Heirloom Italian Candy Cane Beets

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The Candy Striped Beet may look like a vegetable straight out of a Dr. Seuss book, but this striped beet is very real! So real that you’ll find them in your farmshare box this week!

The Italian Candy Striped Beet, also known as a chioggia beet,  has its origins in Northern Italy and became popular in the 19th century. It’s most notable for its striking deep pink and white spirals, and the beet adds a beautiful pop of color to salads and soups.

Though the candy stripe beet can be prepared much like any other beet, the Candy Cane Beet has an especially sweet flavor—and it doesn’t ‘bleed’ as much as regular beets, meaning you don’t have to worry about bright red beet juice staining your fingers and clothes.

The Candy Cane beet matures very early and has a mild flavor, and therefore requires less cooking time than most varieties of beet.  Because they mature earlier the possess thinner skins that require care when washing beets to prevent breaking the skin, which  allows nutrients to escape.

Tip: When boiling Chioggia beets, add a splash of lemon juice or white vinegar to keep their color from fading.
Tip
Don’t throw away the greens!  The greens and the stems are edible, and make a great substitute for any green such as spinach, swiss chard, and bok choy. They can be steamed, sauteed, braised, added to soups, and eaten raw. They’re yummy and full of vitamins, so don’t waste them!

Beat the beet blues with these recipes.

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