How to Cook Beets: Ultimate Guide to Cooking Beets Perfectly Every Time

How to Cook Beets: Perfect way
17 min reading time

Cooking a tasty dish with beetroot (also known as beats) might feel intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Eating this vibrant root vegetable can be an incredibly flavorful and healthy addition to any meal if you know how to prepare it correctly! In today’s blog post, we’ll cover all the tips and tricks you need for perfecting your favorite beet-based recipes. From basic roasting techniques to utilizing unique seasoning blends, you’ll learn everything there is to know about how to cook beets in no time at all. So let’s get started!

How to Buy Beets for Cooking?

When shopping for good quality beets, look for firm, smooth, and blemish-free skin. The color should be deep and vibrant, ranging from dark red to purple. Smaller beets tend to be more tender and sweet, while larger ones can become fibrous. The beet greens should be fresh and vibrant, without any signs of wilting or yellowing. If possible, purchase beets with their greens still attached, as this is an indicator of freshness. Finally, avoid beets that are soft or shriveled, as they may be old or have lost their moisture content. By selecting high-quality beets, you’ll ensure a delicious and nutritious meal.

How to Wash the Beets?

When shopping for good quality beets, look for firm, smooth, and blemish-free skin. The color should be deep and vibrant, ranging from dark red to purple. Smaller beets tend to be more tender and sweet, while larger ones can become fibrous. The beet greens should be fresh and vibrant, without any signs of wilting or yellowing. If possible, purchase beets with their greens still attached, as this is an indicator of freshness. Finally, avoid beets that are soft or shriveled, as they may be old or have lost their moisture content. By selecting high-quality beets, you’ll ensure a delicious and nutritious meal.

Why is Washing the Beets Before Cooking Important?

Washing beets before cooking is crucial to ensure food safety and maintain their taste and quality. Beets, as root vegetables, grow underground and are exposed to dirt, soil, and potential contaminants such as bacteria, pesticides, or other harmful substances. Thoroughly washing beets helps remove these impurities from the surface, reducing the risk of foodborne illnesses and unwanted flavors in your dishes. Additionally, cleaning beets can help eliminate any grittiness that might affect the texture of your recipes. Properly washing beets before cooking contributes to a more enjoyable and safe eating experience.

How to Peel the Beets?

To peel beets, first, trim off the root and stem ends. Then, use a vegetable peeler or a sharp paring knife to remove the skin. Hold the beet in one hand and the peeler or knife in the other, applying gentle pressure as you slide the blade along the surface of the beet, following its contours. Alternatively, you can also cook the beets first (by boiling or roasting) and then use your fingers or a paper towel to rub off the softened skin. This method will make peeling easier, but be mindful of handling hot beets. Once the skin is removed, rinse the peeled beets under cold water to remove any remaining dirt or debris before proceeding with your recipe.

How to Cook Beets?

raw fresh organic beets

Beets are a delicious and nutritious root vegetable that can be enjoyed in a multitude of ways. If you’re looking to incorporate more beets into your diet, cooking them is a great way to start. There are many methods of how to cook beets, including boiling, roasting, grilling, and even microwaving. Whichever method you choose, cooking beets is a simple and delicious way to add more vegetables to your plate.

How to Boil Beats?

Boiling beets is an easy and effective way to cook them. Here are the steps you should follow to get delicious boiled beets:

  • Start by selecting the right beets. Rinse off any dirt and brush off any remaining soil using a vegetable scrubber. Trim off the leaves but leave one inch of stems on each beet.
  • Place your trimmed beets in a pot or large saucepan filled with enough cold water to cover them completely (as you would for other vegetables like potatoes). Set it over medium-high heat and bring it up to a boil, then reduce heat so that it simmers gently for about 15 minutes (this will depend on how big they are).
  • Once done cooking, remove from heat and drain well before transferring onto some kitchen paper towels on a cutting board; let cool slightly before handling – this will help prevent burning yourself when peeling if desired!
  • To peel your beetroots, use either your hands or tongs as too much force can easily damage the delicate skins underneath; once peeled (optional), you’re ready to store cut pieces away into airtight containers in the fridge until ready for use! You could enjoy boiled beetroot just as it is with some salt or drizzled olive oil over top—or try adding them to salads for extra flavor & color!

How to Steam Beets?

Steaming beets is an easy way to prepare them and can be done in just a few simple steps! Here’s how:

  • Start by washing the beets thoroughly with cold water to remove any dirt or debris.
  • Cut off the ends of the beets and peel off their skins with a knife or vegetable peeler. Make sure you cut away any tough and fibrous bits of skin as they do not soften when cooked.
  • Slice the beet into 1/4-inch slices, discs, cubes, or wedges depending on how you prefer them cooked – it’s up to you! Some people like to roast their beet pieces before steaming them for extra flavor, so if that interests you try roasting at 400°F for 10 minutes before continuing to the next step.
  • Arrange the sliced (and roasted) beet pieces in an even layer in a steamer basket over boiling water – make sure all of the pieces are touching only steam and not submerged within the boiling water itself! Cover with a lid and allow it to steam until it reaches desired tenderness (approximately 8-15 minutes). Check on it every 5 minutes or so during this time as cooking times may vary based upon the size of cuttings etc. Once done take off the heat and let cool briefly before serving/eating warm with your favorite seasoning(s). Enjoy your freshly steamed beet dish!
how to cook beets using different methods

How to Saute Beets?

Sauteing beets is a tasty and easy way to prepare them! Here are some step-by-step instructions to sauté beets:

  • Begin by washing the beets thoroughly, as you would any vegetable that’s going to be eaten raw or cooked. Then peel the skin off. If you’re dealing with large beats, cut them up into cubes so they cook more evenly on all sides.
  • Heat up your skillet on medium heat, then add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil per 3 cups of beet cubes into the pan (or 24 to 30 ounces). When the oil has been heated through, reduce the heat to low and throw your cubed beet pieces into the pan, stirring constantly until they are tender but still retain their bright color – about 5 minutes or so depending on how big the cubes were cut.
  • Once everything is lightly browned and tender (you should test one piece after 10 minutes), increase the heat back up to medium and sprinkle pre-made seasonings such as rosemary or garlic powder over the top if desired – for added flavor! Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until everything is well blended together then turn off the heat before serving your delicious sautéed beets!

How to Roast Beets?

Roasting beets effectively enhances their inherent sweetness and rich, earthy taste, making it an excellent cooking method to enjoy these flavors. Here’s an easy step-by-step guide on how to roast beets in the oven:

  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius).
  • Wash and peel the beets, then chop them into one-inch cubes. Place the cubes onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, then drizzle with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper according to taste.
  • Roast for about 30 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. If you are using smaller or larger pieces of beet, adjust the cooking time accordingly – smaller pieces will cook faster than bigger ones!
  • Remove from heat once roasted and let cool for 5 minutes before serving either hot or cold as desired!

Bonus Tip: To give your roasted beets an extra boost of flavor try adding additional spices such as cumin, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, or herbs like dill or thyme while roasting!

How to Grill Beets?

Grilling beets is an easy and tasty way to prepare them. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to grill beets:

  • Preheat your grill or barbecue to medium heat.
  • Peel the beets and cut them into wedges or cubes, about 3/4 inch thick (you can also leave them whole if they’re small). Place the pieces in a bowl and coat them with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, oregano—or any other favorite herbs or spices you have on hand. Mix everything together until all of the beet pieces are evenly coated in seasoning.
  • Place a large sheet of aluminum foil on your preheated grill grates then place the seasoned beet cubes or wedges onto the foil in one single layer (if necessary use multiple sheets of foil). Close the lid for 4-5 minutes before flipping each piece over using tongs or a spatula; cook for another 4-6 minutes until tender and slightly charred around the edges (cook time will depend on the size of beet pieces).
  • Remove from heat and serve warm as a side dish with grilled steak, chicken breast, or fish filet –or enjoy as a main course topped with feta cheese and mixed greens salad!

How to Cook Beets in a Microwave?

Cooking beets in a microwave is an incredibly easy and reliable way to prepare them. Here is a step-by-step guide to cooking perfect beets in the microwave:

  • Wash the Beets – Start by washing the beets well under cold running water, using your hands to scrub off any dirt or debris. Once clean, pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Cut off Leaves and Stalks – Using kitchen scissors or a knife cut off the stalk and leaves from each of your washed beets (leaves are edible too). Make sure you leave at least 1-2 inches of stem attached as this helps prevent juices from escaping during cooking time.
  • Place on Plate – Take an ovenproof plate and place all of your prepared beets on it. Make sure all the beetroots are evenly spaced out so that they cook properly in the microwave without sticking together or getting dry edges.
  • Add Fluid – Pour half a cup of boiling water over each beetroot, covering all sides evenly with liquid (you can use broth instead for added flavor). This will help steam them so that they become soft when cooked in the microwave later on.
  • Cover Adaptor Plate – Put on an adaptor plate or piece of foil over your plate so that it forms an airtight seal around its edges. This will keep moisture inside during cooking which prevents drying out while still allowing steam to escape slowly through small holes on top for even heat distribution throughout every layer of food being cooked below it!
  • Microwave On High Heat – Cook on high heat for 5 minutes per inch (in diameter) size beetroot followed by 10 minutes per pound weight of combined ingredients used; total time depends upon how many beets you’re cooking at once but should never exceed 20 minutes overall if you want tender results with no dry outer layers remaining after finished steaming! If needed add more liquid before beginning again from step five onwards until desired consistency is achieved!
  • Let Cool Before Eating – Allow cooling down completely then peel away skin using fingers/knife before serving either hot or cold depending upon preference; enjoy with favorite accompaniments such as boiled potatoes/roasted vegetables etc.

How to Cook Beets in an Air Fryer?

Cooking beets in an air fryer is a fantastic way to get perfectly cooked beets in a short period of time with minimal effort! Here’s exactly how to do it:

  • Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C).
  • Wash and peel the beets, then slice them into 1/2-inch thick slices. If you like, you can also cut them into cubes or wedges instead.
  • Place your beet slices into the preheated air fryer basket and spray lightly with cooking oil for extra crispiness if desired.
  • Air fry for 12-15 minutes, shaking the basket once during the cooking time for even heating coverage. You’ll know they are done when they have reached an internal temperature of at least 165°F (75°C) when tested with a meat thermometer inserted into one of the thicker pieces of beet flesh; this should occur between 12-15 minutes depending on the thickness of slices and power output level of your particular air fryer model that you’re using – just keep checking periodically until desired doneness level is achieved!
  • Serve warm as part of any meal or let cool before serving as part of a salad or side dish!

How to Cook Beet Greens?

Beet greens are an incredibly healthy and delicious vegetable that can be used in many different ways! They are high in iron, vitamins A and C, and fiber. Here’s a step-by-step guide for cooking up some tasty beet greens:

  • Prep the Greens – Start by cleaning the beet greens under cold running water. Gently rub any dirt or grit away with your fingers while rinsing them. If needed, trim off any tough parts of the stem too.
  • Boil Them – Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over medium heat then add the cleaned beet greens to it—cook until tender (this usually takes about 5 minutes). As soon as they are done cooking, drain off all of the boiling liquid and rinse them with cool tap water.
  • Sauté – Heat some oil (such as olive oil) in a skillet over medium-high heat then add the blanched beet greens along with minced garlic or other herbs you like such as thyme or oregano. Cook until desired doneness is reached; typically this should only take about 4 minutes stirring occasionally so everything cooks evenly.
  • Serve – Now your cooked beets green are ready for eating! Enjoy them on their own, served alongside another side dish, or added to salads for extra nutrition and flavor!

Can Beets be Eaten Raw?

Yes, beets can be eaten raw and are a delicious, nutritious addition to various dishes. Raw beets have a crunchy texture and an earthy, slightly sweet taste. They can be grated or thinly sliced and added to salads, slaws, or sandwiches for a burst of color and flavor. Consuming raw beets allows you to retain more of their nutrients, as some vitamins and minerals can be lost during the cooking process. However, it’s essential to wash and peel raw beets thoroughly before consuming them to remove any dirt or debris from the surface.

Nutrition Information of Beets

Beets are a low-calorie, nutrient-dense vegetable that offers a variety of essential vitamins and minerals. This makes beets a nutritious addition to any diet, offering various health benefits.

Given below is a table stating the nutritional information of beets per 100 gm:

NutrientAmount per 100 grams
Calories43 kcal
Carbohydrates9.56 g
Sugars6.76 g
Dietary Fiber2.8 g
Protein1.61 g
Fat0.17 g
Vitamin C4.9 mg
Vitamin A2 µg
Vitamin B60.067 mg
Vitamin K0.3 µg
Folate109 µg
Iron0.8 mg
Magnesium23 mg
Potassium325 mg
Nutritional Information of Beets

What are the Health Benefits of Beets?

Beets are packed with essential nutrients and offer numerous health benefits. They are a great source of dietary fiber, which aids digestion and promotes gut health. Beets are rich in antioxidants, particularly betalains, which help combat inflammation and protect against oxidative stress. The high nitrate content in beets may help lower blood pressure by improving blood vessel dilation, promoting better blood flow.

Additionally, beets contain a good amount of folate, an essential nutrient for DNA synthesis and repair, as well as proper brain function. Lastly, the presence of essential minerals like potassium, magnesium, and iron in beets contributes to overall heart health, muscle function, and red blood cell production. Incorporating beets into your diet can provide these health benefits and support overall well-being.

Some Interesting Recipes with Beets

Beet Root Patties or cutlet

Here are some delicious recipes with beets:

1. Beet and Goat Cheese Salad: Combine roasted or boiled beets with fresh arugula, crumbled goat cheese, toasted walnuts, and thinly sliced red onion. Drizzle with a tangy balsamic vinaigrette for a colorful and delicious salad.

2. Beet Hummus: Blend cooked beets with chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil to create a vibrant pink hummus that’s perfect for dipping veggies or spreading on sandwiches.

3. Beet Risotto: Cook Arborio rice in a mixture of beet juice, vegetable broth, and white wine, adding diced beets, grated Parmesan cheese, and chopped fresh herbs towards the end for a rich and creamy beet risotto.

4. Beet Gazpacho: Blend raw beets with cucumber, bell pepper, tomato, red onion, garlic, and some vegetable broth until smooth. Chill the soup and serve garnished with diced avocado, croutons, and a drizzle of sour cream or yogurt.

5. Beetroot Brownies: Combine grated raw beets with cocoa powder, sugar, flour, eggs, and melted chocolate for a moist and fudgy brownie with a hidden veggie twist.

These unique and flavorful beet recipes are perfect for showcasing the versatility and vibrant color of this nutritious root vegetable. Enjoy experimenting with these dishes and impress your friends and family with your culinary creativity.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you use beet juice or beet powder as a natural food coloring when cooking other dishes?

Yes, beet juice and beet powder can be used as natural food colorings for various recipes, including baked goods, smoothies, and sauces. They add a beautiful hue without artificial additives and provide additional nutrients.

How can I incorporate beets into popular dishes like pasta, pizza, or sandwiches?

Get creative by adding cooked, sliced beets to pasta sauces, using beet puree as a pizza base, or layering thin slices of raw or cooked beets in sandwiches for an extra burst of flavor and nutrition.

How can I prevent beets from bleeding their vibrant color during cooking and staining other ingredients in my dish?

To minimize color bleeding, add a splash of vinegar or lemon juice to the cooking liquid, or wrap individual beets in foil when roasting. You can also cook beets separately and add them to your dish just before serving.

Can you cook beets with the skin on, and how does it affect their flavor and texture?

Yes, you can cook beets with their skin on, which helps to retain nutrients and adds a slightly earthy flavor. The skin becomes tender during cooking and can be easily removed afterward if desired.

Bottom Line

The possibilities for cooking beets are truly endless. From roasting and baking to sautéing and pickling, there’s always a new tasty dish you can create from these delightful root vegetables. And with their gorgeous array of colors, beets add an extra touch of beauty to any plate. So the next time you’re looking for a new way to spruce up your table, don’t forget about the exquisite beets! With all their incredible flavors and endless possibilities for culinary creativity, they really can take any meal to the next level. They may not be everyone’s favorite food, but once you know how to cook beets perfectly you’ll never look at them the same again!

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