Beetroot is a well-known vegetable, but also one that does not always have a place in every household. Perhaps you are only just getting to know beetroot, and are wondering how they taste, what their texture is, and how you should eat them.
You may also wonder what beetroot has to offer nutritionally as well.
If this is the case, we have plenty of information to offer you about this awesome veggie! They are such a great addition to your diet and can offer you more nutrients than you may think.
Their taste is unique, but do remember, that they have a very distinct color that may surprise you. Let’s take today to learn all there is about beets!
What Is A Beetroot?
Beetroot is a root vegetable, meaning that they grow underground. They are a member of the Chenopodiaceae family, which is a family of root vegetables that includes quinoa, Swiss chard, and spinach.
They are native to most temperate regions of Europe, but as they have become more popular, they are now grown worldwide.
This is a plant that best grows in well-draining soil, requiring full sun to grow, and growing best in sandy soil. They can be juiced, or even used as a form of natural food coloring.
You can also add the greens of beets to a salad if you want to give it an extra bit of a bite. You can also cook them. When you do, it will usually result in an earthy but sweet flavor.
Beetroot is also very rich in nutrition, and it can be considered a great food for boosting energy in some cases! It is full of folate, fiber, vitamins C and A, and even nitrates, which help to lower your blood pressure.
(This does mean that if you are on medication to lower your blood pressure you should be cautious about eating too many beets!)
Beetroot is a popular ingredient choice in many cuisines, especially Indian, European, and Middle Eastern cuisines.
One reason many people love this vegetable is that it is totally fat-free and low in calories, but is full of flavor, which makes it great for adding to healthy diets!
What Does A Beet Taste Like?
The flavor of beets is unique, some may enjoy it, and some may find it sweet and earthy. Some love it, some hate it.
Its flesh is firm and can be deep red in color, or even purple. You may come across the odd beet that has flesh that is white or yellow flesh. The taste can also vary, it all depends on the variety of the beet.
A golden beet will often be much sweeter than a red beet.
If you are at all familiar with beets, you have probably seen them used in salads. However, you may also have seen them puréed into a soup, or roasted as a side dish.
Beets can also be fermented to make beet kvass, which is a popular beverage rich in probiotics.
But, no matter how you choose to eat beets, they are very nutritious, and delicious, and will add some unique flavor and color to whatever meal you add them to!
What Do Beets Look Like?
You may be curious about what beets look like if you have never come across one before. So, if this is new to you, let us give you a description, so you can easily spot them at the superstore!
- A beet is generally oblong or oval-shaped, and will typically have reddish-purple smooth skin.
- Beneath the skin of the beet, you will find the flesh. The flesh can vary in color from a deep red to a very pale pink, depending on the type of beet.
- In the middle of the beet, you will find a dark, but small core.
- Beets also have a network of veins, which are white and run throughout the fruit.
- If you cut into a raw beet, it will ooze red juice. This is a delicious juice that can be used as a natural dye, and can be used in cooking too!
Beets: Do They Taste Like Dirt? Why?
Beets are often reported to taste a bit… dirty, why is this? Well, part of this is all due to the fact that beets actually contain quite a significant amount of geosmins. Geosmins are a compound that gives soil that earthy smell.
When raindrops hit dry soil, geosmin is released into the surrounding air, which is why you will usually smell that fresh earthy scent after rainfall.
Beets contain many other compounds as well, many of which contribute to this rather earthy taste. Some of these compounds include beta-ionone and alpha-ionone. Interestingly, both of these compounds are also found in violets.
Most people are quite familiar with eating beets raw, however, cooked they are also just as delicious. If you have never cooked a beet before, do not fret. We are here to help you out.
Check out these super easy steps for you to follow to make sure that when you cook up some beets, you get the most out of them!
- Start off by preheating your oven, setting it to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Now, wash your beets off thoroughly, then trim any of the leafy greens off.
- Next, you will want to cut up your beets into uniform pieces. This is not necessary, but it does help you get an even cook.
- Place your beets onto a baking sheet, and give them a drizzle with olive oil. We also recommend adding a few rosemary sprigs, and some garlic cloves as well!
- Now, roast the beets in the oven for around 30 to 40 minutes, or until they are tender enough to easily pierce with a fork.
- Take them out of the oven once down, and allow them plenty of time to cool before you peel them and eat them!
The Benefits Of Beetroot
Beetroots are vegetables, and while we are most familiar with seeing them either red or purple, you can also get yellow ones too!
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits that Beetroot can offer you!
- Beetroot is a great way to get your minerals and vitamins, especially folate, potassium, vitamin C, fiber, and manganese. They could even be considered a superfood.
- Beetroot also contains nitrates, which help lower blood pressure naturally.
- As well as this, beetroot is also a natural betaine source. Betaine has been shown in research to help protect you against heart disease!
- There may even be some evidence that beetroot could help you boost your performance when you are exercising, thanks to nitric oxide, which is found in beets and can help to increase blood flow in your body!
When you are storing Beetroot, you must keep them dry and away from light. It is best to store them like you would any other root vegetable, they do best in the refrigerator.
In the refrigerator, beets can stay fresh for up to 2 weeks.
Freezing Beets: How To Guide
Beets can also be frozen. Although most people do not opt to do this, it can be done. Beets can be frozen for up to 6 months. In order to do this, you can follow the steps included below!
- In order to freeze Beetroot, first you should wash the roots and trim off the leaves.
- Next, cut each of the beets into slices, or alternatively, you could dice them.
- Then, place them in a freezer bag, or an airtight container.
- Make sure to label the container, putting the date on it so that you know when you froze them.
Pickling Beets: How To Guide
If you want to keep beets for a long time, the best thing to do is pickle them. This is probably one of the most popular ways to store and consume beets. So, if you have some fresh beets that you want to pickle, here is how to do it.
- In order to pickle Beetroot, first you want to wash the beets and then cut them up. Most people choose to cut them up into quarters or slices.
- Next, place the beets into a container or a jar, then add water, salt, sugar, vinegar, and whatever spices you wish to include for added flavor.
- Always make sure that before you add the beets into the jar, you have fully sterilized it.
- Now you can store your pickled beets in the refrigerator for ½ a year (6 months).
- Be aware that pickle Beetroot can vary in taste, this entirely depends on how you have pickled them though. So, experiment and find out which way you prefer! Try out different spices!
The taste of beets is sweet and earthy in flavor, it is not so different from chard or spinach. You could eat beets raw, pickles, or cooked, and include them in many recipes, as they are enjoyed throughout many cuisines.
Beets are a great nutritional source and can be enjoyed in so many ways. Cooking with beets has no limits as they are a very versatile vegetable.
So, now you know how beets taste, how to prepare them in different ways, and how this may influence their taste. If you have never tried beets before, you are sure to discover a whole new world of flavor and color with these awesome vegetables!
Frequently Asked Questions
Of course! You can definitely eat beets raw. Beetroot is the taproot part of the beet plant, it can be eaten, cooked, pickled, or raw. However, if you are not a big fan of earthy flavors, perhaps this is not for you, as raw beets do have a very strong earthy flavor.
Yes, you can, most of the beet plant is edible. However, most people will prefer to peel the skin off a beet.
Beetroot tends to go well in salads, can make an amazing addition to hummus, and is enjoyed a lot in smoothies. When included in smoothies, they tend to give the beverage a beautiful hue.