Photo: So Delicious
Beetroot is a marvelous veggie, it’s very versatile and you can do so many things with it! Beets are so much more than what you can buy in the store, ready-prepped! Learn how to cook with beets to take advantage of this immunity booster root.
I think beetroot is one of the most beautiful vegetables in the world. Its bright red color, similar to ruby, can be seen especially on the inside of the beet. Its red sweet juice colors anything it touches, from our hands to dishes like risottos and soups, to cakes and frostings.
Red beets are the ones most of us think of when our minds turn to ‘beets.’ But there are also golden beets, Chioggia beets (which vary in color from yellow-and-orange to red-and-cream candy cane), and baby beets.
Some people have never tried beets other than in smoothies. Others have never tasted the root vegetable cooked differently than canned (usually store-bought). And, probably, none of you have ever tried beet greens, right?
Because it’s in season and because we want you to enjoy this versatile vegetable, we’ll tell you how to cook with beets.
10 ways to cook with beets
Beets have an intense sweet and earthy flavor. If you like the sweet and sour combo, you can include it in many dishes. There are ways to cook with beets that concentrate their flavor so they are even sweeter, and others that make the flavors milder.
No matter what recipe you choose, remember that red beets can stain your hands, so you may want to wear gloves when working with them.
Raw beets can be squeezed into juice for a healthy drink. To make beet juice with a juicer, all you have to do is trim the ends, peel the beet, cut it in quarters and feed it into the juicer. If you don’t drink it right away, you can transfer the juice to a container and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
The taste of beet juice is significantly strong so it’s best mixed with other flavors like carrot juice, apple, pears, pineapple, ginger, cucumber, orange, or berries. You can add cooked beets to smoothies just by blending them with spinach, banana, mango, cucumber, coconut milk, or yogurt. Don’t forget that you can also add the beet greens to your juices and smoothies for even more nutrients.
2. Pickled beets
Pickles can replace a salad and spice up your meal. You can make pickles at home, and beets are delicious when pickled. The tanginess of the vinegar balances the sweet earthiness of the beets.
To make a quick batch of pickled beets, peel one pound of golden or red beets and cut them into sticks or cubes. Toss the beets with sea salt and let them sit for 15 minutes while they release their liquid. Rinse them and pat them dry. Transfer the beets to a bowl.
From there, follow your recipe. Usually, the liquid mixture has water, apple cider vinegar, sugar, ground cumin, lemon peel, sea salt, and black pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, pour it over the beets in the bowl, then let the beets cool. Cover and refrigerate for at least one day before eating. They will last for about a week in the fridge. Enjoy them on top of your favorite sandwich or burger.
3. Boiling them
Boiled vegetables have a reputation for being boring and bland. Well, beets are one of the exceptions. After boiling them, beets are still sweet, but less sweet than raw or roasted. You can use boiled beets in salads, but they’re usually used in soups. Serve the beet soup hot or cold, with a dollop of sour or heavy cream.
4. Using the beet greens
The beet greens are also good for cooking. So don’t throw them out when you cook with beets. They are even more nutritious than the beets themselves, so you should include them more often in your diet. You can eat them raw in salads or cook them, and then add them to soups or stir-fries. You can also use them in smoothies and pesto.
5. Roasting them
When you want to get the most flavor out of a vegetable, roast it. Roasting evaporates the liquid in vegetables and concentrates the flavors. It also caramelizes the natural sugars, which beets have a lot of.
Roasting beets is easy. You have many options: peeling them before or after you roast them, roasting them while whole or sliced. Just place the beets in a foil-lined baking dish, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle olive oil on top. If you decide to roast them whole, wrap each one in foil. When ready, use roasted beets in burgers, sandwiches, or different type of salads.
6. Grilling them
Besides making them sweeter, grilling beets adds a smoky flavor to their earthy taste. Plus, this is easy to do. Preheat the grill to medium-hot, peel and slice the beets, and place them on a piece of aluminum foil. Brush them with oil and season them with salt and pepper. Wrap the foil over the beets to make a packet. It should take about 30 minutes to cook.
Use them also in salads, warm or at room temperature. You can also eat them with cheese, as a snack.
7. Different ways of frying them
You can cut beets into cubes, slices or wedges, coat them with batter, and deep fry them. Or you can skip the batter and just dust the beet slices with arrowroot powder or rice flour (also season with salt, pepper, ground cumin, or thyme), then deep-fry them on each side until browned and crisp. Serve with a dip.
We also tried to make some fritters, inspired by the Swiss dish ‘rosti’, and made a nice appetizer perfect for both vegetarian and non-vegetarian friends.
8. In desserts
There are many vegetables you can use in desserts, besides the classic cake for carrot cakes. And, since beets are sweet, they work well in desserts. Beets have a natural food coloring used to make pink, red and red velvet desserts.
Use beets in ice cream, cakes, frostings, pancakes, waffles, cheesecakes, tarts, cupcakes, and mousses.
9. Canned beet in everything
Beets give a sweet touch and a nice color to any dish you add them to. Add cooked or canned beets to risottos, falafel, burgers, omelets, slaw salads, mash it, add it to pancakes, to pasta or sauces.
10. Raw combos
Beets are delicious raw. You can slice them, sprinkle some cumin, salt, and lime on them, and transform them into a tasty snack. You can also put them in a spiralizer and make beet noodles. Or shred them and combine them with celery root, fennel, and orange slices to make a nice salad. Drizzle a tangy citrus vinaigrette over it.
If you like raw vegan foods, try raw beets in soups, dips, raw vegan cheesecakes, or coconut balls. You can even make mushroom and beet tartar!
If you want to cook with beets some more, you can also check out these recipes: