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Why do most recipes using fresh beets call for them to be peeled? Aren’t most of the nutrients just under the skin? Are unpeeled beets safe to eat if washed thoroughly?

It is not absolutely necessary to peel baby beets, as they are edible and safe to eat if washed thoroughly. However, most people do choose to peel older beets, as the skin on older beets can be tough. The skin will peel easily after cooking. The green leaves and stem are edible as well. Choose beets with firm, smooth skins and non-wilted leaves if still attached. Smaller beets are more tender. Enjoy, beets are a delicious vegetable packed with nutrients. 
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The Expert: Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, is the President and CEO of the Produce for Better Health (PBH) Foundation. At PBH, she guides the Foundation’s efforts to advance the overall effort of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
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