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Beets. Network for a Healthy California. Tulare County Office of Education. Reasons to Eat Beets. You can eat the root and the green leafy top. A ½ cup of cooked beet greens is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C and vitamin A.

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Network for a Healthy California

Tulare County Office of Education

Reasons to eat beets

Reasons to Eat Beets

You can eat the root and the

green leafy top.

A ½ cup of cooked beet greens is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C and vitamin A.

A ½ cup of beets is a good source of folate, manganese, and riboflavin.

What is riboflavin

What is Riboflavin?

  • Riboflavin is also known as vitamin B2.

  • It is important for building healthy blood cells.

  • Riboflavin is water soluble, which means it is not stored in the body.

What is riboflavin1

What is Riboflavin?

  • Riboflavin works with other B vitamins to help your body grow and release energy from the carbohydrates you eat.

  • Riboflavin is found in whole grain cereals, almonds, eggs, spinach, mushrooms, zucchini, and lowfat yogurt.

How do beets grow

How Do Beets Grow?

  • Beets are a cool season crop.

  • They are frost hardy, but cannot endure extreme heat.

  • Growing beets adds minerals to the soil.

  • Beets do well when planted with onions, radishes, and garlic.

A slice of beet history

A Slice of Beet History

  • The wild beet is believed to have descended from the seabeet, which grows wild along the shores of Great Britain.

  • The beet has been cultivated since the third century - 200-300 A.D.

  • A slice of beet history1

    A Slice of Beet History

    • The leaves were used for medicine and then later as a potherb.

    • What is a potherb?

    • It was a term widely used in the 16th to 19th centuries to refer to any plant with stalks and leaves that could be boiled as greens or used in soups.

    A slice of beet history2

    A Slice of Beet History

    • Romans were the first to grow and develop beets for their roots and used them to feed their animals.

    • The Greeks were the first to eat both roots and leaves.

    A slice of beet history3

    A Slice of Beet History

    • The sugar beet (white beet) was developed in the 18th century.

    • In the early 1800s, the French began extracting the sugar.

    • What famous French aristocrat was reported to have said “Let them eat cake” when told the peasants were starving?


    Marie Antoinette 1755-1793

    Queen of France from 1774 to 1792

    The phrase was probably “Let them eat brioche.” Brioche is a sweet bread, eaten by royalty and nobility in France.

    Unfortunately, there is no evidence she said anything like this.


    Just the Facts

    • The color of beet root can range from dark purple to bright red, yellow, and white.

    • When cut transversely, the roots

      show light and dark rings.

    Just the facts

    Just the Facts

    • The Chioggia beet is red and white-striped, and nicknamed the “candy cane” beet.

    Just the facts1

    Just the Facts

    • Beet juice is widely used as a natural dye to give pink or red color to processed foods.

    • Beets have the highest sugar content of any vegetable.


    Beets are GREAT in a fresh, green salad.

    Test your knowledge

    Test Your Knowledge

    • Do not eat the green leafy tops of the beet.

      You can eat them. They are very good for you.

    • Riboflavin is known as vitamin _____.


    • What are the four solid colors of beet roots.

      Dark purple, red, white, and yellow

    • Why was the Chioggia beet nicknamed the “candy cane”


      Because it is red and white striped

    • Beets have the highest ________content of any vegetable.


    Tasting trio cheesy beet bites

    Tasting TrioCheesy Beet Bites


    2 cans (15oz) pickled beets

    1 block (10oz) part-skim Panela cheese

    1 bag (18oz) whole-wheat pita chips


    Dice the cheese into ¼” squares.

    Using hand gloves, dice up the beets.

    Gently mix the beets and cheese together.

    Place one tablespoon of beets and cheese on top of a chip.



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    For CalFresh information, call 1-877-847-3663. Funded by USDA SNAP, an equal opportunity provider and employer. Visit for healthy tips.

    •California Department of Public Healthealth

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