Root vegetables are popular additions to Fall menus, and there’s probably no root vegetable that’s more popular, versatile and flavorful than this week’s Fresh Pick of the Week - Beets !
Beets are an amazing food crop, and one that humans have been consuming since the Eighth Century BC. Beets are known first and foremost for their namesake fleshy edible roots that are generally served cooked, stir-fried or pickled. Less people are aware that the entire Beet plant is edible, but historically, Beet greens were quite popular. It was only when their leafier cousins – Spinach and Swiss Chard – gained popularity around the Sixteenth Century, that Beets became known more for their roots than their leaves!
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.
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.
Price: $ 2 per pound and up
All Certified Farmers’ Markets accept CalFresh EBT Cards, WIC Farmers’ Market Checks, and Senior Farmers’ Market Checks. The Markets also offer Market Bucks that can be purchased using charge cards or cash, then used at the market for purchases.
Palm Desert Certified Farmers’ Market: NEW HOURS in Palm Desert only (8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.). The Market will once again be held at 72-599 Highway 111 (adjacent to the Palm Desert Chamber of Commerce).
Palm Springs Certified Farmers’ Market: The Market will once again be held at 2300 Baristo Rd. (adjacent to The Camelot Theatres)
La Quinta Certified Farmers’ Market: The Market will once again be held in Old Town La Quinta at 78100 Main Street (off Calle Tampico).
The Certified Farmers’ Markets are the Coachella Valley’s only State and County Certified Farmers’ Markets. That means all the fruits, vegetables, meats and other products that are on sale at the markets have been grown on California Certified farms. In addition, almost all the farms are located within a 90 mile radius of the markets (thus reducing the carbon footprint), and many of the products sold are “USDA Certified Organic.”
The Certified Farmers Markets are sponsored by the Palm Springs Cultural Center, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which was established to encourage the development of the cultural arts in the Coachella Valley with a specific focus in the areas of film, fine art, live performance, dance, music, and community festivals. The Center is dedicated to advancing education, to nurturing community-wide participation in the cultural arts, and to sponsoring scholarship awards for deserving individuals.