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What to Do with Beets: 12 Tasty Ways to Enjoy Them

Sweet and tangy – are you wondering what to do with beets? This vegetable is actually quite versatile. The bright pink root vegetable is very good for you, but it doesn’t get as much attention as it probably should. One reason for this is that people don’t know how to cook them to make them taste their best. You might be surprised to know that there are many different ways to prepare beets and to add them to recipes you probably already know and love. You can eat beets raw, grilled, pickled, or roasted. YUM!

fresh beets

What to Do with Beets

If you grow beets (also known as beetroot), you probably know that this root vegetable comes in a variety of colors, including red, purple, and yellow. Beets have a sweet, slightly earthy flavor and can be eaten cooked or raw.

Beets are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including iron, folate, and fiber. They also contain powerful antioxidants that can protect against cell damage. Whether you add them to salads or juice them for a nutrient-rich drink, beets are a delicious and nutritious way to add some variety to your diet. Learn more about the benefits of eating beets.

Here are some answers to what to do with beets:

1. Pickled beets

an open jar of beet pickles

A classic thing to do with beets is to pickle them. Refrigerator pickled beets are one of the easiest ways to do it. It has a shorter prep time and it’s very easy to do.

2. Beet salad

roasted beet salad

One of the best things about beets is that they are very easy to prepare. Simply wash them and then slice or dice them into bite-sized pieces. You can then add them to your favorite salad recipe. Beets pair especially well with leafy greens, goat cheese, and citrus fruits.

Here’s one of my favorite uses of beets in salads:

3. Roasted beets

roasted beet chunks

Beets can be roasted whole or cut into chunks. When roasting whole beets, be sure to wrap them in foil to prevent them from drying out. Cut beets should be tossed in olive oil and seasoning before being placed on a baking sheet.

Roasting beets takes about 45 minutes, but the cook time will vary depending on the size of the beets. Once they are finished, roasted beets can be served as-is or used in a variety of recipes.

4. A healthy smoothie

a glass of beet smoothie with whole beets behind the glass

Rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, beets are touted as a superfood. And what could be more super than a beet smoothie? This vibrant drink is not only healthy, but it’s also delicious. Simply combine beets, almond milk, bananas, and honey in a blender, and you’re good to go.

5. Beet pickled eggs

beet pickled eggs

To make beet pickled eggs, simply hard-boil some eggs and then let them soak in a jar of pickled beets overnight. In the morning, drain the beets and enjoy your delicious and nutritious breakfast or have them for a snack any time.

6. Classic borscht

Beet borscht in a ceramic bowl

Beet borscht is a soup that is traditionally made with beets, potatoes, carrots, and other vegetables. It is often served with sour cream or yogurt on top. The soup is usually made with beef or chicken broth, but it can also be made with vegetable broth.

Beet borscht can be served hot or cold, and it is often garnished with fresh parsley or dill. The soup can be made ahead of time and reheated, or it can be made in a slow cooker. Classic beet borscht is a healthy and delicious way to enjoy beets.

7. Roasted beet hummus

beet hummus in a white bowl surrounded by fresh veggies

Roasted beet hummus is a great way to enjoy the flavor of beets, and get a nutrient boost at the same time. Beets are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including potassium, magnesium, and iron. They’re also high in fiber and antioxidants.

When it comes to making roasted beet hummus, the possibilities are endless. You can add whatever spices and herbs you like to create a unique flavor. This versatile dip is perfect for entertaining or as an everyday snack.

8. Baked beet fries

long, skinny sticks of beet fries

Looking for a healthy and delicious alternative to traditional French fries? Try baked beet fries! To make baked beet fries, simply preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash your beets and slice them into thin strips. Next, toss the beets with a bit of olive oil and sea salt. Then, bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy as a side dish or snack.

9. Pesto

beet pesto in a glass jar

Forget about traditional basil pesto – beets are where it’s at! This powerhouse root vegetable is not only packed with nutrients, but it also has a deliciously sweet and earthy flavor that pairs perfectly with pasta, fish, or chicken. And the best part? Beet pesto is incredibly easy to make. Simply combine roasted beets, garlic, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and salt in a food processor and blend until smooth. For a little extra zing, add a squeeze of lemon juice.

10. Add to risotto

Beet risotto is a delicious and unique twist on the classic Italian dish. Beets are naturally sweet, so they add a lovely hint of sweetness to the creamy rice. The beets also give the risotto a beautiful purple hue.

11. Add to gnocchi

If you love gnocchi but are looking for a slightly different twist on the classic dish, then you’ll want to try beet gnocchi. Made with cooked beets and ricotta cheese, this colorful dish is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients. The beets add a subtle sweetness to the gnocchi, while the ricotta helps to lighten the overall texture.

12. Vegan poke bowl

Vegan poke bowl

The Hawaiian specialty known as poke is made from ahi tuna, but when you want a vegan alternative, beets do the trick like you wouldn’t believe! It’s very similar to the real thing and is also good for you.

What to Do with Fresh/Raw Beets

beet juice

If you like freshly squeezed juices, beets are a great addition. You can also add fresh, raw beets to a salad, on a sandwich, or even to a grain bowl. They will give a little extra crunch to whatever you’re eating, so many people like them for texture reasons. They also bring some color to the dish, and when eaten uncooked, they retain all the vital nutrients that would get lost when boiling them.

Raw beets can be enjoyed on their own or added to salads, smoothies, or other dishes. Be sure to remove the greens before eating as they can be bitter. When storing raw beets, place them in the fridge where they will keep fresh for up to a week.

What to Do with Cooked Beets

cooked beets

When eating cooked beets, there are so many different things you can do with them. To cook beets, you can roast them, boil them, or steam them. Roasting beets is a simple way to bring out their natural sweetness.

First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, wash your beets and wrap them in foil. Place the beets on a baking sheet and roast for 45 to 60 minutes, or until they are tender when pierced with a fork.

Boiling beets is another easy cooking method.

Start by washing your beets and chopping off the greens (if they’re still attached). Then, place the beets in a pot of boiling water and cook for 25 to 30 minutes. You can also steam beets by placing them in a steamer basket over boiling water. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender.

Cooked beets can be used in soups, salads, and main dishes. Try roasting beets and adding them to a salad with goat cheese and balsamic vinegar dressing. Or make a soup by simmering boiled beets in vegetable broth with garlic and thyme. For main dishes, try grilling beet burgers or roasting beet “fries.” However you eat them, cooked beets are a delicious and healthy way to add more vegetables to your diet!

What to Do with Beet Pulp

If you used beets to make fresh beet juice, you might wonder what you can do with the leftover beet pulp. For sure, don’t throw it away, because it is high in digestible fiber and is also a good source of healthy carbohydrate-based calories. Let’s look at some things you can do with it.

Veggie burgers – A lot of people are looking for meat alternatives to their favorite foods, like burgers. This is where veggie burgers come in. There are a lot of different ways you can make a vegan burger, but you can mix beet pulp with chickpeas or beans, oat flour, flaxseed or sunflower seed, and seasoning to create your own veggie burger at home.

Crackers – Have you ever made your own crackers at home? It’s easier than you might think and you can use beet pulp, along with ground flax seeds, seasoning, and some water to form a dough. Spread this on a baking sheet and then bake on a low temp for about 30 minutes, flip them, and then bake for another 15 minutes or so. Some people also like to make their own crackers in a dehydrator.

Soup – Add your pulp to whatever kind of savory soup you’re already making it and tends to blend in well. It will give some added texture and fiber to your soup. and, of course, a pretty color!

Salad – Just like you can use fresh beets in a salad, you can also put the pulp in a salad. It can be a bit dry for some people’s tastes but depending on your other ingredients and the type of dressing you use, it may work for you.

What to Do with Beets FAQ

As you can see, beets can be used in a lot of different recipes. Let’s look at some common questions people ask about this

What is the best way to eat beets?

Most people prefer cooked beets because of the flavor and the diversity of what you can do with them. But raw beets are great too!

Is it okay to eat beets raw?

Yes, it’s perfectly safe to eat beets raw and many people love them this way!

Is it better to eat beets raw or cooked?

Beets are delicious and nutritious root vegetables that can be enjoyed in many ways. One common debate is whether it is better to eat beets raw or cooked. Both options have their benefits. Raw beets are an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

They are also low in calories and fat-free. However, cooking beets can make them more digestible and release more of their antioxidants and other nutrients. Additionally, cooked beets tend to be more flavorful than raw beets. Ultimately, the best way to enjoy beets is whichever way you prefer!

Are beets hard on your kidneys?

In general, beets don’t cause any harm to your kidneys. However, if you are susceptible to oxalate-containing kidney stones, then beets, beet greens, and beetroot powder could pose a problem. They are quite high in oxalates and may promote kidney stone formation in susceptible individuals.

How long do beets last in the fridge?

Generally, beets will last for 1-2 weeks in the fridge. However, this may vary depending on how they are stored. For example, beets that are stored in a sealed container will last longer than those that are stored loose in the crisper drawer. Additionally, beets that are cut into pieces will not last as long as whole beets. To maximize the shelf life of beets, it is best to store them in a sealed container in the crisper drawer.

How can you choose beets that are ready to eat?

When selecting beets, look for ones that are firm and have smooth, unblemished skin. Avoid beets that are soft or have any wrinkling, as this is a sign of age. To prepare raw beets, simply wash them well and then slice or chop them into the desired size.

what to do with beets
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Lisa Clark is a freelance writer who grew up on farmland, then moved to the city, and has now retired back to her rural roots. She's having fun teaching her kids about gardening, planting flowers, and collecting houseplants.

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