Comparing Beets, Sweet Potatoes and Yams

While these are all root crops, these are all different plants. However, there can be some confusion about them, especially since the common name in one English-speaking country might not be the same as in another. For example, in the United States, ‘beets’ are usually a reference to the large, globular and usually deep red root that are often called ‘beetroot’ in the UK. It might be worthwhile to look at all three, noting how they are similar and how they differ. Beets (Beta vulgaris) Beets or beetroots are vegetables that have a large, bulb-shaped root. The root is normally shaped like the root of a radish or turnip, but the most commonly used cultivar is colored deep red, all the way through. There are cultivars that range from golden to purple and black in color, but these aren’t nearly as popular as the ones that are dark crimson. Beets are naturally high in sugar. It should be noted that one kind of beet is called the sugar-beet. While this is the same species, sugar beets have been specifically been bred to produce a root that is very high in sugar. Sugar beets aren’t commonly grown as food, but the roots are refined and refined sugar is made from them. Much of the refined sugar sold in many countries comes from sugar beets or a blend of sugar beet sugar and sugar cane sugar. The color of sugar beets usually isn’t the deep red of beetroot that is consumed as Continue Reading →

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A Look at Root Vegetables With Edible Leaves

Gardening can be fun, interesting and can lead to many tasty meals, especially if the crops are picked fresh, right out of the garden. Some plants are so good that they are common mainstays in the average garden. There are some that can serve a dual purpose with the right preparation, though. This is true of root crops that have edible leaves, since both the leaves and the roots can end up on the dinner table, not necessarily at the same time or with the same meal. It is worthwhile to take a look at a few of these excellent root crops. Beets While this vegetable is growing the usually familiar bulbous usually red root, it puts out a large quantity of leaves that have good flavor. The younger leaves can be chopped up and used fresh in green salads. They also make an agreeable potherb, either boiled with a small amount of water or just steamed with a bit of butter. Indeed, there are a lot of ways to prepare the greens. As long as a gardener removes only a few leaves off of any one plant, there isn’t usually any reason to uproot the entire plant, so the root can continue to grow. Even better, this vegetable will usually respond to light leaf removal by producing more leaves. In fact, the leaves are often sold in stores under the alternate name of the beet plant; Swiss chard. Swiss chard and beets are the same species of plant. Turnips Continue Reading →

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