Certified Farmers' Market

Certified Farmers Market Fresh Pick of the Week for January 11, 2010!

Beets are this week’s Fresh Pick of the Week at the Certified Farmers’ Market, and are available from several farmers at all three valley locations. Beets are an amazing food crop, but most of us only think of them as the red root vegetable that is generally served cooked, stir-fried or pickled. What many people do not know is that the green leafy part of the Beet plant is also edible, and was quite popular (more so that its roots) until its leafier cousins – Spinach and Swiss Chard – gained popularity around the Sixteenth Century.

Beets also became quite important as a commercial food crop in 19th century Europe, following the development of the Sugar Beet in Germany, and the discovery that sucrose could be extracted from Sugar Beets, providing an alternative to tropical sugar cane. Sugar Beets remain a widely cultivated commercial crop used for producing table sugar to this day.

Price:
$1.50 per pound, and up.

Did You Know: Beet juice can help lower blood pressure. Research published in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension demonstrated that drinking 500ml of beet juice led to a reduction in blood pressure within one hour. The reduction was even more pronounced after three to four hours, and was measurable for up to 24 hours after drinking the juice.

Another study published by the American Heart Association, one done at the University of Exeter, concluded that Beet juice also boosted stamina, and found that nitrate contained in the vegetable led to a reduction in oxygen uptake, and made exercise less tiring

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