Beets are one of those healthy vegetables that you should almost definitely be eating, but aren't.  They're a great source of vitamins and nutrients, such as vitamin C, iron, fiber, antioxidants, and studies have even shown that beets can help reduce the risk of heart disease. If that weren't enough, they're actually delicious too!  Beets are easy to roast, boil, or steam, and they make a beautifully colorful, nutritious addition to any meal.

How to Pick and Prepare Beets

1) Like good fruit, you should pick beets that are firm and heavy for their size.

2) If you bought beets with their greens still attached, cut them off, wash them, and save them for later.

3) Beets are a root vegetable and need to be thoroughly washed before cooking.  You may even need to scrub some of the beets clean.

4) The only differences between red and gold beets aside from color is that gold beets are usually a little bit sweeter and do not bleed when cooking like red beets.

How to Roast Beets

1) Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

2) Arrange beets on a large piece of foil and drizzle them with a little oil (and salt, if you want).  Fold the foil over the beets so that they are contained in a packet.

3) Roast the beets until they are tender.  Cooking times are variable; fresher beets cook faster than older beets, and smaller beets cook faster than large ones.  A batch of small, fresh beets could be done in half an hour, where larger, older beets can take a full hour.

4) When they're done cooking and cooled off enough to touch, the skins should be very easy to remove by hand.

5) Season the beets with a little oil and salt and eat them as is, or slice them up and use them in a fantastically Yummly recipe!

Here are a few to get you started:

Roasted Beets n' Sweets

Roasted Beet Salad With Feta Cheese

Beet and Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Chocolate Beetroot Cake

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Photo Credits:  Hometown Columbia, Purdue, Cuizoo

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