…Or how to reap the beetroot health benefits easily
Cooking beetroot can be done in a snap if you use a pressure cooker like I do (Don’t miss my video tutorial below!) This effective steaming method I learned from my mother not only saves you time, but also retains beetroot’s bright color and most of the important nutrients.
Did you know that red beets are one of the healthiest and cheapest winter vegetables? I’ll tell you this later in the article.
Firstly, I want to present to you my beloved beet salad recipe with a very long family tradition down to my grandmother from Slovenia. She didn’t have a pressure cooker then, which meant cooking beetroots took her much longer than it does for me today. However, she grew organic beets in her garden and all of her ten kids could reap the beetroot health benefits from early age on. My father told me that they enjoyed beetroot salad at least once per week in wintertime.
He brought this recipe into his marriage and my mother quickly absorbed it and decided to save cooking time with it by using a pressure cooker. My brother and I also ate beet salad from early childhood on, and I’m proud to say that the same is true for my little family now.
- 3 whole fresh beets (medium size), stems removed
- 1-2 cups of water (250 ml)
- 2-3 onions cut in small cubes
- 1 tablespoon caraway
- 2-3 tablespoons vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- some black pepper
- parsley or other herbs for garnish (optional)
- Brush beetroots under current water.
- Place them in your pressure cooker's steamer basket. (For a 6 Quart pressure cooker I add 1-2 cups of water (250 ml).
- Close pressure cooker and secure the lid.
- Bring to high pressure for 6 minutes.
- Switch off heat and let pressure drop off of its own accord. (Never open the lid while the cooker is still under pressure)
- In the meanwhile, cut onions and prepare dressing (mix vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.)
- When beets are just cool enough to handle, use your hands to push the skins using
- rubber gloves.
- Grate beets on a box grater.
- Add onions, caraway, dressing.
- Toss gently.
- Garnish with herbs.
- If you want an even simpler option you can buy pre-boiled and peeled beets.
Check out my video how to make beet salad using my scary pressure cooker
6 Beetroot health benefits you should know
If you are still unsure if cooking beetroot should be part of your clean eating kitchen, then hopefully the following health benefits can convince you.
Beets can fight off sugar cravings
Beets protect liver and gall
Red beet is rich in betaine, a secondary plant compound that stimulates liver function, strengthens the gall bladder, and helps to keep the bile ducts healthy and clear. This results in a smooth digestion but also supports the body to excess toxins quickly and completely.
Beets protect heart and blood vessels
Betaine also has the property to decrease the homocysteine level, helping to protect your heart and blood vessels. In addition, beetroots contain folic acid. This means a regular consumption of beet salad or beetroot juice can be regarded as a real preventive action against cardiac infarction and stroke.
Beets promote good mood
Betaine is also known as Trimethylglycin (TMG) – this is a moderate mood lifter as it can increase the level of the happiness hormone serotonin.
Beets regulate blood pressure
According to a study from 2008, drinking a little more than 2 glasses of beetroot juice per day might be sufficient to regulate a high blood pressure. After volunteers drank 500 ml of beetroot juice, it resulted in a remarkable decrease of blood pressure within three hours. The lowered blood pressure remained stable up to 24 hours after consumption. These results could be confirmed in another study published in the medical journal “Hyptertension,” in April 2013.
Beets & cancer protection
Beetroot is extraordinarily rich in unique anti-cancer and disease-fighting chemicals. Naturopathic doctors use beetroot juices, especially in the tumor therapy as a preventive measure against colon cancer, blood diseases, and leukemia.
Why I didn’t always like my mother cooking beetroot
I have to admit that in my early childhood I didn’t like my mother cooking beetroot. First of all, the pressure cooker made a scary noise, and back then I wasn’t fond of beetroots’ sweet taste. Over the years, this slowly changed and as teenager I started to love beet salad with this love affair remaining until today.
It doesn’t surprise me that my daughter still doesn’t like my beetroot salad too much. What she loves instead, is eating beetroot pasta made with our vegetable spiralizer.
Are you already cooking beetroot?
Let me know if you are already reaping the beetroot health benefits. Just post your favorite beet recipe in the comment section below!