How to Cook Beets for a Nutritious Meal

Tastessence Staff Oct 6, 2018
Beets are known for their pinkish red color and great flavor as well as for their nutritious value. A variety of dishes can be prepared with beets, using different methods. Let's know about how to cook beets.

Did You Know?

Regular consumption of fresh beet juice is beneficial if you're suffering from anemia, low blood hemoglobin, and hypertension. Beet juice is also beneficial for boosting the body's metabolic rate and removing free radicals from the body, acting as one of Nature's most potent fitness and anti-aging elixirs.
Beet or beetroot is an edible root vegetable. It has a high nutritional value, as it is an excellent source of carbohydrates, proteins, and dietary fibers. It is rich in essential minerals such as iron and calcium, as well as other vital nutrients like folic acid and antioxidants.
You can prepare a number of delicious dishes with beets, using different combinations. Beetroot can be eaten in baked, boiled, and steamed form or cold, as in a salad. Betanin obtained from beetroots is used as red food colorants.
It can improve the colour of sauces, tomato paste, jams and jellies, candies, desserts and cereals. Red beets are used to make a red, rich, Burgundy-style wine. Varieties of beets are sugar beets, fodder beet wurzel, beetroot or table beet, etc.

Cooking Beets

There are two common ways to cook beets - boiling and roasting. While preparing the beets for cooking, always wear kitchen gloves as beet juice can stain your skin. If your hands are stained during the cleaning or cooking of beet, then such stain can be removed by rubbing some lemon juice on your skin.
Always cook the beets lightly, as excessive heat diminishes its anticancer properties. You can add some acidic ingredient, such as vinegar or lemon juice, to improve the color and flavor of the beet.

Boiling

When you choose to boil beets, then you need not peel it. Simply cut off its tail and any root fibers that may be sticking out of it. Cut the beet into small cubes if you wish. Place the cubes/pieces in a pot of boiling water.
Allow them to cook for about 15-20 minutes, until they become tender. When the beet is tender, you can easily pierce it with a fork. Then, place the beets in cold water and peel off the skin, which is usually very thin, making it really easy to remove.

Roasting

First, peel the beets and cut them into small chunks. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the beets on a sheet of aluminum foil brushed with olive oil and add any seasoning of your choice to the beets.
Fold the top of the foil to form a tent and then place it in the oven. Another way is to place the beets in a roasting pan. Roast the beets for about 15-20 minutes or till they become tender. Thereafter, remove the skin.

Sautéing

Heat 1 tsp of extra-virgin olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add peeled and chopped (or diced) beets to the hot oil. Stir frequently. Then, add a little water and cover the pan with a lid. Sauté for about 5-15 minutes.

Steaming

Steaming makes the beets quite tender, without adding unnecessary fats. Place the peeled and chopped (or sliced) beets in a steamer. Cook for about 5-15 minutes, depending upon the size of the beets.
You can cook the beets whole too but there are chances that the innermost layers of bigger beets may remain tough due to under-cooking.
You can prepare a nutritious beet soup or spicy beet pickles that would excite your taste buds. While making a dish using beets, select fresh, firm, and round ones. They should be deep red in color and have a more or less regular surface.
Always choose small or medium-sized beets. Avoid soft, slimy or depressed beets. There should not be any black or dark sunken spots on the surface. Before cooking, you need to clean the beetroots thoroughly in order to remove soil and traces of chemicals and pesticides, if any.
Simply scrub the beet with a vegetable brush and hold it under running tap water. Whichever method you use for cooking beets, its sweet taste and nutritional value are sure to win you over if you were not particularly fond of this colorful root vegetable before.