take place until the 1800s, and the discovery of the beet's high sugar content also led to its increased agricultural value, spreading the root throughout the world via immigration and trade. Today Baby White beets can be found at specialty grocers and farmers markets in Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Americas.
Recipes that include Baby White Beets. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Hip Pressure Cooking||White Beet and Garlic Saute|
|Savory Spin||Beet Bars|
|Foodie Goes Healthy||The Sweet/Savory Crunchy/Smooth Salad|