Cook beets lightly. Studies show beets' concentration of phytonutrients, such as betalains, is diminished by heat.
We recommend healthy steaming beets for 15 minutes to maximize their nutrition and flavor. Fill the bottom of the steamer with 2 inches of water and bring to a rapid boil Add beets, cover, and steam for 15 minutes. Beets are cooked when you can easily insert a fork or the tip or knife into the beet.
Peel beets by setting them on a cutting board and rubbing the skin off with a paper towel. Wearing kitchen gloves will help prevent your hands from becoming stained.
Transfer to a bowl and serve with our Mediterranean Dressing and your favorite optional ingredients. For details see 15-Minute Beets.
Beets' color can be modified during cooking. Adding an acidic ingredient such as lemon juice or vinegar will brighten the color while an alkaline substance such as baking soda will often cause them to turn a deeper purple. Salt will blunt beets' color, so add only at the end of cooking if needed.