How to Cook Beets (+10 Ways to Eat Them) January 13, 2017
Beauty: check! Flavor: check! Nutrition: check! Ladies and gentleman, we’ve got a winner. Continue reading to discover how to cook beets and 10 ways to enjoy them…
We’re going to go ahead and state the obvious here: you only get one dinner a day. So although it doesn’t have to be fancy, gourmet, or time-consuming, it should definitely be fun. This is why everyone – kitchen newbies and master chefs alike – should get cooking with beets.
They’re surprisingly simple to work with, incredibly versatile, and SO nutritious. From easing inflammation to cleansing the liver, there’s not much beets can’t do. They boast the highest sugar content of any vegetable and, believe it or not, were even considered an aphrodisiac in Roman times.
How to Cook Beets:
Simply wash the roots (with skin intact) before wrapping them individually in foil and placing on a baking sheet. Roast at 400ºF until easily pierced with a fork, 45 minutes to an hour. Once cool, peel away the skin.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. While you’re waiting, wash the roots (with skin intact) and prepare a bowl of ice water. Once the water boils, add the beets. (Tip: If you’re working with different colored beets, boil them in separate pots otherwise they’ll discolor!) Boil until skin can easily be removed, 25-30 minutes. Remove beets from boiling water and immediately submerge in ice water. Dry and peel away the skin.
Now comes the fun part! We hope you’re hungry (and not wearing a white shirt)…
10 Ways to Enjoy Beets:
1. Bountiful Buddha Bowl
Cooking is non-scientifically proven to make you happy, and dinners in bowls are non-scientifically proven to taste more delicious. Trust us, we’ve done thorough research. Don’t be fooled by the fancy name, though. Buddha bowls are just wholesome, plant-based meals combining greens, raw or roasted veggies, beans, and good-for-you grains. And the best part is that they’re perfect for feeding a crowd. Prep all your toppings in advance, set them out salad bar-style, and let everyone have fun building their own bowl.
Step 1: Pick a grain of your choice as a base. Quinoa, farro, brown rice, freekeh… the opportunities are endless. (Well not exactly endless, but you get the point.)
Step 2: Load on the toppings! We’re talking sunny side up or hard boiled egg, sauteed kale or spinach, roasted sweet potato, sliced avocado, even MORE grains, and – of course – sliced beets.
2. Beet and Goat Cheese Tart
A tart for dinner? You better believe it. This beauty combines the flaky, buttery puff pasty we practically drool over come dessert with creamy goat cheese and bold rosemary. We’d say it’s the perfect side dish or appetizer, but let’s be honest: no one will want to share.
- 1 Egg
- Puff Pastry, Thawed
- 12 Oz Crumbled Goat Cheese
- 4 Cooked Beets (2 Red and 2 Golden)
- Salt and Pepper
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Crack egg into a small bowl and whisk to create an egg wash.
- Place puff pastry on baking sheet and brush with egg wash.
- Sprinkle half the goat cheese over puff pastry. Add sliced beets, alternating between a row of red and a row of golden.
- Season with salt and pepper, top with remaining crumbled goat cheese, and sprinkle with rosemary.
- Bake until cheese is melted and pastry is golden brown, 25-30 minutes.
3. Pickled Beets
You know when pickled vegetables taste so, well, vinegary? Beets are not one of those. The apple cider vinegar complements their natural sweetness for a result that’ll have you begging for more.
- 7 Medium Red Beets, Roasted and Sliced
- 1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons Sugar
- Coarse Sea Salt
- In a large bowl, combine sliced beets, vinegar, sugar, and a large pinch of salt. Set aside to marinate 30-45 minutes.
4. Beet and Carrot Slaw
Beets and carrots are similar in more ways than you might imagine. They can both be eaten raw, they’re both deliciously crunchy, and – our personal favorite – they’re both surprisingly sweet. So we figured it would only make sense for these two veggies to join forces in the slaw of all slaws. And it would only make sense for us to scarf down every. last. bite. of said slaw, right?
- 6 Medium Carrots, Peeled and Thinly Sliced
- 2 Medium Beets, Peeled and Thinly Sliced
- 3/4 Cup Parsley, Roughly Chopped
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
- 1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
- 1/2 Cup Red Onion, Finely Diced
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Honey
- 1/3 Cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- 3/4 Cup Toasted Pine Nuts
- Combine lemon juice, vinegar, onions, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
- Add honey and whisk in olive oil.
- Add carrots, beets, and parsley.
- Toss and adjust with more salt and pepper if necessary. Sprinkle with pine nuts before serving.
5. Beet Chips
Potato chips? Meh. Sweet potato chips? A little better. Beet chips? Perfection.
- 5 Medium Beets, Peeled
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- Sea Salt
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and line 2-3 (depending on size) baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Use a mandoline to thinly slice beets.
- Toss with olive oil and arrange slices in a single layer on baking sheet.
- Bake until crisp, about 30 minutes.
- Let cool, then sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
6. Crushed Beets and Whole Wheat Spaghetti
Beets, caramelized red onion, lemon, and garlic really do create an insanely delicious pasta sauce. Drizzled with garlic-infused oil and sprinkled with toasted hazelnuts, this dish will certainly push you out of your recipe rut. Waaaaaayyyy out. Don’t be skimpy with that fresh ricotta, either. Snag the recipe here.
7. Roasted Beet Hummus
Although the base for hummus is standard — cooked chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, and olive or sesame oil — it lends itself to an infinite amount of creativity. Some swear by a generous swirl of tahini or a kick of zest, while others can’t fathom the dip without herbs. But us? We’re all about beets. How could anyone resist taking a double dip into something as beautiful as this? Get the recipe here.
8. Roasted Beet and Lentil Salad
Roasted Yukon potatoes meet sweet beets, tender lentils, and peppery arugula for a meat-free grand slam of a dinner. Oh — and who could forget about the sweet honey balsamic vinaigrette that brings it all together? Okay, enough with the talking. Time to get the recipe.
9. Beet and Carrot Bruschetta Toast
We told you carrots and beets were made for each other. In this recipe, we toast to the dynamic duo with crunchy baguette, creamy ricotta, roasted veggies, and a kick of lemon zest. It’s the perfect lunch, dinner, or even breakfast (no judgment). Check out the recipe here.
10. Beet Brownies
If it’s called a brownie, we’re going to eat it. No questions asked. So why not sneak in some beets while you’re at it? Get all the intense chocolaty goodness here.
Just when you thought beets couldn’t get any better, they make an appearance on our list of brain foods everyone should be eating. We’re sold.