Beetroot is also known as Beet, Garden Beet, Table Beet, Red Beet, Golden Beet or Roman Beet. It’s a cultivated variety of the wild Beta vulgaris known as Sea Beet. Other cultivated varieties of Sea Beet include: Sugar beet, Spinach Beet, Swiss Chard and Fodder Beet.
Beetroots come in a wide range of colours and sizes, such as red, white, golden or yellow and chioggia (striped).
The red globular beet is the most important worldwide.
Europe and North America produce the bulk of the red globular beet crop.
Their combined annual commercial production amounts to 900,000 tonnes (excluding Eastern Europe).
The Golden or Yellow Beet
- The golden or yellow beet is grown on a very small scale for home consumption.It’s pale orange in colour and reaches up to 4-inches in diameter.
- The flesh is golden yellow and very sweet. It does not bleed like red beet when cooked.
- Its roots and leaves are edible.
- When roasted, the yellow colour of golden beets can brighten up any dish and looks marvelous in all kinds of salads
Nutritional Value of Beets
- Beets have the highest sugar content of any vegetable but they are also very low in calories and have zero cholesterol. 100g (3.5oz) of beet provides 43 calories.
- The characteristic sweet flavour of beets is experienced in raw, cooked or canned beets.
- Fresh beets are higher in vitamin C, and folacin, than cooked, and have a distinctive flavour and crisp texture.
- The young leaves are an excellent source of beta carotene, calcium and iron.
- Beets contain geosmin which causes its typical earthy smell.