No one would blame you for not liking those soft, jelly-like slices of so-called beets that tumble out of the can. But if that’s the only iteration of beets, you’re missing out big time when you think about these gems.
Beets are nutritious, antioxidant-rich root vegetables. So when we slice, dice, roast, pickle, and enjoy them, our bodies reap all sorts of nutritional benefits as well. It can be intimidating to see these round little guys plucked out of the dirt, covered in dirt, and not looking very tasty. But, like anything, when you arm yourself with a little know-how, the world opens up. When roasted, baked, steamed, or sliced, earthy and sweet can easily be coaxed and paired with other flavors and foods that are a dream.
Here’s what you need to know about buying, preparing, cooking and eating beets.
Beets grow most of the year (although, they are the sweetest in the fall) and you can find them at most grocery stores bundled with their green attached or loosely removed. Beets come in a variety of colors, but regardless of their color, they all taste very similar. Golden beets, red beets and Chioggia (or white and red striped beets) are all sweet, earthy and easy to cook.
For most people, cooked beets are usually easier to digest than raw ones, but they take time to cook. The good news is that you can make a big batch that lasts a week.
However you decide to prepare your beets, have your hands and a little pink on the surface at the ready. Avoid stains by putting on a pair of disposable gloves or washing your hands and surfaces with baking soda and dishwashing liquid when you’re done preparing them.
Here are some nutritious, fresh, favorite preparations (and enjoyments!) Method of beets.
Raw: Beets can be eaten raw and enjoyed, but it is necessary to peel off the paper-thin skin first. To prepare. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin, and then your beets are ready to be cut and eaten. Beets are most enjoyable when they’re thinly sliced with a mandolin or a knife. You can also mix them raw into a smoothie or beet hummus. This is one way you can prepare beets for salads.
Steaming and roasting. Roasting beets in the oven is one of the tastiest ways to prepare them because the heat from the oven begins to scorch the natural sugars in the vegetables. Roasting. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200oC). Next, toss the whole beets with olive oil (about 2 tablespoons of oil per pound of beets) and season with a little sea salt. Place the beets in a medium-sized glass or metal baking dish and fill it with just enough water to cover the bottom of the dish. Wrap the entire pan tightly with aluminum foil. Bake the beets in the pan until a paring knife can easily slide over the beet flesh, about 65-70 minutes. Let the beets cool, then wipe off the skins with a paper or cloth towel (note: the color will transfer to the fabric, so use a dark towel or you don’t mind staining).
Pressure cook. If you’re short on time, cooking beets in a pressure cooker is a great option. The cooking time depends on their size; the smaller the beets, the shorter the cooking time. For the recipe below, we recommend using medium/small beets (about 5-6 inches in circumference). While the instructions are written for an electric pressure cooker, a stovetop pot will work beautifully. Pressure cooker: wash beets in cold water. Trim any stems or green leafy connections and discard them. Pour 1 cup (250 ml) of cold tap water into the pressure cooker. If you have a tripod or steamer basket that fits in the pressure cooker, place it on the bottom. Place the washed and trimmed beets on the potting bench. Close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook the beets on high for 15-21 minutes (15 minutes for firm, slightly crunchy beets; 21 minutes for soft, chewy beets). Once the beets are cooked, quickly release the pressure. Carefully open the lid and allow the beets to cool slightly, then wipe off the skin, slice and enjoy.
And, it’s not over yet! Once your beets are ready, you can enjoy them in a myriad of ways. Here are a few of our favorite ways.
Roast beets into beet brownies.
Toss raw beets into your favorite salad.
Scoop them into your favorite cereal bowl.
Roast a beet brownie.
4 cups (384 g) almond flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine-grained sea salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder.
1/2 cup (125 ml) coconut oil
3 ounces (90 g) vegan baking chips (such as Lily’s), melted.
1 1/4 cups (225 grams) beets, cooked until tender, peeled and cut into pieces
3 large eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
How to make coconut frosting
8 oz. (240 g) vegan baking chips (like Lily’s)
1/2 cup (125 ml) coconut oil
1 cup (250 g) coconut oil
1/2 cup (125 ml) coconut milk (or almond milk)
1/2 cup (50 g) unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tablespoons freeze-dried raspberries, crushed to a powder.
First, prepare the frosting. In a small, heavy saucepan, melt the chocolate and coconut oil over medium heat, stirring constantly. As soon as the mixture is melted and smooth, remove the pan from the heat. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk in the coconut oil and milk until it forms a thick, smooth frosting. For a fluffy frosting, refrigerate the frosting for up to 8 hours, then bring the frosting to room temperature and beat with an electric mixer until creamy and spreadable.
Now, prepare the cake. Preheat the oven to 350oF (180oC). Line a 9-inch or two 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper discs, then grease the sides of the pans generously with coconut oil. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the almond flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade attachment, puree the diced beets, melted chocolate and coconut oil until smooth. Add the eggs and continue to mix. Add the vinegar, lemon juice and vanilla and whisk until completely combined. Pour the beet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir with a spatula until a batter forms.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then invert the cake onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
Assembly Using a serrated knife, cut the cake in half horizontally to make two rounds. (You can skip this step if you’re baking the cake in two 6-inch pans.) Place one round cake on a plate and spread half of the frosting over the top, spreading it evenly. Place the second round of cakes on top of the iced round, lining up the sides of the cakes so the rounds will stack. Spread the remaining frosting over the second round of cakes, using a spatula to spread evenly over the top and bottom of the cakes. Sprinkle the top of the cake with unsweetened coconut and freeze-dried raspberries.
Store the assembled cake in the refrigerator.
Serving size: 18 18 slices Serving size.
Nutrition (per serving). Calories: 379; Total fat: 29 g; Saturated fat: 22 g; Monounsaturated fat: 1 g; Cholesterol: 31 mg; Sodium: 390 mg; Carbohydrates: 1 g. 379; Total fat: 29 g; Saturated fat: 22 g; Monounsaturated fat: 1 g; Cholesterol: 31 mg; Sodium: 390 mg; Carbohydrates: 31 g; Dietary fiber: 2 g; Sugars. : 22g; Protein: 3g. 31g; Dietary fiber: 2g; Sugar.