In season in California: June to November
How to choose good beets: Roots should be firm, skin smooth. Avoid beets that have spots, bruises or soft, wet areas, all of which indicate spoilage. Pick beets similar in size to ensure even cooking.
Taste: Beets' sweet taste reflects their high sugar content. Raw beet roots have a crunchy texture that turns soft and buttery when cooked.
Health benefits: This colorful root vegetable contains powerful nutrient compounds that research has shown help protect against heart disease, birth defects and certain cancers, especially colon cancer. One beet that is two inches in diameter contains about 35 calories, 6 grams of sugar and 2 grams of dietary fiber. Beets are very low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and are a good source of vitamin C, iron, magnesium, folate, potassium and manganese.