Beetroot is one of those wonderfully versatile vegetables perfect for creating quick, tasty and satisfying dishes from snacks and starters to robust mains.
Throw it in salads, whip it into dips and soups or make vibrantly tasty picnic sandwiches or beetroot bagels. It even roasts up into tasty crisps for a different take on potato chips—a perfect vegan picnic snack.
Can You Eat Raw Beetroot?
Yes, you can. Beetroots have a surprising array of health benefits and as with most vegetables, raw beets will have more vitamins minerals and antioxidants. If you choose to eat your beets raw, expect a slightly different flavour and crispier texture which is why raw beets lend themselves to being grated or thinly sliced as we used in our Quinoa Beet Salad with Dill & Mustard Seed. Cooked beetroot is better for chunky or puree recipes.
Tips for Roasting Beetroot
Roasting beetroot is so simple but if you haven’t had much experience with beetroot, there are a few tips to simplify the process.
First things first, you do not have to wrap the beets in foil to roast them. It is wasteful and as foil leaches into your food, not so good for you. I think people do this to prevent any mess from leakage and believe the skins require steam to come away easily. I have never found this to the case.
Simply place them on a baking sheet and use parchment baking paper if you want to prevent a potential mess.
I have always found the skins come off just as easily and rarely do the beets leak while being roasted.
Look for beets that are firm, round, and rich in colour.
If the beets are bunched with the leaves still attached, fresh crisp leaves will tell you about their freshness. Make sure you save the greens.
Look for smaller beets as larger beets tend to be woody and less sweet.
Yes, you can. Our roasted beet and feta salad recipe actually include them. Cut them away from the beets as soon as you get them home to prevent wilting of the leaves and drying out of the beets. Both the leaves and red stems are very nutritious and delicious. The stems and leaves are a great addition to salads and stir-fries. You can eat them raw or sautée in a pan as you would kale or Swiss chard.
There is no wrong or right on this as some prefer to peel them before cooking. If you give them a good scrub under running water before roasting, you don’t even need to worry about peeling at all. The skin will break down enough to eat in the roasting process.
That said, if you want to peel them, I find it is less messy to peel them after you roast them. Give the beets a wash without breaking the skin before roasting. Once they are roasted, run the beets under cold water or allow them to cool and the skin will peel away by hand quite easily.
Kept in an airtight container, whole or sliced roasted beets will last in the fridge for 3-5 days.