Do you have a complicated relationship with the beet? You are not alone! Many of us experience the conflicting angst and passion for the quirky root vegetable. We adore the beet's deliciously sweet earthy flavor but detest the beet preparation process.
Let's be honest. Beet's are MESSY, inevitably leaving our kitchens, hands, and clothes looking like evidence from a bloody CSI murder-scene or horror flick. Sometimes eating the beautiful beet seems like such a chore!
Are you a beet enthusiast who enjoys the beet's flavor and nutritional benefits but loathes the prep process? Never fear! There are many ways to spark a new romance with the humble beetroot.
These five tips will help you rekindle your relationship with the extraordinary beet!
TIP #1: Wear Gloves When Handling Red Beets
Red beets stain! That is no surprise. To avoid pink fingers every time you prep red beets, wear gloves. Rubber or vinyl gloves designed for food preparation are super handy, specifically for beets. Eventually, the stained color on hands and fingers from handling beets will disappear, but if you want to keep your extremities pink/red free, then gloves are super useful during beet preparation.
TIP #2: Use a Non-Porous Cutting Board
Are you tired of red beets staining your counters and cutting boards? Use a non-porous cutting board, like stainless steel or glass. The beautiful red beet may stain wooden cutting board, and if this concerns you, designate non-porous cutting boards when preparing beets.
TIP #3: Prepare Ready-To-Eat Beets
To save time and avoid the hassle associated with preparing beets, create large quantities of ready-to-eat beets at one time to freeze or refrigerate for easy consumption during the week. Do vegetables lose some of their freshness and nutritional value after oxidation? Perhaps. Studies are ongoing. However, using beets should be a fun and happy experience not stressful, so make your life easier. DO IT!
Cook beets (or prepare raw beets) and cut them in quarters or cubes and place in freezer bags or freezer containers for access later in the week. These ready-to-eat beets are perfect for smoothies! You may also place cooked or raw beets in containers in the refrigerator to eat throughout the week. Additionally, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and other markets provide ready-to-eat prepared beets. Wahoo!
TIP #4: Cook Beets with Skins Attached
Did you know the beet is edible from root to leaf, and that includes the beetroot's skins? When cooking beets, keep the skins attached. The beetroot will retain its beautiful vibrant color and also its nutrients. You CAN eat the skins, so if you aren't put off by the quirky appearance of beet skins (and they are washed or organic), eat them! If you are not a fan of beet skins and want to reduce the messiness of peeling beets, when beets are ready to peel, hold one of the beets in a paper towel. This provides a less messy option. Use the edges of the paper towel to easily rub off the skin. If skins are resistant, it means the beet isn't cooked enough. You may also "rub off" the skins under running water or in a bowl or colander of water. This will keep your hands pink free. Not sure how to cook beets? We’ve got you covered! There are many easy tips for preparing beets that will help make your beet preparation process easier and faster.
TIP #5: Experiment with Beet Types & Varieties
If you love the beet flavor but want to avoid the red beet's messy traits, try eating Chioggia Beets or Golden Beets. Golden beets are sweet in taste and less likely to stain your hands, cutting boards, and counter tops. Like Golden Beets, Chioggia Beets are also nutritious and sweet (and less messy than red beets) but contain higher levels of geosmin. Therefore, if you are not a fan of the "earthy" flavor associated with beets, this variety may not resonate with your taste buds.
Check out these delicious recipes using different beet varieties:
There are so many ways to rekindle your love affair with the beet. What are your tips for preparing and eating the beet? Comment below!
Stock Photo(s) Credit: Shutterstock & Dreamstime.