Types of Beets

Different types of beets on a table

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Despite what the produce aisle at the supermarket might lead you to believe, not all beets are red. Beets come in a range of colors and sizes—from red and yellow to stunning candy cane-striped Chioggia beets. 

Whichever type of beets you buy, store them loosely wrapped in the fridge, where they'll keep for at least a week. If you buy beets with their leaves still attached, both the beets and their greens will last longer if you cut them apart before wrapping them loosely in plastic and popping them in the fridge.

Like all root vegetables, it's fine—even preferable—for beets to have a bit of dirt from the field still clinging to them. Shake off any excess and wrap them up in a bag so the dirt doesn't get all over your fridge, but don't wash them clean until you're ready to use them. 

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    Pile of Beets for Sale

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    Red beets are what most of us think of when our minds turn to "beets." Look for beets with their fresh, leafy greens still attached, if possible—you'll know those are fresh. The great thing about red beets is that they are amazing storage vegetables. They lose a bit of tenderness as they are stored but also gain sweetness along the way.

    Red beets can be used in many ways, but most frequently they are roasted, which also proves a great way to make them easy to peel. We're also a fan of using them in borscht. They can even be used as a base for an earthy spin on the bloody mary.

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    Yellow Beets with Greens

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    Golden beets are a bit less sweet than red beets, but also have a more mellow and less earthy flavor all around. If nothing else, golden beets add a bright, zesty yellow color when served roasted or in salads. They're also nice to add to a pan of roasted vegetables since they don't stain everything pink the way red beets do.  

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    Whole and sliced Chioggia beets

    W. Atlee Burpee & Co.

    Chioggia beets are naturally striped. Some are a subtle yellow-and-orange combination while others come with a brilliant red-and-cream candy cane effect. Use them as you would other beets, and know that the stunning striping usually fades or even disappears when the beets are cooked.

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    Baby Beets

    Baby Beets
    Molly Watson

    Any type of beet can be sold as a "baby beet." They are simply the beets that are pulled to thin the field in the spring in order to make room for other beets to grow. Smart farmers sell these small specimens as a specialty item. They are tender and usually have luscious greens—don't let those go to waste! Try serving baby beets with their greens