Everything You Need to Know About Cooking Beets
From their host of vitamins and minerals to their versatility in savory recipes, here’s how to incorporate beets into your diet.
Whether you go for golden or are ready for red, beets bring so much to the table. Packed with antioxidants and vitamin C and boasting vivid color, we’re all about finding new and inspired ways to incorporate beets into our diet. “Baked or roasted, or puréed into a dip, they offer tons of nutrients as well as fiber when eaten in their whole form,” says Colleen Sheehan, AADP. From fresh beet juice to poaching or roasting them, learn how to properly cook beets and enjoy them in our favorite recipes.
RELATED: 16 of the Best-Ever Beet Recipes
How to Cook Beets
One of the easiest ways to cook beets—and infuse them with fabulous flavor—is to poach them in water. Add whole spices such as star anise, juniper berries, and peppercorns, plus a little bit of granulated sugar, to the poaching liquid. Cook them whole with their skins on until they’re fork tender. After they’ve finished cooking, carefully take them out of the poaching water and rub a towel against them to easily remove their skins while they’re still warm. Choose paper towels or a rag you don’t care about, as their color will bleed.
Just as easy and delicious is roasted beets. Peel them in advance, then halve or quarter them, rub with olive oil, salt, and pepper and serve as a healthy and flavorful side dish alongside any protein. Roast them at 450 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
Nutritional Benefits of Beets
Like most fruits and vegetables, the best way to maximize the health benefits of beets is to either eat them raw or blended into juice. Beets have tons of antioxidants that reduce the negative effects that free radicals have on the body, as well as Vitamin C and carotenoids, which give them their infamous lush color. While every color of beet contains these beneficial vitamins and minerals, the richer and deeper the color, the more anthocyanin (an important antioxidant) they contain.
Our Favorite Beet Recipes
From quick pickled beets to poached and diced beets scattered atop a light salad, there are so many delicious ways to use beets once you’ve mastered how to cook them. Upgrade a boring and basic potato salad with this fabulous German Beet-and-Potato Salad, which is so much more vibrant than any potato salad you’ve had before. Or find the perfect balance of nutty and nutritious in your breakfast with these Beet Tahini Muffins. The beets are peeled and grated, then folded into the muffin batter for a hint of color and texture (think: carrot cake). Try thin slices of beets on toast, layered in a sandwich, or tossed in a grain bowl. No matter which way you slice or dice them, beets are a produce superstar.