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Types of Beets

Red, Golden, Chioggia

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Despite what cans at the super market might lead you to believe, not all beets are red. Beets come in a range of colors and sizes - from red and yellow to stunning candy-cane-striped chioggia beets. See different kinds of beets below and get recipe ideas and tips for cooking them.

1. Red Beets

Beetroot at a farmer's market
Elisa Cicinelli/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

Basic, sweet, earthy. Red beets are the beets most of us think of when our minds turn to "beets." Look for beets with their fresh, leafy greens still attached, if possible – you'll know those are fresh. The great thing about red beets, however, is that they are great storage vegetables. Getting a bit less tender as they are stored, perhaps, but also gaining sweetness along the way.

Red beets can be used in many ways, but many of us most frequently roast them, which also proves a great way to make them easy to peel. I'm also a fan of using them in borscht.

2. Golden Beets

Golden Beets
Photo © Molly Watson

Golden beets are a bit less sweet than red beets, but also have a more mellow and less earthy flavor all around. If nothing else, golden beets add a bright, zesty yellow color when served roasted or in salads, particularly this Beet & Orange Salad.

3. Chioggia Beets (Striped Beets)

Chioggia Beets (Striped Beets)
Photo © Getty Images

Chioggia beets are naturally striped – some are a subtle yellow-and-orange combination while others come with a brilliant red-and-cream candy cane effect. Use them as you would other beets and know that the stunning striping usually fades when cooked.

4. Baby Beets

Baby Beets
Photo © Molly Watson

Any beet can be sold as a "baby beet." They are simply the beets that are pulled to thin the field and make room for other beets to grow. Smart farmers sell these small specimens as a specialty item. They are very tender and usually have beautiful, luscious greens – don't let those go to waste! I like to serve baby beets with their greens.

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