White Avalanche Beets
Inventory, bunch : 0
This item was last sold on : 11/24/21
Avalanche beets are a medium to large varietal, averaging 5 to 8 centimeters in diameter, and have a uniform round to oval shape, tapering into a single taproot. The beet’s skin is semi-thick, smooth, ivory, and taut, covered in patches of rough brown spots, knicks, and fine white root hairs. Underneath the surface, the flesh is white, showcasing faint concentric rings, and has a firm, dense, and succulent texture with a crisp and crunchy consistency. Avalanche beets have a mild, sweet, and neutral flavor without the characteristic earthy, bitter, or musty nuances found in red beet varieties. When cooked, the white beets develop a pleasant aroma, the flesh softens into a tender, soft feel, and the flavor deepens into a sweet and mellow, rich taste. Avalanche beets also produce edible upright, leafy stalks. The stems are pale green and fibrous, transitioning into broad, slightly textured, dark green leaves. The leaves are crisp and succulent, offering vegetal, grassy, and subtly earthy flavors.
Avalanche beets are available in the early fall through winter.
Avalanche beets, botanically classified as Beta vulgaris, are a white beet variety belonging to the Amaranthaceae family. The early-maturing cultivar is typically harvested 50 to 55 days after sowing and produces uniform roots with long leafy tops that can reach up to 31 centimeters in height. Avalanche beets were named to highlight their snow-white flesh and are a rare variety mostly planted through specialty growers or in home gardens. White beets are often overshadowed by their red, striped, and orange counterparts in commercial markets, but they are slowly increasing in popularity for their mild taste as the pale roots lack the typical earthy, musty flavor associated with red beet cultivars. Avalanche beets are valued for their high yields, adaptability, and disease resistance. The variety is also favored for its lack of staining, unique coloring, and mild and sweet flavor. Avalanche beets can be utilized in fresh and cooked culinary preparations.
Avalanche beets are a source of fiber to stimulate the digestive tract, vitamin C to strengthen the immune system while reducing inflammation, and potassium to balance fluid levels within the body. The roots also provide folate to develop red blood cells, manganese to assist in healing wounds, and magnesium to maintain healthy nerve functioning. In addition to the roots, the leafy green tops provide vitamins A and C to protect the cells against free radical damage and contain other nutrients, including copper, iron, vitamin K, magnesium, and calcium. White beets lack betalain, pigments found in the flesh that give other beet varieties their red, orange, and yellow hues. The roots also contain less geosmin, an organic compound that traditionally gives beets their polarizing, earthy, and semi-bitter flavor. Since White beets do not have high levels of geosmin, they are heavily marketed in the United States for their mild and sweet taste to attract consumers who usually dislike the flavor of other beet cultivars.
Avalanche beets have a mild and sweet taste suited for fresh and cooked preparations. The beets are favored for their lack of pigment and will not stain hands, clothes, or cutting boards. Avalanche beets should be peeled before consumption, and the skin can be removed using a peeler or cooked and then slipped off after heating. The roots can be finely grated into salads, chopped and added to grain bowls, or shredded into slaws as a crunchy addition. Avalanche beets can also be thinly sliced and used as an edible garnish, or the roots can be pressed into a sweet juice or blended into smoothies. In addition to raw preparations, Avalanche beets develop a tender consistency when cooked and are popularly roasted, boiled, baked, or stir-fried. Once cooked, the skin slips easily from the flesh, and the peeled flesh can be incorporated as a softer element in salads, grain mixes, pasta salads, and side dishes. Roasted beets are often used as an accompaniment to meats, cheeses, and other cooked root vegetables, and the roots can be caramelized in a skillet to develop a richer flavor. Avalanche beets can also be tossed into soups or stews, steamed for potato salads, or baked into casseroles. Beyond cooked dishes, Avalanche beets can be pickled for extended use or cooked and pressed to extract their sweet juice, incorporated into syrups, sauces, or dressings. The variety’s leaves are also edible and can be tossed into salads, simmered in soups, curries, and stews, cooked in stir-fries, or sauteed into a bed of greens. Avalanche beets pair well with other root vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, potatoes, and sweet potatoes, herbs including tarragon, parsley, mint, and dill, cheeses such as parmesan, goat, and gruyere, almonds, pine nuts, apples, and grapefruit. Whole, unwashed Avalanche beets will keep 1 to 2 weeks when stored in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer. Cooked beets can also be frozen for up to eight months.
Avalanche beets won the All-America Selections award in 2015. This award recognizes new or existing produce varieties with improved flavor, quality, and superior growth characteristics. The variety selections are trialed across North America, and a panel of judges assesses the cultivars, only selecting items they would recommend for North American gardens. Avalanche beets were chosen for the award as the variety’s mild, sweet, and non-earthy flavoring surprised the judging panel. It has even been said that a judge strongly disliked beets due to their musky, earthy, and bitter flavor. After sampling Avalanche beets, the judge’s perspective towards beets changed, and the white beet was highly praised for its neutral, sweet taste. In 2015, there were twenty-five All-America Selections winners, and the winners were announced in three different groupings throughout the year. The last time that many AAS winners were selected occurred in 1939, making it a historical decision.
White beets are believed to be native to Europe and have been cultivated since ancient times. Beets were initially consumed for their leafy green tops, and the roots were discarded and used as animal feed. Consumption of the mild-flavored roots became popular during the 1800s, and with the discovery of the beet's high sugar content, White beets became an important commodity within agricultural trade for sugar creation. Avalanche beets were bred by Bejo Seeds, a subsidiary of the seed breeding company Bejo Zaden, and were released in the 21st century. Bejo’s seed catalog offers the modern cultivar internationally, especially in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Avalanche beets can be found through local farmer’s markets, produced by specialty farms, or it is commonly planted in home gardens as a novel variety.