What To Look For When Buying Fresh Beets

Beets are a fairly polarizing root vegetable, as many people either love or hate them. If you fall into the former camp, the good news is that beets are fairly easy to prepare and are readily available year-round. While beets can be found at your local supermarket all throughout the year, keep in mind, they are at their best during peak season when they're harvested between late spring and early winter, per Food Network.

They're also incredibly good for you. An almost four-ounce serving of boiled beetroot contains just 44 calories, 10 grams of carbs, and two grams of fiber, according to Healthline. The root veggie is a great source of both carbs and fiber, and eating beets can help regulate blood pressure, fight inflammation, boost your digestive health, and support brain health. With all of these benefits, you may want to consider incorporating more beets into your diet to reap the benefits and boost your overall well-being. But when it comes to buying fresh beets at your local farmers market, what exactly should you look for?

Dark red beets with fresh looking stems

While you'll come across fresh beets in many forms at the grocery store — it's best to look for small, firm ones that are deep maroon in color, free from blemishes, and most importantly, still have the green stems attached, according to The Spruce Eats. While you can purchase ones that have the greens already removed, take the time to trim them at home yourself. This way it's easier to tell how fresh the root veggie is when the greens are still intact since they tend to wilt with age. 

Plus, the greens pack an incredibly nutritious punch — they're full of vitamin A, vitamin C, and polyphenols, per Mind Body Green, and can be tossed into a salad, blended into a smoothie, or sautéed for a simple side dish. Once you get your fresh produce home from the store, the best way to store beets is to keep them in an airtight container with a moist paper towel on top of them. When stored properly in the fridge, the roots should last up to three weeks, per Bon Appétit, while the greens should be used within a few days of purchase.