Fresh beets vary in color and can be golden yellow and deep purple. The leafy tops of the beet are edible and are sometimes uses in salads.
Beets which are firm and do not have punctures are ripe and ready to eat. Raw beets can be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag for up to 2 weeks.
Beets grow during the fall and in places with mild winters they can grow during the colder months. Fresh beets should be washed well before cooking and the stem should be trimmed as well. After the beet has cooked, the skin gently peels away.