If you’ve never had fresh beets you have to give them a try. If you’ve eaten canned beets and didn’t like them, again, try the fresh ones…you just might be surprised how different (and delicious) they taste.
Beets are in season and available at your local Farmers Markets. They are super healthy for you, too. Beets are full of vitamins B3, B6, C and beta-carotene. They are rich in iron, magnesium, zinc and calcium too, which helps promote optimal detoxification and elimination. High in fiber, and also full of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.
Here are a few ways to prepare fresh beets. Oh, and by the way, you can eat the greens attached to the beets. Simply wash, chop, and sauté with a bit of butter, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. I consider the greens a “free” food.
Beet juice can stain so be careful when handling.
To Steam –
Rinse gently under cold water. Cut beets into quarters or if very small, leave whole. You want to leave 2 inches of the tap-root and 1 inch of stems on the beets. Fill the bottom of a steamer with 2 inches of water and bring to a rapid boil. Add the beets, cover with lid and steam about 15 minutes or until you can insert a knife tip in it. Peel the beets by rubbing the skin off with a paper towel. If using very small beets, the skin isn’t tough and you don’t even have to take it off. You can also use a very sharp knife and peel the skin off.
To Roast –
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash beets and trim, leaving 2 inches of the tap-root and 1 inch of stems on them. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper over them Cook for about 30 minutes, depending on the size of your beets. Once cooked, rub the skin off with a paper towel, or again, if using small beets, you can leave the skin on.
To Boil –
Place beets in a large saucepan, after trimming like above. Add water to cover. Add a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice or white vinegar, which will help prevent the beets from bleeding. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes to an hour, until tender. Place pot under running cold water and rinse, until cool enough to handle. Peels skins.
To Grill –
Boil beets, peel and slice. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Grill, turning, until slightly charred.
Fresh Beet Salad –
Steam or boil beets. Peel skin off if necessary. Slice, grate or chop beets. You can top them with drizzled olive oil, salt and pepper, fresh herbs, and a squirt of lemon juice. Crumbled feta or goat cheese adds a nice touch.
I was recently at the Hyatt Regency Denver Colorado Convention Center for lunch and tried their beet “haystacks.” This is my version of them. And just by the way, my husband has sworn he didn’t like beets and he actually doesn’t like goat cheese either. But after tasting these, he’s now a goat cheese/beet loving man.
To make, boil or steam beets. Peel skin off. Slice beets. Add a bit of goat cheese between 2 beet slices and smash it down a bit so the cheese spreads out. You can make as many layers as you want per haystack. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with Kosher salt and pepper. Top with a bit of broccoli, radish or other sprout. You can also turn this into a salad by not stacking the beets. Gluten free too.
Albertsons has beets on sale for $1.99 a bunch, which has 4 beets.
Wearing gloves when prepping beets is recommended. If your hands do get stained, try rubbing lemon juice on them.
*Warning…After eating fresh beets you may notice your urine is a pinkish/reddish color. Don’t freak out if this happens!