Since the time of Babylon, humanity is familiar with beets, but initially only the leaves of the vegetable were used as food, and the root vegetable was used only for medicinal purposes. Now it is the underground part of the plant that is honored by both the venerable chefs and novice housewives: “Vinaigrette”, “Herring under a fur coat”, borscht and other dishes contain boiled vegetables as the main component.
How much to cook beets to readiness, and how to do it quickly, retaining the nutrients and color of the root?
Boiled beets — welcome guest on the table of supporters of proper nutrition and wishing to find a slim figure. Containing a large number of valuable substances, the product has a low calorie content — about 49 kcal per 100 g.
Virtually all the nutrients contained in raw vegetables are preserved during cooking, except for: ascorbic acid, folic acid, and vitamin B5. Nevertheless, supporters of traditional medicine claim that after boiling the root crop becomes more useful than fresh. This is due to the fact that:
- the concentration of nitrates is reduced by about 50-80%;
- the amount of coarse fiber decreases — boiled beets can, unlike raw beets, be used by people with digestive system problems.
Most of the substances contained in the vegetable can withstand temperatures of up to 110-190 ° C, therefore, they remain in cooking, although their concentration slightly decreases. The table below will give an idea about the benefits for the body of certain substances in the composition of the heat-treated product.
Table — Composition and use of boiled beets
|Component||Value for the body|
|Beta-carotene (in the body is converted to vitamin A)||— Improves visual function;
— shows antioxidant properties;
— accelerates regeneration processes;
— supports immunity
|Vitamin B2||— Strengthens the immune system;
— promotes better absorption of iron;
— regulates the thyroid gland;
— serves the work of the nervous system;
— supports visual function
|Vitamin B6||— Beneficial effect on the state of the cardiovascular system;
— regulates the balance of sodium and potassium;
— prevents the development of urolithiasis;
— improves the state of depression
|Vitamin E||— Shows the properties of the strongest antioxidant;
— improves the condition of blood vessels, skin, hair, nails;
— serves the process of hormone production;
— lowers blood glucose levels;
— improves performance and mental alertness;
— maintains a viable state of the muscular system
|Vitamin PP||— Serves redox processes;
— supports the metabolism of proteins and carbohydrates;
— activates the production of gastric juice;
— shows vasodilating properties;
— serves the work of the nervous system
|Iodine||— Stimulates brain activity;
— reduces irritability, prevents stressful states;
— supports the process of growth and development (in children);
— improves the condition of hair, skin, nails, teeth
|Iron||— Provides tissue oxygen saturation;
— caters for the conduction of nerve impulses;
— supports the function of the thyroid gland;
— improves brain function;
— strengthens the immune system
|Potassium||— Regulates water balance;
— normalizes heart rhythm;
— serves the process of conducting nerve impulses;
— improves brain function by providing the body with oxygen;
— maintains a viable state of soft tissue
|Magnesium||— Supports the function of the neuromuscular system;
— normalizes the endocrine and cardiovascular systems;
— helps to maintain healthy teeth;
— prevents calcium deposits in the gallbladder and kidneys
|Calcium||— Serves the processes of blood clotting;
— participates in the neuromuscular system;
— shows antiallergic and anti-inflammatory properties;
— stimulates some enzymes and hormones
|Copper||— Serves the process of converting iron to hemoglobin;
— participates in the production of elastin and collagen
|Phosphorus||— Supports the function of the nervous system;
— participates in the regulation of acid-base balance;
— helps to maintain healthy bones and teeth;
— serves protein synthesis
— it is necessary for the normal course of metabolic processes
Fruits are suitable for cooking medium size (not more than 10 cm in diameter). Also when choosing a vegetable should pay attention to:
- freshness — damage, darkening, green patches, signs of decay should not be;
- peel — the thinner, the juicier the fruit;
- color — the most preferred brightly colored fruits;
- variety — in cooking, beet is used, fodder and sugar are inferior to this variety in taste characteristics.
Before heat treatment the vegetable should be thoroughly washed. Root vegetables are boiled in their skins (except for a few methods), and the tail is also not needed to be cut, otherwise the finished beets will turn watery and colorless.
Here are six more secrets of «proper» cooking.
- “Reanimate” a limp fetus. If fresh beets have dried a little, soak the vegetable in cold water before boiling. This fruit is better to cook the traditional method.
- Do not salt. Sodium chloride makes the vegetable in the process of heating more solid, which increases the duration of cooking. Salt is necessary to have a ready dish of beets.
- Monitor the amount of water. During cooking, the beets should always be covered with water; if necessary, the liquid should be topped up during cooking.
- Add acid. Introduction to the water a teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice helps to cook the beets so that it does not lose color. Acid can be replaced with a teaspoon of sugar.
- To raise the temperature. Quickly boil fresh beets in a saucepan will help add three to four tablespoons of vegetable oil in the water.
- Complete cold «procedures.» After cooking the beets for seven to ten minutes, hold under running cold water. This will help the vegetable to “reach”, and also greatly facilitate the process of removing the peel. You can also soak the boiled vegetable for several hours in the fridge. Another option is to send the fruit for 20 minutes in the freezer.
Different cooking options allow you to carry out the process in a period of time from eight minutes to two hours. The very same vegetable at the time of cooking can affect in two ways.
- The size. The smaller the fruit, the sooner it will be prepared.
- Age. Boil the old beets need longer than the young.
The exact time of cooking vegetables is impossible to determine. The hostess should check the readiness independently using a fork: if the device easily pierces the beets, then the cooking is over.
How to cook beets so that it does not lose vitamins? Supporters of healthy eating recommend resorting to the traditional method, as this method allows you to save most of the valuable substances.
- To boil water.
- Dip beets into the container, the water should cover the fruit by 5 cm.
- After boiling, reduce the heat to moderate.
- After 40 minutes, continue cooking on a quiet fire.
- After an hour and a half to check the readiness, if necessary, continue cooking.
- Add three to four tablespoons of vegetable oil to the boiling water and immerse the beets in the pan. As with this method, water evaporates quickly, the liquid should cover the fruit by about 8 cm.
- Cook the vegetable over high heat for 20-30 minutes after boiling.
- Get the fruit with a slotted spoon and soak it under the stream of ice water. Due to the sharp temperature difference beet «reach» to readiness.
- Beets without peel chop large pieces.
- Put in a double boiler.
- Cook 40 minutes.
- Put the beets in the thicket of the device.
- To fill with water.
- Select the “Cooking” or “Quenching” program for an hour.
- Check the readiness of the vegetable, if necessary, turn on the timer for another 20-30 minutes.
- In a glass container to pour three tablespoons of water.
- Put the beets in a bowl, large fruits are located at the edges, small fruits — in the middle.
- Cover with a glass lid or a microwave hood.
- If the power of the device is more than 1 thousand W, the vegetable will be ready in eight to ten minutes; in less powerful devices, the root vegetable is prepared twice as long.
- Wrap the beets in oil-greased foil.
- Put the vegetables on a wire rack or baking sheet and bake in the oven at 190 ° C for 30-40 minutes.
- Put the vegetables in a bowl, pour boiling water.
- Boil a quarter of an hour on maximum heat after boiling.
- Remove from the stove, but do not open the lid of the pressure cooker for another half hour, the vegetable will “reach” and cool slightly.
- Grate beets on a grater or chop straws.
- Add grated carrots, finely chopped onion and sliced tomato.
- Simmer on slow gas until half ready or ready.
Boiled beets can be simply processed with a float, chopped garlic mixed in taste, seasoned with vegetable oil, and a healthy salad is ready. You can make the dish more savory by adding prunes or crushed walnuts.
Here are three more original ways to use boiled vegetables.
- Kefir (220-250 ml) slightly salted and poured two thirds of a cup of cooled boiled water (you can use beet broth).
- Chop two boiled potatoes and 100 g of boiled beets into strips.
- Pour the vegetables with kefir, add chopped dill, parsley and green onions to taste.
- Before serving, add boiled egg, finely chopped or cut in half.
- To process the meat grinder 0,5 kg of boiled beet.
- Put the mass in a saucepan and mix 50 ml of milk and a tablespoon of butter, simmer on a quiet fire for five minutes.
- 40 grams of semolina pour a thin stream, constantly stirring the mass to prevent the formation of lumps. While still stirring, simmer for another seven to ten minutes. Cool it down.
- Add 75 g of cottage cheese, egg and salt to taste.
- Form cutlets and cook in a griddle, in a slow cooker, oven or steamed.
- Peel apples and chop them into strips or cubes.
- Just like apples cut boiled beets.
- Combine both components, add a glass of crushed walnuts.
- Season with mayonnaise or sour cream, add salt to taste.
Knowing how to cook beets quickly, you can easily diversify the usual diet with healthy dishes. And finally, advice for those who grow vegetables in the garden: no need to throw out the tops, finely chopped leaves can be added to soups and salads in order to enhance the taste and nutritional characteristics of food.