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Originally written by Kimberly Cripps , former SDSU Extension Family & Community Health Field Specialist, with contributions by Megan Erickson, former SDSU Extension Nutrition Field Specialist, and Hope Kleine, former SDSU Extension Health Education Field Specialist.

Pick it!

  • Beets are usually round with a 1 to 2 1/2 inch diameter and deep burgundy color with edible green to burgundy leaves.
  • Select beets that are smooth, hard, rounded, and free of cuts and bruises. Discard overgrown or woody beets.
  • Trim of the leaves to about 1 inch when storing the root; refrigerate for several weeks. Store the leaves separately.
  • “Thinnings” are beets that are pulled before fully mature and can be eaten raw and whole in salads.

Try it!

  • Can be eaten raw, baked, steamed, roasted or pickled served as a condiment.
  • Raw or steamed beets are good in salads; medium/large sized beets are better cooked.
  • Choose beets similar in size for even cooking.
  • Peel beets after cooking while wearing disposable gloves to avoid staining your skin.
  • Beet greens can be used like spinach.

Like it! Beets with Dijon Dressing


  • 3 lbs. beets
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard (or yellow prepared mustard)
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon rosemary, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Wash, trim, and dry beets leaving ½-inch stem and root intact.
  3. Put beets in a bowl and add 1-tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss contents of bowl with clean hands.
  4. Arrange beets in a single layer-roasting pan. Roast in oven for 45 minutes or until beets are tender.
  5. Remove pan and allow to cool.
  6. Make dressing while beets are cooling. To make dressing whisk mustard, orange juice, sugar, and vinegar together.
  7. Whisk in 3 tablespoons olive oil and rosemary. Set aside.
  8. Rub skins off beets and cut into quarters.
  9. Combine with dressing and let sit for 30 minutes.

Yield: 6 servings

Nutrition Facts per Serving: Calories 200, fat 10g, cholesterol 0mg, carbohydrates 25g Fiber 5, sugar 20g, Protein 4g

Program Materials

Colorful fact sheets, recipe cards and educational videos provide educators and families with fun, engaging tools to enhance any dietary curriculum in a variety of settings.

Quick resources are available in the fact sheets below. Download the zipped folder to use the lesson plan, sampling instructions, recipes and display materials in your educational program.