Cooking Superfoods: The Mighty Beetroot

Cooking Superfoods: The Mighty Beetroot

SELFe Nutrition
  1. Finding the Best Beetroot
  2. Eating Beets Raw
  3. Easy Cooking with Beets

The Beetroot is a type of taproot that either has a gold or red color. It's from the Beet plant and has earned the name "Superfood" because it's potent with nitrates, minerals, and vitamins that helps athletes all over the world. People have spent millions trying to create the perfect nutritious supplement and wouldn't you know, nature had already provided the answer.

There’s just one problem. Despite beetroot’s potent nitrates and rich nutritional value, people don’t like it because if flavor, and even if they do, they don’t know how to best eat it. There’s various way to cook this Ruby of Taproots and we’ll highlight a few great ways for you. Likewise, no matter how good of a beet you find to cook with, it will never be able to match the effectiveness of buying beetroot powder, which is processed to be as potent as possible while being much easier to add to any recipe you want.  

First and Foremost: How to Find the Cream of the Crop

When cooking any vegetables, it's important to always pick the freshest and the ones in their prime. Not only does it affect the flavor significantly, it also affects the amount of nutrients you have per beetroot, thereby directly affecting how good the beetroot is for you.

  • The Redder, the Better. Taproots that have a crimson red color to them is what you want. The richness of the red determines how much Betacyanin it has. Betacyanin is what gives the reddish color and is one of the prime nutrients you want in Beetroot
  • Tall, Dark, and Green. If the beets still have their leaves attached, look for those with crisp, dark green leaves. The stems should at least be ½ to 1 inch long and the root part should be at least 2 inches long. This is to prevent the betacyanin from bleeding out when you start cooking.
  • Smooth… Hard… and… Round! Fresh beets have a smooth surface free of cuts and bumps. Avoid soft spots and bruising, and try to pick bees with the least hair. Hairiness in taproot is often a sign that the taproot is too mature, making it tough and have a woody texture.
  • Size Matters. Big isn't always better. Big beets sometimes have tough cores that have a bitter, gummy tastes most people find unpalatable. Pick medium-sized beets to minimize that flavor and maximize the natural sweetness it has to offer.

  • Now that you know how to pick the best ones for cooking, it’s time to know how to cook them.

    Eating Beets Raw

    To utilize as much of a vegetable nutrients as possible, you must eat it raw. Unfortunately, not all vegetables are palatable when eaten raw. Carrots and Lettuce are a delight to eat when raw and cold. For beetroots, however, the opinion is divided. Others love it because of the semi-sweet taste, but others find it so unpalatable that they associate the taste with eating dirt.

    With the right ingredients, it's possible to make beetroot taste great, even when eaten raw.

  • Beetroot Salad with Carrots and Potatoes. Nothing like making a salad with three earthly vegetables. Peel the skin off all three vegetables and grate them, or cut them into strips. Mix them all together and put in your desired dressings. Olive oil, sesame oil work wonders here. Then add a splash of either orange dressing or lemon juice to add that sweet tang. The rest is up to your taste. You can also substitute the other veggies with your own selections.

  • Run Beetroots into a Food Processor. This is one of two ways to efficiently prepare beetroot. It turns it into an easy-to-eat puree that retains its natural sweetness and all the nutrients you need. You can turn this into a shake by blending it with some lemonade, kiwi, or oranges and a scoop of ice. You can also mix a bit of mayonnaise or butter into the puree and eat it as a side dish, which pairs well with meats. The advantage of running it to a food processor instead of a juicer is it maintains its dietary fiber.
  • Beet Juice to Beat the Heat. Placing beetroots into a juicer is also a quick and easy way to prepare and consume beet juice. It can be done as is and drink the sweet and earthy elixir, or you can add your own twist. Tangy and crisp flavors go very well with the soft flavors of beet, so feel free to add either apples, orange, lemons, celery or ginger into the mix.

  • Easy Cooking With Beets

    Cooking beets are all about matching the flavor and the texture. It can be boiled, steamed, baked, or any other method you can think of. If you wonder if baking or steaming beets will reduce its nutritional value, the answer is technical yes. However, the amount removed from the beet is less than 10%, nearly negligible from raw. The only rule to ensure you maximize the nutrients while cooking is to make sure none of the juices or parts of the beet is left behind.

  • Hot and Cool Steamed Beets with Mint. Steaming vegetables, in general, is a great way to cook them while keeping all the nutrients. Steaming beets makes them softer and less gamey. For this recipe. Get yourself some baby beetroots (you can choose older ones for better sweetness) and put them under steam for about half an hour. If the beets aren't tender enough, steam further until tender. Once steamed, let it cool until you can handle it. Afterwards, peel the skin off and place the beets in a bowl. Add your choice of oils, choice of vinegar, a handful of fresh mint leaves, then add salt and pepper to taste. Toss the beets gently and serve.
  • Mix with Tomatoes to Make Soup. Another great method to infuse the earthly sweet taste of beets into food is making it into soup. Make your own tomato soup by sauteing onions until caramelized and adding an equal amount of finely chopped tomatoes and beetroots. Simmer until both beets and tomatoes are very soft, then place them in a blender. Season with salt and pepper to your preference and goes well with creamy toppings like yogurt or cream cheese.