Beetroots are an excellent source of folic acid. They are a very good source of fiber, manganese and potassium. Beet greens are a very good source of calcium, iron, vitamin A and C. Both beet greens and beetroots are a good source of phosphorus, magnesium, iron and vitamin B6. Betacyanin is the pigment that gives beetroot its color, and has powerful antioxidant properties.

Beetroot itself serve the benefit of lowering the cholesterol, lowering the blood pressure, prevent cardiovascular disease, cancer prevention and it supports a healthy liver function.

If you like beets, then you can try the recipe below. It may serve not just a wonderful snack but a healthy one.

A little sugar softens the edge of the vinegar here and complements the natural sweetness of the beets. Keep these on hand for healthy snacks, or add to salads.

1 bunch beets, greens cut away and reserved for another dish, scrubbed

1/3 cup red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar

Salt to taste

2 garlic cloves, cut in half

2 teaspoons sugar

1. Place the beets in a saucepan, cover with water, add 1/4 cup of the vinegar and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until tender, 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the beets. Remove from the heat, add the garlic to the pot and set aside to cool.

2. Remove the beets from the pot (do not drain), slip off the skins and cut in wedges.

3. Combine the remaining vinegar and the sugar. When the sugar has dissolved in the vinegar, stir in 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid from the beets. Toss with the beets and the garlic. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then remove the garlic from the marinade. Remove the beets from the marinade with a slotted spoon to serve.

Yield: Serves four.

Advance preparation: These beets will keep for at least a week in the refrigerator.

Recipe from Martha Rose Shulman can be reached at