How to Prepare Fresh Beetroots for Cooking

It’s important that you know your vegetable well before even trying to cook it – like beetroots.  Fresh beetroots are delicious, but if you aren’t sure how to prepare them, you might end up with stained fingernails and a colorless beetroot dish.

Root vegetables are grown under the soil so you’d expect it to have an earthy color like potatoes – but not beets.  They are a bright purple-red color and when cooked, it seems a shame to eat them because they are too pretty.

The color of beets is because of the pigment betanin.  It’s a chemical that gives beets its dark red shade.  But if this root is not properly prepared, you might be able to bring its color in your dish.

To prepare, wash you beets thoroughly in cold water to remove all traces of dirt.  Take care not to damage its skin.  If you are going to cook the beets, trim the tops and the root but remember not to cut the beet itself lest it will bleed out its color and nutrients.  Leave about two inches of its stalk.

If you are going to serve the beets raw, trim the roots and shoots and peel the skin with a sharp peeler of knife.  Grate or slice depending on the recipe.

If you are going to boil the beets, do not slice or peel.  Put the beets in a pot of water and boil.  Medium-sized beets should take about 40 minutes to cook.

Once cooked, it’s time to remove the skin.  If you beets were not underboiled, the skin should give when you try to remove the skin with your hand.  If there is resistance, use a knife or a peeler.