If you’re looking for a healthy and delicious vegetable to add to your meals, look no further than beets. Not only are they a great source of fiber, vitamin C, and potassium, but they can also be cooked in a variety of ways to suit any taste. Whether you prefer them roasted, boiled, or even juiced, mastering the art of cooking beets is easier than you think. In this article, we’ll walk you through some simple steps to help you cook beets to perfection.
Are Beets Nutritious?
Beets or beetroot are an excellent source of various essential nutrients that are beneficial for your overall health. Fresh beets are low in calories, high in fiber, and contain vitamins A, B, and C, as well as minerals like potassium, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. They also contain antioxidants such as betalains, which are responsible for their vibrant color, and have anti-inflammatory properties.
The Health Benefits of Beets
The rich nutritional content of beets means they offer a range of health benefits. Eating beets can help you:
- Lower blood pressure: The high concentration of nitrates in beets can help dilate blood vessels, which can lead to lower blood pressure levels and reduced risk of heart disease.
- Reduce inflammation: The betalains in beets have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation throughout the body.
- Boost exercise performance: The nitrates in beets can also improve athletic performance by increasing blood flow and oxygen delivery to muscles.
- Boost cognitive function: The nitrates in beets can help increase blood flow to the brain, which can improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of age-related cognitive decline.
What Are the Different Ways to Cook Beets?
Beets are a versatile root vegetable that can be cooked in many ways. Here are some of the most popular methods:
Boiling beets is a quick and easy way to cook them. First, wash the beets and remove the tops and tails. Next, place the beets in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the beets are tender when pierced with a fork, usually 30-45 minutes depending on the size of the beets.
Roasting beets brings out their natural sweetness and creates a delicious caramelized exterior. To roast beets, cut off the tops and tails, then wrap them in foil with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Bake at 375Â°F for about an hour, or until the beets are tender.
Grilling beets is a great way to add smoky flavor to them. First, wash the beets and remove the tops and tails. Slice them into rounds or wedges and brush with olive oil. Heat the grill to medium-high and grill the beets for about 10-15 minutes, flipping once, until they are tender and have grill marks.
Steaming beets is a healthy cooking method that retains their nutrients. To steam beets, first wash them and remove the tops and tails. Cut the beets into cubes or wedges, then place them in a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover and cook until the beets are tender, usually 15-20 minutes.
Which Cooking Method Preserves the Nutrients in Beets?
Beets are known for their impressive nutritional value, containing essential vitamins and minerals that can contribute to overall health. However, the nutrients in beets can be easily lost during the cooking process if not done correctly. That’s why it’s essential to know which cooking method preserves the nutrients in beets the most.
Steaming beets is considered the best cooking method to preserve the nutrients in beets. The reason is that steaming doesn’t involve direct contact with water, which can lead to water-soluble nutrients leaching out. Instead, steaming allows beets to maintain their cell structure and retain their nutrients. While other cooking methods like boiling, roasting, or frying can lead to nutrient loss, steaming keeps almost all the nutrients intact.
Boiling beets is one of the most common cooking methods, but it’s not the most nutrient-preserving method. Boiling beets in water can result in nutrient loss because water-soluble nutrients like vitamin C, folate, and potassium can dissolve into the water. However, if you’re going to boil beets, it’s best to avoid peeling them entirely. The beet’s skin protects the nutrients from leaching out into the water, so they remain inside the beet.
Oven-roasting beets is a delicious way to cook them, but it can lead to nutrient loss. High heat in the oven can destroy some of the nutrients, so a lot of them will be lost during cooking. However, you can still roast beets and preserve some of their nutrient content by roasting them at a lower temperature, around 375Â°F, for about an hour.
Can You Eat Beet Greens?
Beet greens, the leafy tops of the beetroot plant, are not only edible, but also highly nutritious and delicious. These greens are packed with vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, iron, potassium, calcium and more, all of which offer various health benefits to our bodies. They are also low in calories, making them an excellent addition to any healthy diet. Here are some reasons why you should eat beet greens:
- Boost your immune system: Beet greens are loaded with vitamin C, which helps to boost the immune system and prevent infections.
- Promote bone health: Beet greens are a good source of vitamin K, which plays a vital role in bone health by increasing calcium absorption and reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
- Reduce the risk of chronic diseases: Beet greens contain powerful antioxidants that may help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Improve digestion: Beet greens are rich in fiber, which promotes digestive health and prevents constipation.
How Can You Easily Peel and Cut Beets?
If you’re new to cooking beets, the task of peeling and cutting them may seem daunting. Not only are they tough to cut through, but they can also stain your hands and clothes. However, with the right tools and techniques, you can easily peel and cut beets in no time.
Tools You’ll Need
Before you begin, gather the following tools:
- A vegetable peeler
- A sharp chef’s knife
- Cutting board
- Rubber or latex gloves (optional)
Peeling the Beets
To peel the beets, start by trimming the tops and tails with a knife. Then, grab your vegetable peeler and peel the skin off the beet. It’s best to hold onto the beet with a paper towel to avoid staining your hands, but if you have rubber or latex gloves, feel free to use those instead. Peel the entire surface of the beet until you’ve removed all of the tough outer skin.
Cutting the Beets
Once you’ve peeled the beets, it’s time to cut them into your desired shape and size. Begin by cutting the beet in half lengthwise. If the beet is really large, you may want to quarter it instead. Then, place the beet flat side down on your cutting board and slice it into your desired shape and size. You can cut the beets into cubes, slices, Julienne style or even grate them.
Tip: For easier cutting, try steaming the beet for 15-20 minutes before cutting. This will soften it up and make it less tough to slice through.
What Are Some Delicious Beet Recipes to Try?
Beets are a versatile vegetable that can be used in various dishes as an ingredient. Here are some beet recipes worth trying:
Beet Salad with Feta Cheese and Walnuts
This beet salad recipe is colorful, healthy, and delicious. To make this salad, you will need cooked beets, feta cheese, walnuts, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Cut the beets into small cubes and mix them with crumbled feta cheese and chopped walnuts. Drizzle some balsamic vinegar and olive oil on top of the salad, and it’s ready to serve.
Borscht is a hearty and flavorful soup that is popular in Eastern Europe. To make borscht, you will need beets, cabbage, carrots, onions, garlic, chicken or beef broth, and sour cream. Peel the beets and cut them into small pieces. Shred the cabbage and carrots and chop the onions and garlic. Cook the vegetables in the broth until they are tender. Season the soup with salt, black pepper, and dill. Serve borscht hot with a dollop of sour cream.
This beet hummus recipe is a colorful and healthy twist on the classic hummus. To make beet hummus, you will need cooked beets, chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil. Mix all the ingredients in a food processor until they are smooth and creamy. You can serve the beet hummus with pita bread, vegetables, or crackers.
Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese and Honey
This roasted beet recipe is a perfect side dish or appetizer. To make roasted beets, you will need beets, goat cheese, honey, and thyme. Preheat the oven to 400Â°F. Peel the beets and cut them into small cubes. Roast the beets in the oven for 30 minutes until they are tender. In a separate bowl, mix the goat cheese with honey and thyme. Serve the roasted beets with the sweet and savory goat cheese mixture on top.
This beetroot brownie recipe is a healthy and tasty treat. To make beetroot brownies, you will need cooked beets, cocoa powder, almond flour, eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Mix all the ingredients in a food processor until they are smooth. Pour the mixture into a baking dish and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Let the brownies cool down before cutting them into pieces.
Pickled beets are a classic recipe that adds a tangy flavor to your meals. To make pickled beets, you will need beets, vinegar, sugar, and spices such as cloves, cinnamon, and bay leaves. Peel the beets and cut them into thin slices. In a separate pot, boil the vinegar, sugar, and spices. Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the sliced beets. Let the beets marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving.
Thanks for Reading, Hope to See You Soon!
Thanks for taking the time to read our guide on how to master the art of cooking beets. We hope that with these easy steps, you’ll be able to create the perfect beet dishes that your family and friends will love. Don’t forget to experiment with different flavors and seasonings to create something truly unique! If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below. And remember, visit us again soon for more cooking tips and tricks!
Master the Art of Cooking Beets with These Easy Steps
- 4 medium beets
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup water
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- Preheat your oven to 400°F. While waiting, scrub the beets with a vegetable brush under running water. Trim the leaves and roots, leaving about an inch of both. Cut the beets into bite-sized pieces.
- In a large bowl, toss the beets with olive oil, salt, and pepper until evenly coated. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 30-45 minutes, or until tender.
- While the beets are roasting, make the glaze. In a saucepan, combine balsamic vinegar, honey, water, and minced garlic. Cook on low heat until reduced and thickened.
- Once the beets are done, transfer to a large bowl and pour the glaze over them. Toss until coated and serve immediately.