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Monterey Bay Spice Company

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Beet
shopping: one variety
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per 1/4 Pound
Quantity:  
$2.80 
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per Pound
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$7.00 
Beta vulgaris

beet

plant overview
blushing beet red

Beet root refers to the taproot of the garden variety of red beet, so-named because of its deep russet color. When powdered, beet root has a variety of uses as a food product and coloring agent. Combined with arrowroot to control color tone and enhance application, it can even be used to make homemade facial blusher.

Clicking "learn more" next to each variety will take you to individual product pages for details.
Beet root
01.
A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information on beet

description
Beet is a plant in the Chenopodiaceae family which is now included in the Amaranthaceae family.

Beets are grown primarly for the enlarged bulbous root which forms with the top of the enlarged root near or somewhat above the soil surface.

The plant is normally a biennial, producing a rosette of leaves and the bulbous root one year, and a seed stalk the following year. Except for seed production, however, it is grown from seed as an annual. Plants are usually harvested for fresh market or processing when the near globular or oblate enlarged root is not more than 2 inches in diameter. At that stage the root is tender, but becomes harder and tougher with greater age.

common names
& nomenclature

Old English bete "beet, beetroot," from Latin beta, is said to be of Celtic origin. The name was common in Old English, then lost until around 1400. Still usually spoken of in plural in the U.S.

A general West Germanic borrowing, cf. Old Frisian bete, Middle Dutch bete, Old High German bieza, German Beete.

Also known as:
beet, table beet, beetroot, chad, chard, european sugar beet, garden beet, harvard beet, mangel, mangelwurzel, red beet, red-beet leaf, red garden beet, spinach beet, sugar beet, swiss chard, white-rooted beet, wild beet, and yellow beet

Other Languages:
Spanish: remolacha; Portuguese: horticola, beterraba; French: betterave; German: Rote Rube, Rote Beete, or Runkelrube; Italian: Barbabietola; Arabic: Silig; Chinese: Gen tian cai; Russian: Svekla stolovaja


02.
Where in the World
habitat and range for beet

Beet was most likely domesticated in the Mediterranean, it later spread to Babylonia by the 8th century BC and as far east as China by 850 AD. Beet is now in cultivation in many areas of North America and Europe.

03.
Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting beet

climate
Beets prefers sun or light shade, they are very easy to grow, and are typically grown in cultivated garden beds.

soil
Beets grow well in a variety of soils, growing best in a moist, well-drained soil abundant with organic matter. They do poorly in clay.

growing
Pre-soak beet seeds for 12 hours in warm water prior to sowing. For the earliest crop, ready to harvest in late spring, sow the seed out in the garden in late February or early March, providing some protection such as a cold frame.

The first outdoor sowings can be made in March to provide a crop starting in early summer. For both of these sowings it is important to choose varieties that are resistant to bolting in case there is a cold spell in the spring.

Sowings for the main crop can be made in April to early June to provide roots for autumn, winter, and early spring use. Late sowings of fast maturing varieties can be made in June and early July in order to provide fresh young roots in the autumn.

harvesting
Immature roots can be harvested in the summer and early autumn for immediate use, these are usually much more tender than the older roots. Mature roots can be left in the ground all winter and harvested as required, though they might suffer damage in severe winters. Leaves can also be harvested and eaten raw or cooked similar to spinach.

preserving
Fresh beet roots can be stored for up to 6 months in a cool (but not dry) frost-free place.

The root can also be dried and ground into a beet root powder which should be stored in a cool, dry place.

04.
The Rest of the Story
beet history, folklore, literature & more

benefits and uses of beet
Beet root is a cultivated variety of the garden beet (Beta vulgaris), a member of the amaranth family closely related to leafy garden vegetables, such as chard. However, the red colored taproots contain much more sugar than other root vegetables, a fact that led to the development of the sugar beet, a subspecies grown commercially to facilitate the production of table sugar.

In general, the beet and all of its subspecies have long been cultivated for culinary purposes. In fact, the burned remains of beet roots were discovered at an excavation site dating back to the Neolithic period. Like other tubers, beet root can be peeled and cooked as a vegetable. The root may also be cooked and added to salads, or shredded and eaten raw. In the southern U.S., pickled beets are traditional summer fare, while in Europe the vegetable provides the base for the classic cold soup known as borscht. Pennsylvania Dutch cooks also fancy pickling beets, but typically reserve some of the liquid to make another traditional dish in which hard-boiled eggs soak up the boldly colored juice to make them—you guessed it—beet red.

Some cultures have regarded beet root as an aphrodisiac. In fact, the vegetable is depicted in many of the erotic frescoes and paintings that once graced the walls of The Lupanare in Pompeii, the oldest known brothel in the world. Although this fact alone is worthy of our fascination, it's also interesting to note that there may be some science behind these representations beyond the salacious implication. Beet root is a rich source of boron. While it's unlikely that the ancient Romans were aware of this, they were clearly onto something.

Boron plays a role in other biological processes as well. Studies have shown that the mineral is necessary for adequate cognitive functioning, and deficiency may be related to the impairment of short and/or long-term memory. Other studies have shown that increasing intake of this element may improve symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Beet root also provides numerous other nutrients, including gamma-aminobutyric acid, beta-carotene, potassium, selenium, phosphorous, zinc, calcium, vitamin C, and vitamins B1 and B5. It is also high in fiber and iron.

Beet root owes its characteristic color to the presence of betanin, a flavonoid with antioxidant qualities. This natural pigment is commonly used to tint food, beverages, and cosmetics. In fact, it can replace Red Dye No. 2.

There are no known side effects or contraindications associated with beet root. As a dietary supplement, beet root powder may be mixed with water, tea, or juice. It may also be added to soups, stews, and other cooked foods.

In terms of dosage, a little goes a long way: One teaspoon of beet root powder is roughly equal to consuming a whole beet.

for educational purposes only

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

please be advised: 
you should always consult with your doctor
before making any changes to your diet!!
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