Selection - Choose beets that are firm and smooth with a deep red color and unwilted leaves.
Storage - Cut all but 1/2 inch of the greens off. Store beets in a cool dry place (like the cellar) in a paper bag or cardboard box, not in plastic.
Preparation - Cut off all but 1 inch of beet tops. Wash and leave whole with root ends attached. Use 6 cups of water, 1 Tbsp. white vinegar and salt. Boil covered for 40-50 minutes until tender. Or steam covered for 45-50 minutes until tender. Add boiling water if necessary.
To microwave: Place in a 1 1/2-quart casserole container with 2 cups water. Cover and microwave for 18-20 minutes until tender, rearranging once.
Nutritional Information - Beets are high in folate, and a good source of vitamin C, potassium and iron. One serving, 1/2 cup (sliced), has 26 calories.
Benefits - Beets are a good source of folate, which helps to prevent fatigue and depression.