Beets are one of the treasures of the garden! They are dirty and rough on the outside, but inside they are gorgeous in color and taste. Like most root vegetables, beets are high in natural sugar, making them attractive to most kids. I love them adorned simply with salt and butter.
The real challenge with beets is to get past the thick skin without cooking them to death. Roasting can take quite awhile and boiling them whole makes a huge mess, takes time and leaves your hands a nice dingy tint for several days if you don’t use gloves when you slip the skins off after cooking.
I have been telling people for years that if I were stuck on a deserted island and could bring only one kitchen tool with me, this would be it. Yes, I would choose this over my chef’s knife because it would peel the coconut and mango alike. There is absolutely no peeler on the market as good as this one. I own two so that one is always sure to be clean when I need it. It easily peels yams, fresh tomatoes and peaches, beets, carrots, butternut squash and even potatoes.
It will peel ANYTHING (including your finger-don’t say I didn’t warn you). The blade is actually serrated, which means it’s sharp as razors but also handles delicate produce without ripping or bruising the flesh. There is also a non-serrated version, but it is not the same magician as it’s cousin and I therefore don’t even own one.
Back to the beets…using your serrated peeler, quickly peel the skins right off! Check out the tiny little grooves created by the peeler in the photo below. Then dice into uniform size pieces and steam for about 7 minutes.
Add the tops of the beets (remove the stems) during the last minute or two of cooking time. At my house I am the only one who eats the greens–they are delicious in their own right, but not nearly as sweet as the root. Beets are done cooking when you can poke them with a fork and not meet much resistance. Diced, they cook quite quickly. Add salt, pepper and butter and serve steaming hot. Yum!
**If you enjoy beets as much as I do, don’t be alarmed if your outputs change color during the 24 hours after enjoying your meal. Read here for more info on that non-dinner table topic.