I love the sweet, earthy flavour of beets, and they are a versatile veggie that can be used in many different dishes. They are also rich in nutrients like potassium, folate, vitamin C, and fibre. They offer various phytonutrients and antioxidants that help keep us healthy through anti-inflammatory effects. Phytonutrients contribute to the colour of beets – “eating a rainbow” of different coloured vegetables and fruit helps us get a good variety of these health-promoting plant compounds! Overall, beets can provide an array of potential benefits, from our digestion to cardiovascular health to blood sugar regulation.
With that being said, how do we cook and eat them? There are a few different options.
1. Roast them.
This is one of my favourite methods. You have a couple of options here – you can roast whole beets or you can peel & chop them up first. I personally prefer the method of roasting them whole, as they are a lot easier to peel after they are cooked!
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Cut off the leafy beet greens and give the beets a scrub.
- Drizzle beets with olive oil and wrap them in foil (you can also use a covered baking dish and skip the foil).
- Cooking time will depend on the size of the beets – for smaller beets you could start checking them after about half an hour, but larger beets could take 45 minutes to an hour or more. Once they are tender they are done.
- Let the beets cool until you can handle them, and the peels should come off easily.
2. Boil them.
Beets can also be boiled – check out these simple directions from the Food Network.
3. Steam them.
Another option for cooking beets is to steam them. As with roasting and boiling, you can cook them with the skin on, and it will peel off easily once they’re done. Cut the beets into quarters and pop them in the steamer basket, cover them and cook until they are tender (check them around 15 minutes).
How to Use Your Cooked Beets
Now that you’ve cooked your beets, how to eat them? They are awesome on their own as a side dish or they make a lovely addition to salads (like this Beet Salad with Arugula). You could even make beet hummus!
Bonus – Don’t Forget the Beet Greens!
Instead of throwing out the beet greens, you can eat them as well! I like to saute them (here is a recipe) or you can also use them in salads (like this one).
What are your favourite ways to eat beets and/or beet greens? Let me know in the comments!