Kitchen Basics: Beets Beets Beets

Rocket Science Scale: 0 – Kitchen Basic

These suckers.

You must be thinking, why beets? In my effort to try and eat healthier, I picked some beets up at the farmers market. And then realized I had no idea what to put them in or how to cook them really. So I thought it would be a good idea to throw them in a stir fry [Recipe Coming Thursday]. That’s when I learned that beets take forever to cook (not standard stir fry time). And beets are a mess to work with.



They stain everything pink. But I cooked this during October, which is breast cancer awareness month, so I was on theme? Right?



Beets are worth the time and mess though because they have a sweet taste and have like zero calories. Which means they moved up on my veggies-to-use list since you can eat as many as you want. (Didn’t you hear me say zero calories!?**) So I decided to learn how to cook them correctly (yay internet!) There seem to be two main ways to go. Either you use your stove to cook them or you roast them. I’ve done both methods but don’t have pictures of the roasting method (I roasted them before I started this blog). So I’ll just share the stove top method. Use the rest of the internet for the roasting method 😉

I will say, in my experimentation with beets I also cooked them wrong. :O So I’ll share my tips so you can get the best results the first time.

How To Cook Beets [Stove-top Method]

The Stuff: 


  • Beets (about 3-4)
  • A Pot (to boil water in)
  • A bowl with ice water in it

The Steps:

1. If your beets have long stems and plants coming out the top, cut of all but an inch of the stems. You can use the greens like chard apparently, I didn’t cook with them though [whoops]. (see picture above)

2. Next scrub your beets clean with a brush. This gets rid of the dirt that is on the beets [it does grow in the ground people]. If you think they have a dirt like taste then try scrubbing them a bit more.

Cleaned and shiny.

Cleaned and shiny.

3. Next put them in a pot and make sure they are covered in water. Here’s where I made a tiny not-mistake but it seems like it. Earlier, I tried to cook some of my beets in the microwave (don’t try it – even though it promises beets in much less time, they won’t be as tasty) and kept a beet to cook later. BUT I cut of the stem at the top, so my water turned pink (which seems to be the BEST side effect of beets. Pretty Edible, PINK food)


It is the one on the bottom right.

Pink water.

Pink water.

4. Now bring the beets to a boil.


5. Now simmer the beets for about 20 minutes until they are tender. You know they are tender when you can puncture a fork through the beet easily. Don’t do it too many times or the water will turn pink. While the beets are simmering, prepare an ice bath. The ice bath is necessary to stop the cooking of the beets.

Since simmering beets are boring, here's the ice bath I had prepared.

Since simmering beets are boring, here’s the ice bath I had prepared.

6. Now take the beets out of the boiling water and into the ice water! Blurry Photo Alert.


7. Now put on a cutting board. If you put wax paper over your cutting board it helps reduce the mess. Also use a plastic board and not a nice wooden one. Unless you want your nice wooden cutting board to be pink. If you do, then cut beets on your board.


8. Now use a potato peeler to take off the skin and chop off the ends with a knife.


9. Ta-Dah! Now you have a beet cooked and ready to be sliced for your dining pleasure.


Look at the pretty colors on them.

Especially next to the green beans!

Especially next to the green beans!

And thats how to cook beets with the stove-top method. I have two recipes for you that use beets (one this week and next week).

Happy Cooking!

** Beets do have calories. Don’t believe everything I say.


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