Food Drinks

How to cook beetroot without making a mess

This root vegetable is packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, but can be a tricky to prepare.

Beetroot is an absolute powerhouse vegetable. Its nutritional punch does not stop with its antioxidant-rich bulb, as the leaves are also high in iron, calcium, and vitamins A and C.

Many people discard the vibrant green-and-purple leaves, but they're a delicious addition to salads if used when fresh, or can be used as a side dish, in an omelette, or any other way you would use chard or spinach.

The beetroot bulbs are typically a deep purple colour but can also be white or golden. They're often used in juices and can be grated raw into colourful salads and slaws, however beyond that many people get stumped about how to cook beetroot.

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What is the best way to cook beetroot?

You can eat the skin if you choose to, however most people opt to remove it. Peeling it is simple but you will get red hands from handling this vibrant vegetable. It fades quickly so don’t let this deter you from experimenting with this versatile winner.

The quickest and easiest way to peel beetroot is to cut off the tops and tails. However, if getting the colouring everywhere really bothers you keep an inch of the green top attached when washing so you don't get the juice everywhere, then cut it off once you're ready to cook. Wrap the beetroot in foil and pop into an oven preheated to 180C. Leave to roast for 45 minutes before removing from oven.

Open the foil and allow the beetroot to cool until you can touch it. Then using a gentle pressure from your thumb simply slide the skin off and discard.

What can you use beetroot for?

You can use the roasted beets in super salads, make delicious soups, or even dips. Chopping cubed beetroot through risotto gives it a wonderful colour and a delightful sweet and earthy flavour.

Beetroot can be cut into shoe-strings, sprayed with a little olive and seasoned before cooking at 200C for a healthy take on French Fries, or you can roast Beetroot in the oven if you want to keep it simple.