Are you looking for ways to incorporate more vegetables into your diet? Look no further than raw beets! These versatile root vegetables are a great addition to salads, smoothies, and even as a colorful side dish. But if you’ve never cooked with raw beets before, you might be intimidated by their tough exterior. Thatâ€™s where our ultimate guide comes in handy. We’ll show you how to select, prepare, and cook raw beets so you can enjoy their sweet and earthy flavor in all your favorite dishes.
Benefits of Cooking Raw Beets
Beets are a nutrient-dense superfood that have been used for their medicinal properties since ancient times. When cooked, raw beets can provide even more benefits than when eaten raw, due to the increased absorption of certain nutrients by the body. Here are some of the top nutritional benefits of cooking raw beets:
1. Boosts Energy
Cooked beets are a great source of natural energy, thanks to their high levels of dietary nitrates. These nitrates are converted into nitric oxide in the body, which helps to widen blood vessels and improve blood flow. This increased blood flow can help to deliver much-needed oxygen and nutrients to muscles, which can result in improved stamina and performance during physical activity.
2. Promotes Healthy Skin
Beets contain powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can help to keep your skin looking youthful and healthy. The high levels of vitamin C in cooked beets help to boost collagen production, which can improve skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Additionally, the high levels of folate in beets can help to repair damaged skin cells and promote healthy cell turnover.
3. Supports a Healthy Digestive System
Improved Digestion: The high fiber content in beets can help to promote healthy digestion. Fiber helps to keep food moving smoothly through the digestive tract, reducing the risk of constipation and other digestive issues.
Reduced Inflammation: The anti-inflammatory properties of cooked beets can also help to reduce inflammation in the digestive tract, which can alleviate symptoms of conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
4. Boosts Immune Function
Cooked beets are packed with immune-boosting nutrients like vitamin C, zinc, and copper. These nutrients work together to support healthy immune function and protect against infections and illnesses. In addition, the nitrates in beets can also help to improve circulation, which can help to ensure that immune cells reach areas of the body where they are needed most.
5. Supports a Healthy Heart
Lower Blood Pressure
Beets are a natural vasodilator, which means they can help to widen blood vessels and improve blood flow. This can help to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
The soluble fiber in cooked beets can help to lower cholesterol levels by binding to cholesterol in the bile and excreting it from the body.
The anti-inflammatory compounds in cooked beets can also help to reduce inflammation in the arteries, reducing the risk of plaque buildup and heart disease.
Cooking beets can unlock a host of nutritional benefits that can improve your health and wellness in countless ways. Try incorporating more cooked beets into your diet today to take advantage of these amazing health benefits!
Preparation Steps for Cooking Beets
Beets are a versatile root vegetable that can be cooked in many ways, from roasting to boiling, and can be used in salads, stews, and even desserts. Before cooking beets, it is important to prepare them properly to ensure that they are clean, peeled, and chopped into manageable sizes. Here are the essential preparation steps for cooking beets:
1. Wash the beets
Start by washing the beets thoroughly to remove any dirt and debris. Scrub the beets gently with a vegetable brush under cold running water. Make sure to clean the stems and leaves as well if they are still attached. Once the beets are clean, pat them dry with a clean cloth or paper towel.
2. Peel the beets
After washing, it’s time to peel the beets. You can use a vegetable peeler or a sharp paring knife to remove the skin. To make peeling easier, cut off the top and bottom of the beet before peeling. Be sure to remove any nicks or bumps on the surface as well. Beets can be slippery, so be careful when handling them to avoid injury.
3. Chop the beets into manageable sizes
Once the beets are peeled, it’s time to cut them into manageable sizes for cooking. The size of the beet will determine how long it takes to cook. Large beets can take longer to cook, so it’s best to cut them into smaller pieces. To do this, cut the beet in half, then into quarters. From there, slice the quarters into smaller pieces. The size will depend on the recipe you are using, but generally, smaller pieces cook faster and more evenly. Aim for 1-2 inch cubes for roasting, and smaller chunks for boiling or steaming.
Cooking Methods for Beets
Beets are a versatile and nutritious root vegetable that can be cooked in a variety of ways. Here are some of the most popular cooking methods for beets:
Boiling is a quick and easy way to cook beets, and it’s also one of the healthiest. Simply wash the beets, cut off the greens and the root, and place them in a pot of boiling water. Cover the pot with a lid and let the beets simmer for 30 to 60 minutes, or until they’re tender. Drain the beets and let them cool before peeling off the skins with your fingers or a knife.
Steaming is another healthy cooking method that preserves the nutrients in beets. To steam beets, first wash and cut off the greens and root. Then, place the beets in a steamer basket over a pot of boiling water. Cover the pot with a lid and steam the beets for 30 to 60 minutes, depending on their size and how tender you want them to be. Once they’re done, remove the beets from the steamer basket and let them cool before peeling off the skins.
Roasting beets in the oven brings out their natural sweetness and gives them a crispy texture. To roast beets, preheat your oven to 375Â°F (190Â°C). Wash and cut off the greens and root, then wrap each beet individually in aluminum foil. Place the wrapped beets on a baking sheet and roast them in the oven for 45 to 90 minutes, depending on their size and how tender you want them to be. Once they’re done, remove the beets from the oven and let them cool before peeling off the skins.
Grilling beets is a great way to add flavor and smokiness to the root vegetable. Wash and cut off the greens and root, then slice the beets into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Brush both sides of the slices with olive oil and season them with salt and pepper. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat and place the beet slices on the grill. Grill each side for 3 to 5 minutes, or until they’re tender and have grill marks. Once they’re done, remove the beet slices from the grill and let them cool before serving.
Recipe Ideas for Cooking Beets
Beets are an incredibly versatile vegetable that can be cooked in many different ways. Here are some delicious and easy-to-cook recipe ideas for cooking beets, including beet chips, beet hummus, roasted beet salad, and beet soup.
1. Beet Chips
Beet chips are a great alternative to potato chips and are incredibly easy to make. Simply slice beets thinly and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and bake at 375Â°F for 10-15 minutes or until crispy.
2. Beet Hummus
Beet hummus is a colorful and flavorful twist on traditional hummus. Roast beets until they are soft, then blend them with chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic for a delicious dip that’s perfect for snacking.
3. Roasted Beet Salad
A simple roasted beet salad can be made by roasting beets until they are soft and tender. Slice the roasted beets and arrange them on a bed of arugula or mixed greens. Top with crumbled goat cheese, chopped walnuts, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
4. Beet Soup
Beet soup is a warming winter recipe that pairs the sweetness of beets with the earthy flavors of root vegetables. SautÃ© chopped onion, carrot, and celery in olive oil until soft, then add chopped beets and vegetable broth. Simmer until the vegetables are tender, then blend the mixture until smooth.
5. Beet and Goat Cheese Tart
Beet and goat cheese tart is a showstopping dish that’s perfect for entertaining. Roll out store-bought puff pastry and place it in a tart tin. Layer slices of roasted beet and crumbled goat cheese on top, then bake in the oven until the pastry is golden and the cheese is lightly browned. Serve with a side salad for a delicious lunch or dinner.
Tips for Storing and Reheating Cooked Beets
Cooking beets may seem daunting at first, but once you get the hang of it, this versatile vegetable can be used in everything from salads to smoothies. However, have you ever faced the problem of making too many beets and not knowing how to store or reheat them? Fear not, as we have some tips to help you keep your beets fresh and tasty.
Storing Cooked Beets
If you have leftover cooked beets, it’s important to store them properly to prevent spoilage. Follow these tips:
- First, let the beets cool down to room temperature before storing them. Don’t put hot food into the fridge or freezer. This can cause the temperature to rise, which can lead to bacteria growth.
- You can store cooked beets in the fridge for up to five days. Wrap them in plastic or put them in an airtight container to keep them fresh.
- If you want to store the beets for longer, you can freeze them. Put the cooked beets in an airtight container or a freezer bag. Make sure to label the container with the date so you know when to use them by. Cooked beets can be frozen for up to six months.
Reheating Cooked Beets
Once you’re ready to enjoy your leftover beets, there are a few ways you can reheat them without losing their texture and flavor. Here are some options:
- If you have cooked beets in the fridge, you can reheat them in the microwave. Place the beets in a microwave-safe dish and heat them for 30 seconds to a minute. Make sure to stir them halfway through to ensure they heat evenly.
- You can also reheat cooked beets on the stove. Put the beets in a saucepan and add a splash of water or oil to prevent them from sticking to the pan. Heat them on medium-low, stirring occasionally, until they’re heated through.
- If you have frozen beets, thaw them in the fridge overnight before reheating them. Once they’re thawed, you can use the microwave or stove methods above to heat them up.
Thanks for Reading!
We hope this ultimate guide on cooking raw beets has been helpful and inspiring for you! Whether you’re a beet lover or a newcomer to this superfood, there are so many delicious and nutritious ways to enjoy beets in your meals. From roasting to juicing to salads and beyond, the possibilities are endless. Don’t be afraid to experiment and get creative in the kitchen!
Cooking Raw Beets: Your Ultimate Guide
- 4 medium-sized beets
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Optional: herbs and spices to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius).
- Wash the beets thoroughly and trim off the tops and tails. Peel the beets with a vegetable peeler or a sharp knife, then cut them into small pieces.
- In a large bowl, toss the beets with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and black pepper (plus any additional herbs or spices of your choice). Mix well to ensure the beets are evenly coated.
- Spread the beets in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the beets are tender and lightly caramelized on the outside. Serve hot or cold, depending on your preference.