How to cook beetroot

How to cook beetroot in under 3 hours

How do you cook beetroot in under hours? You might be pleased to hear that I’ve found the ways with these delicious recipes….. You can find bunches British grown of beetroots in the supermarkets right now (and thanks to a host of media coverage extolling their health benefits, over the years) beetroots are all the rage at the moment.

I bought a bunch to use in a recipe that only actually required one, raw beetroot. So, I was stuck with what to do with the other 5 bulbs. How do you cook beetroot? I needed to know, pretty urgently. Usually at this stage in the shop-kitchen-eat process with unknown veg the  vegetable in question will  lay forlornly in the salad tray until, it grows a fur coat, liquidises and begs (listen hard enough and you’ll hear the screams) for the rubbish bin.

But not this time. I was on a mission. I am learning to cook things, after all.

Cook beetroot

I have collected some excellent recipe books (it’s a British hobby, no? Buy the books but don’t actually cook anything) so I consulted. The first, touted as the ultimate companion for French home cooks, told me to cook the beetroot for 3 hours, in order to be able to put it into a salad.

A salad.

3 hours.

3 hours of cooking for a salad? Is it me or does that not negate the idea of salads as the quick’n’easy of the kitchen? Do you take 3 hours to prepare a salad? Do I need to change my approach to salad days?

Cook beetroot with Facebook

Whilst I am sure that the resulting salad would have been a taste sensation, the idea of cooking anything (and anything that small) for that much time was not going to fly. Who does that? Seriously, who does that, I asked my friends on Facebook….

The Facebook replies were helpful, one pointed out that they are root veg (so need thorough cooking, yup, makes sense) one friend even sent me a recipe, for soup. Then of course, there is always one…..   I have to say that one friend who admitted to 3 hour salad preparation came as no surprise. She’s one of my longest standing friends. I know that as a child she spent time down and dirty, on her parents allotment, growing her own and nurturing an understanding of vegetables that has passed so many of us by.

I am sure that her salads are a delight and that her cooking only benefits from her knowledge of how vegetables actually work, like what makes a root vegetable how and why cook them. If you want to try  a slow salad recipe, this from Jaime Oliver might take your fancy.

To cook or not to cook beetroot – what’s the difference?

For the rest of us, it’s lucky that all the health-giving properties of beetroot are available however you get it …pre-cooked and supplied in a packet or pulled straight from the ground. Research has suggested that beetroot (juice in particular) can help with athletic performance and significantly reduce high blood pressure in hypertensive patients. The magic ingredients of beetroot are the antioxidant properties and the heart-healthy betaline, both of which are present in the same amounts in home cooked or factory cooked versions.
Either way, you get healthy eating “points” with beetroot.

Why take 3 hours?

In the end I made  beetroot crisps, baking thinly sliced beetroot drizzled with oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Good stuff for snacking on and still full of the natural goodness. It took a fraction of the time than the French cookery book suggestion. The recipe is from How to eat better by James Wong, it’s a great source of information about food and nice recipes.

cook beetroot from raw

Ingredients

  • 2 raw beetroots
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt

Method

Preheat oven to 180

  1. Thinly slice the beetroot (the thinner the slices the better the crisp at the end of cooking).
  2. Place the slices on a baking sheet where you toss them in oil and sprinkle with the salt.
  3. Bake until crisp – 12 minutes or so.

It took me ages to understand just now thin I needed to get those slices, you might have to tinker with the heat of the oven and timings, but it’s worth it to get a tasty little snack that’ll be healthier than your regular packet of salt and vinegar.

cooked beetroots as crisps

What do you think; do you cook beetroot from scratch? What is your favourite beetroot recipe? Would you include beetroot in your healthy eating for 2018?

ShapesmithBev

Be fit. Be well. Be happy.

What do you think?