How To Cook Beets

Tips on How to Cook Beets

            Learning how to cook beets in a variety of dishes will not only provide delicious meals, but will also be a healthy addition to the diets of your family.

            Beets are root vegetables.  Both the root bulb and the plant greens are edible and high in nutritional value.  The root bulb has a rough, dark appearing exterior and a solid, hard interior.  The beet is peeled before being eaten, which can be done raw or cooked.  When cooked, the interior takes on a jewel like red color and becomes soft and sweet.   The most common variety of the beet, and likely the most identifiable, is the reddish hued bulb; however, the vegetable is also available in white, yellow and several other colors.

            The sweet flavor of the beet is attributed to its high sugar content, which is the highest of any other vegetable.  In fact, one variation of the beet is the sugar beet, which is the basis for the production of commercially prepared refined sugar.  Despite the natural sugars in the vegetable, beets are very low in calories, measuring only about 75 calories per cup of beets.  Learning how to cook beets in meals that are compatible with weight loss can help to reach weight goals by taking advantage of the filling fiber and low caloric count.

            Powerful nutrients accompany the sugar in the content of beets.  Folate, manganese, potassium, dietary fiber, magnesium, tryptophan, vitamin C, phosphorus, copper and iron are packed into each and every orb, which make them not only delicious but highly nutritious as well.  Helping to prevent cancer, cholesterol lowering properties, protection against heart disease, anti-inflammatory properties, preventative for birth defects and many more benefits have been attributed to beets in the diet.

            Incorporating the delicious beet into your meal plans is easy.  An extremely versatile vegetable, beets can be used in raw form or cooked by roasting or boiling.  They can be eaten hot or cold, plain or pickled.  It shouldn’t be surprising to learn, knowing of the sugary nature of the beet, that it can also be used in a variety of dessert recipes.  Brownies, cakes, cupcakes and other desserts can be made; adding the nutritional goodness of the vegetable without imparting a vegetable flavor into the treat.

            Boiling is usually the initial way that people use when learning how to cook beets.  This is best accomplished by washing the freshly dug beet and cutting away the root tendrils at the base of the vegetable.  Place the cleaned beets in a pan with plenty of water to cover them and bring to a boil.  Cook the beets until a fork can easily be inserted.  After boiling, the skins of the beets can easily be removed.  Once the beets are cooked, they can be used in just about any recipe.

            Other methods of cooking beets are roasting and grilling.  Either method delivers a wonderfully flavored cooked beet that can then be used in a variety of dishes or simply eaten as it is.  To roast, wrap the washed beet in foil and place in a preheated oven set to 400°.  The cook time will depend on the size of the beets, although 30 to 45 minutes is usually sufficient to achieve a tender vegetable.  When done, slip off the skins and enjoy in any manner desired.  Grilling is completed in much the same manner; scrub beets and place on a foil sheet along with a generous portion of butter or olive oil and wrap securely.  Place on grill for about 30 minutes or until fork tender.

            Learning how to cook beets in any of these methods will be the successful beginning for many delicious and nutritious meals.  High in flavor and nutrients, the ruby red beet is a jewel of a vegetable.