Beetroot is an underused vegetable that is delicious and sweet. Unfortunately a few people have genes that make it taste like dirt, but for the rest of us, it can be a good part of the cooking experience.
You are only likely to find one variety in your supermarket, but since most other varieties taste the same, that is really all you need.
We usually use them pickled on burgers or in salads, but there are many ways to use them.
Here are just a couple of varieties. The striped one is called Chiogga, and the white one is called Alba
Both taste exactly like common red beetroot, but the white ones juice doesn’t stain.
Beetroot are sweet and some varieties have traditionally been used to make table sugar.
✅ Quick Tips: Understanding your ingredients will make you a better cook, and makes it easier to understand how ingredients will work together.
Comes in many varieties
Although there are many varieties that you can grow at home, the supermarket ones are fine to use.
There are varieties that grow huge, ones that are white and don't stain your hands and benchtops, yellow ones, long ones that are great for slicing, and stripy ones.
Here are some varieties that I have grown:
- Chiogga. Red skin with stripy flesh. These are a smaller variety (for me) but fun to grow and present in dishes.
- Alba. Whites skin and flesh. Tastes the same as red ones, but the juice doesn't stain your hands, clothes, or benchtops.
- Sugar beet. Grows big and ugly. Not good for eating as they just taste sweet, no other flavour. Grown to make sugar.
- Cylindra. This is a red beetroot that grown long, which makes it great to slice into even rounds.
- Golden. A smaller, yellow/gold skin and flesh variety.
- Detroit, A common red variety
- Mangelwurzel. These are huge types (come in red or white types) that are grown for stock feed, but are tasty to eat when small.
Red beetroot is high in antioxidants, but other than that, one cup of cooked beetroot contains: 3 g of protein, 17g of carbohydrate (13.5 g of sugar), 3.4 g of fibre, and are high in vitamins C, A, and Folate, and many minerals.
Favourite beetroot recipes
Some of the most popular recipes that beetroot is used for include:
Beetroot should be washed but not cut before cooking. If you cut them they will bleed much of their colour out. You can cut white ones though.
They should be cooked whole, then, either let cool a bit, or spear with a fork and use another fork to take the peel off while hot.
After peeling they can be sliced or chopped how you like.
The small, young leaves of beetroot can be cooked and eaten as a vegetable or in salads. I find them a bit tough for my liking, but many people like them.