How to cook beetroot

How to cook beetroot is perhaps not quite so straight forward; it takes an hour and a half of boiling unless you have one of these pressure devices.

Beets are the vegetable that finally cured me of constipation so I have had a life-long admiration for them. Unless you have suffered from that maliferous condition of the large bowel, you probably would not understand.

But do not give up on this page just because you have a healthy gut. Beetroot has many other benefits, not least of which is a plentiful supply of iron; a blessing for every menstruating woman.

A modern pressure cooker is best for cooking beetroot.

This page was last updated by Bernard Preston on 30th November, 2019.

By Bernard Preston

The betacarotenes in beets alone are worth the effort, and the great taste just adds further value.

They are a hardy vegetable, and for that reason I advocate the pressure cooker; it is a great saver of time, and electricity or gas, so that is money that can be better spent elsewhere. Look after the pennies, and the pounds will care for themselves.

I am often surprised how few people have a pressure cooker; whether you are a busy person looking to save time, or a greenie hoping to protect the planet for your grandchildren, it is an important appliance for every kitchen. It uses a lot less energy.

We use ours several times every week, mostly for chickpeas and even our famed butter chicken.

How to cook beetroot

Beets in a bucket, freshly picked and ready for the pot.

How to cook beetroot for this wonderful source of iron, soluble fibre and phytochemicals.

Beets in the pressure cooker.

Pick your beetroot, cut off their tops and save the best; they make simply delicious greens, and are even tastier than spinach or Swiss chard in my opinion.

The sugar in beetroot is quite quickly turned to starch. The sooner you get them from the garden to the pot the better.

Depending on the size of your family, I like to pressure cook eight beets, unless I am going to pickle some. Otherwise they tend to go off in the fridge.

Two thirds fill your pressure cooker with the raw beets, add about an inch of boiling water, put on the lid to steam, and turn on the heat. Make sure you have engaged the locking mechanism. A purple stain on your ceiling would make an interesting sight.

Once the air has escaped and it starts to steam, turn your pressure cooker up to the highest setting, and the gas to the lowest.

Turn the heat right down once you are up to pressure.

Depending on how large the beets are, give them about half an hour; a bit shorter if you like them firm. Then turn the heat off, and wait about ten minutes for the pressure to drop.

Open your pressure cooker and, once they are cool enough to handle, squeeze off their skins.

Enjoy them with melted butter, making it a very wholesome dinner; or pickle some of them.

Beets ready for the table, or to be pickled.

Growing beetroot

If you want really sweet vegetables, then you either have to find a farmer so that you get them freshly picked, or try growing beetroot yourself. They really are not difficult to rear, and the leaves are delicious as a spinach; but they do need regular watering if it does not rain. Otherwise they go to seed before forming a bulb.

If you are on the verge of diabetes, then test your blood-glucose, but always in the context of a whole meal, which is otherwise low in starch; before your food, and thereafter three times at half hourly intervals.

You will start reaping them in the autumn veggie garden right through winter and into spring.

Read more about the power of purple foods.

choice foods

If you suffer from constipation, anaemia and have a family history of colon cancer this wonderful choice food should surely be regularly on the menu. How to cook beetroot however, to my mind is much simpler with pressure.

There is no point trying to rate them; is broccoli better than beetroot? Should you enjoy carrots rather than sweetcorn? Choose as  many choice foods as you can if you want to get to your granddaughter's wedding and sit under the trees you once planted.

Forget not the tops. Provided they are fresh and young, and not speckled with mold, then how to cook beet greens is a subject of equal importance.

It is the multitudes of colours in these so-called phytochemical foods that is behind the fact that they greatly reduce the incidence of all causes of death. Whilst health nut neurosis is a serious psychological disease to be avoided at all cost, it behooves all those wish to avoid chronic illness and premature death to take note.

Use the Site Search function in the navigation bar on your left to find the links to those topics such as how to cook beet greens above, and healthy living tips below, highlighted in bold.

Chronic constipation

How to cook beetroot is a good way to start sorting out the chronic constipation that causes so much colorectal cancer; first sign is often a sudden blockage out of the blue. Prevention is better than a cure. 

A rectal bleed of red blood is another sign; in 80% of cases it is diagnosed too late to treat successfully. The five years survival rate is not good.

Black blood is from the stomach, usually from taking anti inflammatory drugs; an internal bleed from NSAIDs kills 14,000 Americans every year.

If you are feeling weak and trembly, have a routine full count. So called occult blood, unseen in the stool, causes anaemia; that is another sign of colorectal cancer.

Researchers publishing in the journal Nature (1) report that constipation is one of the initiating factors of Parkinson's disease many years later. They report that it has been firmly established that friendly bacteria in the gut play a very important role in the immune system. Have you heard of kefir benefits?

They keep the pathogens at bay simply because of their numbers. Did you know there are nearly five pounds of friendly bugs in the blooming colon? But they are easily wiped out by antibiotics and the many chemicals we consume, especially artificial sweeteners. Avoid those soft drinks if you want to live long in the land.

Consumption of so-called resistant starch that is able to pass through the small intestine undigested, not only reduces the likelihood of insulin resistance, but because it reaches the colon where it is fermented by the microbiota and inhibiting the influence of pathogens such as the E Coli that produce the amyloid protein curli that is involved in neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease.

Read more about resistant starch and how you can through your food encourage microbiota to flourish in your colon. Especially take note of the importance of cooling and reheating of starch before consumption, a process known as retrogradation. Enjoy your beets tomorrow.

Bernard Preston

If you found this how to cook beetroot page useful, then you will certainly enjoy one of Bernard Preston's books. On your Kindle, smartphone or tablet they are very cheap.


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