Belonging to the Chenopodiaceae family, beetroot is a deep, large and fleshy root typical of coastal areas or temperate saline lands. Its shape is almost spherical with a globular shape, although in some varieties it can be flat or elongated. Its diameter is between 5 and 10 centimeters and it can weigh between 80 and 200 grams. Its color can vary from purple to brown and its pulp is dark red. It has a sweet taste as it contains a large amount of sugars.
The common beet comes from the botanical species Beta maritime, native to the coastal area of North Africa. Its cultivation dates back to the 2nd century BC. Its consumption is widespread in all countries with a temperate climate, especially in Europe, with France and Italy being its main producers.
Beetroot is a good source of fiber. Among its vitamins, folate stands out, which is involved in the production of red and white blood cells, in the synthesis of genetic material and in the formation of antibodies in the immune system. It is a vegetable rich in potassium. It also has, although in lesser amounts, magnesium, phosphorus, iodine, sodium and calcium. Its leaves abound in beta-carotene and minerals such as iron and calcium.
It is mainly used as an ingredient in salads. The fresh roots are usually eaten cooked as vegetables.
The beet must be kept in the fridge inside a slightly perforated plastic bag to facilitate the passage of air. It is not recommended to freeze raw beets because they will soften.