Beets are packed with lots of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are essential in your body. Cooking beets is one of the different ways you can eat your beets other than eating them raw, roasting, or juicing.
The first time I ate beets was from a can and that didn’t go so well because it was bitter. Even before that encounter, I wasn’t a fan of beets. It wasn’t until much later that I tasted fresh and properly prepared beets which made me realize that these root veggies can be delicious. This has made me start looking for healthy and delicious ways of cooking this root veggie.
Beets are very high in fiber, low in calories, and a rich source of iron, vitamin C, folate, and minerals that contribute to the good health of your cardiovascular, digestive, and immune systems. It’s also great at cleansing your liver by removing toxins and waste in your digestive tract that aids in weight loss and giving you glowing skin.
There are many ways of cooking beets that include roasting, baking, or steaming beets in a way to avoid losing essential nutrients in the process. When cooked in high temperatures some of the nutrients like vitamin C gets lost.
Here are some of the ways you can prepare a delicious and healthy beet meal and still preserve the nutrients.
Beets contain phytonutrients like betalains which diminish when cooked because they’re very sensitive to high temperatures. The healthiest way of cooking beets is by steaming beets for about 15 minutes to make sure the nutrients and flavour don’t diminish in the process.
- Pour 2-inches of water to the bottom of a steamer and bring it to a boil. Make sure the water doesn’t touch the steamer basket because you want the steam to cook the beets. This way the nutrients aren’t lost in the water.
- Add the beets, cover them and let the beets steamfor 15 minutes. Insert a fork or the tip of a knife to check if the beets are cooked.
- Remove the beets and peel the skin by rubbing off the skin with a cloth. You can wear gloves to avoid stains on your hands.
- Put them to a container and serve to your preference.
Boiling beets whole helps to retain the colour and juices and makes it easier to peel the skin.
- Pour 2-inches of salted water into a medium or a large saucepan and place the whole beets.
- Let then boil and simmer while covered for 30-45 minutes depending on their size.
- Check to see if they’re tender then remove the beets and put them in ice cold water to make it easy to rub the skin off.
To avoid the beet colour from leaking to the cooking water, leave 2-inches of stem on the root and add some vinegar.
Roasting is one of the best ways of cooking beets because it gives you a rich flavour and a dense texture.
- Wash and dry the beets then preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a baking pan with foil.
- Drizzle some olive oil, salt, and pepper on the halves and wedged beets then spread them on the pan to roast for 45 minutes or until tender.
- You can slow roast the beets for a deeper flavour by seasoning then wrapping each beet with foil and roasting for 60 minutes in 375 degrees.
- Let the beets cool then use the foil or paper towel to rub the skin off.
How to store beetroot once cooked
Once you cook beets it’s important that you refrigerate them within two hours of cooking to prolong their shelf life. Place the beets in a shallow air-tight container and place them in the fridge for about 3-5 days. You can also freeze the beets in a freezer bag and they will be good for at least 12 months if constantly frozen.
Cooked beetroot health benefits
- Adds fiber in our diet. Eating boiled beets replaces lost fiber and slows down your digestion leaving you feeling fuller for longer.
- Beets are a rich source of betalains which gives the beets the red pigment. They contain anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and detoxifying properties that have health benefits.
- The nitric oxide in beets helps to increase blood flow to your organs, muscle contraction, and power which improves your performance.
- Beets contain folate that helps your body produce red and white blood cells which also helps in the bone development of your baby in pregnant mothers and reduce the risk of birth defects.
Are you now ready to have a deliciously cooked beets meal?
Beets are healthy and nutritious root veggies that you can easily cook without losing all the nutrients in them. The discussed methods give you a variety of ways you can cook beets that are both healthy and appetizing. You can also watch this to learn how to cook your beets.
Why do beets turn black when cooked?
Once you peel the skin the beets come into contact with air which causes oxidation to take place. To minimize this effect peel the beets right before you eat them.
Should I peel beets before cooking?
It can be a bit difficult to peel the skin of beets when the beets are raw. However, once cooked it peels very easily.
What is the nutrition in cooked beets?
Half a cup of boiled beets contains 37 calories, 1 g of protein, no fat content, 14% of minerals required in your body, 5% of vitamin C, and 17% of folate.
Do beets lose their nutrients when you boil them?
To retain most of the nutrients you can steam the beets for 15 minutes or bake them for less than an hour under low temperatures. Cooked beets contain more fiber than beet juice.
Are canned beets as healthy as fresh beets?
Most of the nutrients and fiber found in fresh beets can be found in canned beets. The only difference is the sodium content.