3 Simple Beet Preparations
Learning to love beets is a worthwhile endeavor. I’ve heard people claim to have a genetic predisposition to dislike this magenta root, but I couldn’t imagine not being enamored with these sweet earthy lumps. Once loved, they also open up a world of health benefits. Check out our 6 Health Benefits of Eating Beets for more on their amazing nutritive properties.
When you’re confronting a bag of crimson, knobby, round beets the first thing you’ll want to do is chop off the greens, if they came attached. These are delicious and nutritious, and can be braised and dashed with lemon juice for a great side dish.
Next wash them, brushing lightly to remove any crusted-on dirt. Then choose one of the following methods of preparation:
By far my favorite preparation method, as it brings out the sweetness in these earthy suckers. Preheat oven to 350°. Wrap your washed and trimmed beets in aluminum foil. Place them in the oven. Cook for 30 minutes and stick a pairing knife in them. Does it slide in nice and easy? No? Then cook for ten minutes more. Yes? pull them out, let them cool or run them under cool water and peel off outer skin with your hands. Don’t want you hands looking like a murder scene? Rub them with oil first or wear gloves. Cooking time varies with the size of the beet. You can also peel and chop them first, tossing in oil, for a more caramelized result. What next? Try this recipe – Roasted Beets, Hazelnuts and Gorgonzola Recipe
Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Add a tablespoon of salt. Cut the root tail off the bottom and the greens off the end and stand the beet on the larger flat cut. Using a sharp chef’s knife slice away the outer skin. Cut in half and cube or slice for whatever recipe you’re going for. Drop them in the water. Cook until tender. Cooking time will vary on the size of your cuts.
This method is fast, but it drains a lot of the beets natural health benefits out into the water. Good for pickling, chilling and tossing into salads and just tossing with vinegar and eating, it’s better to steam them to tenderness to retain more nutrients. If steaming you can cut them or steam them whole. Once partially cooked, but still crunchy, try this recipe – Ginger and Orange Pickled Beets
Seriously, raw beets are delicious. The best way to eat them raw is to either grate them into a salad or slice them very thin on a mandolin and then soak them in vinegar for a couple of hours. The vinegar essentially cooks them and slightly tenderizes them, but they’ll still have a good crunch. Season with salt and pepper and thin slices of fennel or shallots. Voila! Beet carpaccio – or try this Beet, Carrot and Citrus Salad.
Beets can also be juiced, but take it easy. Straight beet juice can cause a harsh itchiness in your throat and be a bit tough on your gut. Start with a small amount and mix it with other juices to begin with.
Enjoy! Let us know in the comments what your favorite beet preparation is and check out Full Circle’s organic produce delivery if you’re looking for produce, including beets, delivered to your door!