Beetroots are an amazing food that has many benefits for our health. The nutrients that make beets good are very sensitive to heat, so cooking them properly will help retain them. Beets are a gift of nature, and despite their tough look they are very delicate and need to be handled with care. Not just at the grocery store when choosing and buying them but also at home. Here are some tips on how to get the best out of beets:
- How to choose the right ones
Whenever possible try to choose small or medium-size beets making sure the roots are firm with smooth skin and deep color. Try to avoid beets that have spots, bruises or are soft, those are signs of spoilage.
When buying beets with greens choose the ones whose leaves look fresh, tender, and have a lively green color.
- How to store beets
Beets juice can stain fabrics, and it is overall tedious to clean. To avoid “bleeding” of the beets as well as to keep the root juicy and fresh it is important to cut the greens about 2 to 3 inches from the root.
Do not wash them yet. To keep beets fresh it is better to store them unwashed in a plastic bag removing as much air as possible from it. This way the root will last up to 3 weeks. In a similar fashion, the greens can be store unwashed in a plastic bag for up to 4 days.
Raw beets root should not be frozen because they become soft and mushy when thawed. However, cooked beets will do excellent; they will keep their flavor and texture.
- How to cook them
Before cooking beets, they need to be washed. Do so carefully, as keeping the skin intact helps retain the nutrients.
Steamed beets are delicious and a fast way to eat beets. Bring about two inches of water to a boil in a medium pot. Add the beets carefully and let steam until tender for a maximum of 15 minutes.
Beets can also be roasted. To do so preheat oven to 425ºF and roast whole beets for about 40 to 45 minutes until soft. Once done, let cool for 10 to 15 minutes, cut off the stems, and peel.
- How to eat beets
Beets are delicious with vinaigrette and herbs.
Try marinating them with olive oil, lemon juice and fresh herbs.
Add cooked or raw beets to any salad and combined with your favorite dressing.
Do you enjoy juices? Try adding beets to your juice next time for a delicious sweet twist.
Take advantage of the beets’ greens by eating them like Swiss chard.
However, you decide to enjoy beets keep in mind not to overcook them to save all the nutrients it has. Portion control is important in order to keep a balanced diet. Consult your doctor or dietician before modifying your diet.