How to Cook Fresh Beets

Beet, or beetroot, is an edible root vegetable. It has high nutritional value and is an excellent source of carbohydrate, protein and dietary fiber. Beets also provide essential vitamins and minerals. Beet tops are an excellent source of vitamin A and the roots are a great source of vitamin C. Beetroots can be eaten cooked or pickled. They can be served warm or cold in a salad. Beet juice is used to make Russian borscht [source: University of Illinois]. We will now show you how to cook beets.

  1. Wash the beets gently. Do not peel, pare or trim them. Beets are best cooked whole with their peel intact. By leaving the peel on, you preserve the nutrients and the color.
  2. Fill up a pot with water and place the beets inside. Make sure the beets are entirely covered with water.
  3. Add a bit of vinegar or lemon juice to the water in the pot. This will help preserve the intensity of the color.
  4. Bring the water to a boil. Depending on the size and age of the beets, the cooking can take from 20 to 45 minutes. The beets are cooked when they are tender.
  5. Take the cooked beets out of the pot one by one with a fork.
  6. Hold the beets under cold running water.
  7. Peel the skin off while holding the beets under the running water. The peel will come right off.

Beets can be also cooked in the microwave, as follows:


  1. Wash the beets, without peeling or trimming them.
  2. Put the beets in a dish with a ½ cup of water.
  3. Cover the dish.
  4. Place the beets in the microwave for 15 minutes.
  5. Leave the beets in the covered dish for five more minutes. Your beets are now ready to be peeled and eaten [source: University of Maine].