Beets are known for being sweet, but nutritionally, they’re hard to beat! High in potassium, fiber, folate, manganese, and vitamin C, beets are an easy way to enhance your diet when added to your lunch or dinner plate. With their sweet taste and soft texture, they make an easy addition to a salad or can stand alone as a side dish. Ranging in color from red to yellow, and with striped varieties, beets are likely to be as visually appealing as they are tasty.
1 bunch beets, scrubbed, greens removed
- Preheat oven to 375˚F. Scrub the beets using a vegetable brush and place in a baking dish or Dutch oven. Add 1/4 inch of water to the dish. Cover tightly with a lid or foil.
- Roast the beets for 30 to 45 minutes if small in size, or up to 60 minutes for larger beets. They’re done when the tip of a knife easily pierces the beet to the center. Remove from the oven and allow to cool, uncovered, in the baking dish.
- Trim the ends off the beets and slip off the skins. If not using right away, wait to peel them. They will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
- Roasted Beet and Arugula Salad. Wash, dry, and place arugula in a large bowl. Cut beets into 1/2-inch cubes. Top greens with beets and 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
- Roasted Beets with Fennel and Feta. Cut beets into 1/2-inch cubes, and place in large bowl. Trim, quarter, core, and cut fennel into thin strips. Mix together beets, fennel, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, and crumbled feta.
- Roasted Beets and Walnuts. Cut beets into 1/2-inch cubes, and place in large bowl. Mix together beets, a handful of crushed walnuts, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar.
Select beets with their leaves firmly attached. Choose round, firm roots that are small to medium in size. Avoid very large beets, as these tend to be woody and tough. Beets with any moist spots, soft spots, wilted leaves, or bruises should also be avoided.
Studies reveal that beets reduce a compound associated with heart disease and stroke, and may assist in lowering blood pressure. The antioxidant properties of beets may also aid in the prevention of colon, stomach, nerve, lung, breast, prostate, and testicular cancers.
You may want to wear plastic gloves when slipping off the skin of cooked beets—the color of the beet can easily stain your hands!