Beetroots and I have come a long way. When I first discovered them they were my ultimate nemesis in the kitchen. So healthy and nutritious. So packed with vitamins and minerals – magnesium, iron, potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, vitamin C, Protein, antioxidants and soluble fiber to name a few – yet having a taste that at first I could only describe as disturbing and a personality so bright red it stained everything it came into contact with.
Beets have at some point been described as tasting soapy. As freshly plowed earth even. But I didn’t go as far as endorse that description. I just thought the taste was disturbing. I wanted to hate them so bad but I continued consuming them in one form or other – cooked, juiced, and in salads. Maybe because they were such a challenge. Who or what did they think they were that they could just waltz into my kitchen and defy me? I was going to eat them out of sheer defiance. Long story short, beetroots and I are easier now mostly because of their high nutritional content. We’re fast friends.
I would say beetroots are an acquired taste. One would be forgiven for completely giving up on their super food goodness based only on their flavour. But there’s no need to kill what promises to be a good relationship between this veggie and your health. Short of condensing them into a capsule to swallow, what can you do to make beets more palatable? Here are 5 tricks you can start with.
On their own
Grate them and add a dash of vinegar and ground black pepper. These grated beets will go along with most of your meals. If you want to eat them as crunchy finger foods, then chop instead of grating and let them sit in vinegar for a bit longer.
Dice or grate beets into your salads and then add a particularly fiery variety of chili. Add also to your salads a small amount of another strong vegetable like celery. Not too much though as you do not want too much of two clashing flavours.
Beets are fickle and like a lot of other vegetables and fruits, they lose a bit or a lot of nutrients depending on the duration and method of cooking. Beets are good roasted or in stir fries along with other vegetables and meats and above all, spices. Just don’t overcook them.
Blend beetroots with banana, avocado and a citrus fruit of your choice. The banana and avocado will thicken the smoothie and citrus will add tang and mask the taste of beets to an extent. Consume immediately.
Blend them with pineapple or passion fruit. Or any fruit with a strong tangy flavor.
Bonus – Dye boiled eggs in beetroot.