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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