Chances are, you’re not eating beets that often. Perhaps you think they take too long to cook or you’ve forgotten how much you like them. Roasted whole, they can take up to an hour to be ready—but if you cut beets up and steam them, they cook in about 10 minutes. Use these tips to get more beets in your diet.
What You Get: A 1/2 cup of cooked beets has just 37 calories but boasts 2 grams of fiber and is a good source of folate, a B vitamin needed for the growth of healthy new cells. Plus, their beautiful color comes from betanin, a phytochemical that may help to bolster immunity.
How to Buy Beets: Look for: Small beets with firm, dark ruby or bright orange skins.
Prep: Trim greens (if any) and root end; peel the skin with a vegetable peeler. Cut beets into 1/2- to 1-inch-thick cubes, wedges or slices.
Microwave: Cut beets into 1/4-inch-thick slices; place in a large glass baking dish or pie pan. Add 1/4 cup water, cover tightly and microwave on High for 10 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes before serving.
Roast: Preheat oven to 500°F. Cut beets into 1-inch chunks. Spread on a baking sheet or in a pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Coat with 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil. Roast, turning once halfway through cooking, until tender, about 30 minutes.
Sauté: Heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Grate beets into the pan using the large-hole side of a box grater. Add 1 minced garlic clove. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add 1/3 cup water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until tender, about 8 minutes.
Steam: Cut beets into quarters. Place in a steamer basket over 2 inches of water in a large pot set over high heat. Cover and steam until tender, about 15 minutes.
How to Store Beets: Refrigerate for up to 1 month.