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beetroot

 

Synonyms: red beet

Botanical name: Beta vulgaris var. conditiva


Rote Bete

 

Beetroot stems from the sea beet, which is native to the eastern Mediterranean area. The ancient Romans and Greeks were already familiar with it. Cultivation in Germany began in the 13th century. The red beet as we know it today, however, was not developed until the 19th century. It is grown in all countries with a temperate climate. Most of what is grown in Germany is used for the food industry.


Availability


Beetroot is available throughout the year. It is in especially large supply from September to March. From September to November local produce is available.


Appearance, taste, characteristics


Beetroot is round or flat and round and brownish on the outside. The pulp is generally red, but there are yellow or white varieties. Minibeets (Little Ball), only 4 cm in diameter, are the smallest variety of beetroot in Germany. Beetroot tastes characteristically sour and sweet at the same time. The white varieties taste similar to the red ones.


Ingredients


The red beet does not owe its colour to anthocyanin, as was long supposed, but to betalaine, which is also a secondary plant substance.

100 g contain:

Beetroot,
fresh
Beetroot,
cooked
Beetroot,
tinned
Energie (kcal)
42
32
30
Wasser (g)
86
89
90
Eiweiß (g)
2
1
1
Fett (g)
< 1
< 1
< 1
Kohlenhydrate (g)
8
6
6
Ballaststoffe (g)
3
2
2
Vitamin C (mg)
10
6
3
Vitamin A (RÄ) (µg)
2
2
1
Folsäure (µg)
93
48
30
Kalium (mg)
336
157
233
Natrium (mg)
58
27
234
Calcium (mg)
29
29
23
Magnesium (mg)
25
16
21
Eisen (mg)
0,9
0,8
0,7



Harmful substances


Beetroot is a vegetable with a high nitrate content; 1000–4000 mg of nitrate may be contained in 1 kg of beetroot. The oxalic acid content is also quite high, at up to 800 mg per 100 g.


Quality criteria, optimal storage conditions


When shopping, be on the lookout for a firm, undamaged root that is free of spots. Very large roots are often stringy and therefore not to be recommended. Beetroot can be kept in the refrigerator for several weeks.


Form of consumption, use, processing, practical tips for preparation


Because its preparation is quite time consuming, fresh beetroot is rarely cooked in the home. After the leaves have been twisted off, the unpeeled, thoroughly washed roots are cooked for 1–1.5 hours in salt water. (In a pressure cooker they require approximately half an hour.) Then they can be rinsed in cold water, peeled and prepared further. Salads with beetroot are popular, e.g. herring salad, or salads seasoned with horseradish. The well-known Russian dish borscht is a soup made of beetroot.

The small minibeets are used whole or to decorate other dishes.

The young leaves of beetroot, usually ribbed and green-red with red stems, can be prepared like spinach.

Beetroot is prepared industrially tinned and marinated in vinegar, deep-frozen or as juice. The red pigment of the beetroot is used as a food-colouring.


Miscellaneous


The red pigment of beetroot is excreted with urine and stool. There is no need to worry if urine is red following the consumption of beetroot!

 

 

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  With the website www.the-green-pantry.com the Fritz Terfloth Foundation of Münster offers consumers independent and competent information about plant foods and their health effects. All texts are subject to German copyright law. Information about the conditions for use of the texts by third parties can be found here.


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