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Attached to the beet’s green (edible) leaves is a round or oblong root.  Beets can be reddish-purple or golden/yellow.  They are highly water soluble and temperature sensitive.  They have a sweet taste because of their high sugar content.

Handling and Storage 
Beets are very delicate, the smallest bruise or puncture will cause the pigment to “bleed”, especially during cooking.  Choose small or medium-sized beets whose roots are firm, smooth-skinned, and deep in color.  Avoid beets that have spots, bruises, or soft, wet areas, which indicate spoilage.  Avoid shriveled ones as well, which means the beets are old and tough.  Do not wash beets before storing them.  Place them in a plastic bag and wrap the bag tightly around the beets to remove excess air.  They should last in the refrigerator for a few days.
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