Beets calories

Beets Nutrition For Health & Survival Garden Calories

Beets calories

Some time ago I researched and reported on vegetable garden calories. I wanted to know which vegetables are better to grow for the sake of survival & preparedness (calories!).

I knew that most vegetables are pretty low in calories and may not be very practical to grow compared with others if one were to consider SHTF survival (calories!).

While beets are not as high in calories as potatoes and corn, beets in your garden make for a pretty good ‘survival food’.

Beets from the garden contain about 180 calories per pound (potatoes and corn — about 350 calories per pound).

Why Beets?

1. Beets are very easy to grow.
2. Beets grow fast!
3. You can eat their leaves and stems!
4. Fairly high in calories.
5. Will store will during the winter.
6. Beets Nutrition: They’re apparently healthy for you!



This year I grew a particular variety of beets in part of a raised garden bed as an experiment. It was wildly successful!

I planted them (seed) on May 31 and harvested on August 2 (9 weeks).

I could have harvested sooner but I wanted to wait until the exposed ‘shoulders’ of the beets were big (about 2″ diameter – some were bigger and a few were smaller).

They were maintenance free. Their large leaves shaded any potential weeds from growing.



Their large leaves are great for salads. You could also snip off a leaf or two during their growth period.

The stems are also edible. I tried cutting them into pieces and fried them in a pan with oil. Tasted fine.

Beets harvesting


I am trying an experiment. I put a few dozen of them in a container with sand (slightly damp sand). While you could ‘can’ them, I want to see how long they will last without any external energy required.

Leave the root intact and simply cut the leaf stems leaving about 2 inches. Layer them in sand. I place the cover onto the container to keep the dampness intact.

Online research indicates they should last 2 to 4 months. We’ll see… I’ve stored potatoes which have lasted about 4 to 5 months…

Garden beets in a bowl

Store beets in sand



Online research reveals apparent health benefits of beets. These include:

– lower your blood pressure
– boost stamina
– fight inflammation
– phytonutrients (deep crimson color) may help ward off cancer
– immune-boosting vitamin C



In one cup of beets (,

0.2g Fat
0.0g Cholesterol
106mg Sodium

3.8g Dietary fiber
9.2g Sugars
(13g Total Carbs)

2.2g Protein
21.8mg Calcium
442mg Potassium


You probably won’t be eating much meat during ‘hard times’ so it will be important to seriously consider garden vegetable calories and experiment NOW rather than LATER.

Discover what grows well in your area, your soil, your environment. These will be what you should concentrate on. Experiment every year with something new in addition to what you know works.

I have an ongoing experiment with growing potatoes in a barrel (two barrels actually). They look to be doing great. When I harvest them I will let you know (and will write an article)!

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  1. Ken;
    Curious of they type you have growing, I’m vary happy with the Detroit Dark Red.
    Usually harvest at around 2.5 to 3″ diameter. At they size they are not “pithy” yet.
    I do a HUGE amount of pickled beets, but also just can beets without spices.
    On the wintering over, have had them last 3-4 months just in a box in a very cool (not freezing) dry area.
    I also can the stems and leaves as “greens” with a touch of salt (not needed).
    All the Canned stuff last for years and years, if it’s not eaten in 6 months HAHAHA
    Great Info, thanks Young Man

    1. NRP,
      The Beets are called “Early Wonder Beet”. Here’s the link.

      I tried these because of their quick grow time (since I live in a short growing season). From seed to harvest I could have done it in 48 days (although I waited 2 weeks longer for bigger beets).

  2. Definitely going to have to look into these. I’m not a fan of beets per se, but we do need to eat healthier and hopefully these will prosper in our weird soil.

  3. I LOVE BEETS! Especially the Golden Beets! Love the tops with them. Problem is, beets don’t always love me. I will just say that they tend to cause me stomach issues.

  4. Im still eating squash right now. I eat a lot of beets during the fall months. I have not tried to grow them yet.

    Do they require a lot of fertilizer or other amendments to your soil? Can you “hill” them like people do with potatoes?

    1. Calirefugee;
      Beets are not a root crop per say like Potatoes, more like a HUGE Radish. Usually I plant them in a row spaced 9″ placing seeds 2″ apart. in a Flat bed not mounded.
      I have found that no extra or different fertilizers are needed for a good crop. They do like water though,
      I will admit I did get lazy this year and did not “thin” them, so will see what kinda mess I end up with, but they are already about 14″ tall and growing like crazy. They also like a little cooler weather, so they are a little behind, but will be good to go in a month.

  5. Beets greens, washed, steamed, in a bowl with a little apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper, best green out there, imo only. Tiny beets, leave them with the greens, good and good for the body. Detroit Reds, short season also.

    1. Or washed, dried, then wilted with a little hot bacon grease and hot vinegar. Yummy!

  6. We always grow beets. The bulb grows above ground, only the roots and end are in the soil. They are also a common ingredient when we use our juicer. They do not ferment well as they get slimy.

    1. OC-OARR, have you tried beet kvass? I haven’t yet, but I’m experimenting with water kefir and it’s on my list of things to try.

    1. CR since it is an early crop not too many critters. Maybe a flea beetles. Makes tiny holes in the leaves. I don’t recall if wire worms like the root. Of course a ground hog might like the leaves.

    2. CR;
      I don’t have the critter problems since the 2′ high raised beds. seems Rabbits are somewhat laze around here. The Tree Rats do occasionally visit, but they do taste gooders when fried right :-)
      Bugs and worms seem to not visit, I set one Urinal Cake at one end of the Garden, does not seem to bother the bees.

  7. Back in another life the husband of the time ate a whole jar of pickled beets. next morning I hear this cry from the bathroom, “I’m dying what has happened OMG”. I ran in and started laughing as his poop was red with beets color. LOL Just remember folks that don’t know they can color your poop!

  8. I love beets as a crop and would grow them if shtf also because they are so easy and we eat the entire product. My spouse and I just had a discussion on this topic yesterday about what would go In the ground if we had limited time or shtf. Beets we’re number one for all those reasons.

    I tried another type with a green leaf this year, along wit he Detroit Red that I usually grow. We found we still prefer the Detroit variety, although I may try Ken’s variety next year. They are easy to grow, but when I grew a second crop last year and tried leaving them I the ground in September, a critter ate the beet bulb….same with my sweet potatoes!

    I cook, the bulb, stems, and leaves. I steam or put in boiling water the bulb cut up first, then the stems about 4 minutes later, and then the leaves about 3 minutes later. Once the bulb pieces are al dente, I take them out and put them in a pan with olive oil or bacon fat and stir fry a tad, then salt and pepper. Yummy! We also eat raw beet bulbs sliced in our salads which are very tasty. We have had company that goes nuts over the beets prepared with all parts and still some who won’t taste – just say they taste like dirt. So I have to ask if they have eaten dirt lately.

    I haven’t had enough left over to pickle yet, so hopefully I will learn that next year.

    They will not only turn poop red, your urine looks like you have a kidney infection! It is funny to hear the reaction of people when they visit the restroom after enjoying the beets.

    1. DAMed
      Yeah, told my brother one time, when we were kids.
      My poo was red.
      Being the bro that he was (is)
      Replied ….. that’s not good. Your dying……

    2. It is known that some people have taste buds that do not taste the beets the way others do, all they taste is a dirt flavor. The red poop is pretty scary if you don’t know it’s coming. Kind of like the way your pee smells like asparagus after eating it. After all, all sorts of foods leave a trail; beans, White Castle hamburgers, onions, prunes….

      1. OC – it think they have an earthly taste but I don’t remember eating dirt as a kid. I know that cilantro tastes soapy to me and I read the same thing about the people that taste the soap for that herb. Seems like I prefer dirt over soap! Go figure. I always said asparagus gives a person hamster pee cause that is what it smells like to me. Guess we need to be mindful what we eat if we are on the run.

  9. I can grow beet tops but never produce bulbs. Not sure what’s wrong. Have tried several years in different spots but always the same. Something must be missing in my soil or maybe too much of something. Maybe not enough sunlight.

    1. @veggies
      I started having very good luck with beets after tilling in a lot of organic matter, composted manure, hard wood ashes, bone meal and some 8-8-8.

      1. Crabbie 8-8-8 is my go to fertilizer and the one I try to buy extra bags of for SHTF.

        Fertilizer is a blessing, cheap and stores easily for years. Even Organic Gardeners need it for SHTF because YOUR NOT going to have front loaders of well aged fertilizer and such a Cell Phone Call away.

        Just my humble opinion, I try to be organic as possible and build up my compost piles and vermaculture but I want fresh veggies if I have the water for them :-)

  10. Heirloom beats work in SWFL Seed in Late October for Early Winter Crop young leaves are great in salad.
    FYI if your in the mood… use the juice to die your tighty whities to pink :O
    Just saying the ladies like it :)

  11. Beets are definitely one thing I grow. My favorite are cylinder beets. they will get about 6 inches long and almost an inch in diameter. Sometimes bigger. They are sweet and firm when cooked. And when sliced, all the slices are the same size. They freeze well, and also are good pickled. The tops are as good as any beets tops I’ve tried. My wife makes Harvard beets, which is some kind of sweet sauce the precooked beets are put in. I don’t know, but it sure tastes good. This year I also put in a short row of white beets, which taste just as good as red beets, but with no “bleeding” in the bathroom, if you know what I mean. I mainly planted those for the tops though. They produce a lot of tops, and are just as good as the red beet tops or better. Early Wonders are also a favorite, as they seem to grow really fast, and you don’t have to wait as long. Then I freeze or can the later maturing stuff. Oh! By the way, cylinder beets are also heirloom.

  12. We do not have room to grow beets, sooooo

    I was blessed with the opportunity to purchase 25lbs of organic beets from a sister at church. She arranged for a large shipment from california that also brought in organic carrots, nuts, and navel and mandarin oranges.

    Canned the beets, carrots and mandarin oranges :)

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