DOWN TO EARTH CROP: What do beets taste like?

Who does not love crunchy and juicy vegetables freshly picked from the farm? While others prefer to steam and cook vegetables like carrots, tomatoes, spinach and more for a few minutes, some are better off munching these crispy and succulent vegetables right away. Why not? Some vegetables are best eaten raw to provide you with optimum nutrients.

But let us be honest for a minute, we all have different palates. Some palates are down to earth healthy vegetable lovers, while others only taste earthly dirt. And there are some vegetables with bad reputation they are said to literally taste like Earth to half of the human being population.

Beets are feared by most people and some chefs may preferably outcast this vegetable to any recipes if it wasn’t for its amazing health benefits. But what makes this root crop hateful for some is because of its actual taste.

But before everyone throws into a heated debate, it would be reasonable to find out the truth of what do beets really taste like. Does it really taste like dirt? Let us find out!

What do beets taste like?

While most people find it difficult to sink their teeth on beets, its taste actually depends on how you prepare this root crop. It is commonly used as a natural coloring and salad garnish by most chefs because of its incredible health benefits. In other countries, there are different recipes that exclusively make beets as the highlight ingredient, uncooked or cooked.

Like some other root crops, beets too can be eaten raw. However, the major issue here is its taste. The taste of beets is something you need to figure out due to the fact that its taste varied from everyone’s palates. But actually, raw beets taste sweet! No, I’m not kidding at all! That is when it is properly prepared and cooked.

Beets are everywhere— Beet salads, beetroot juices, beet extracts and beet shakes. The mere fact that beets are nutritious and healthy gives this root crop a chance to including itself on the food pyramid.

Why do beets have earthy smell and taste?

A lot of people always complain about beet’s dirt-like taste. Whenever this topic arises, this is the most common response. This is the reason why some people do not even dare try to take a bite. However, there are others who find the earthy characteristics the most appealing.

Like any root crops, beets normally grow below the soil. That is where some of the assumptions of its dirt-like taste. It is a myth that dirt tends to stick in the beets even after washed THOROUGHLY. So, why do beets taste and smell like dirt?

What you actually smell or taste is not the soil or the vegetable itself but an organic compound called “geosmin”. Geosmin cannot be simply washed away and it tends to give off a smell that is similar to a fresh earth soil after a rainstorm.

Moreover, it is quite natural to complain about this earthy smell and taste. Human beings are very sensitive to geosmin that can make you either enjoy its earthly features or “Blahh, whatever”.

Reducing Beet’s Strange Taste

Inside a grocery store, many people would just push their cart passed to where beets are displayed. Unpeeled or unprocessed foods are somewhat crossed out to any shopping lists and beets do not have any immunity.

The primary thing you need is choosing the best beets, cleaning and preparing it properly. Here is a list of criteria for choosing the best beet in the market and how to properly clean and prepare it.

  • Choose firm beets; steer clear from soft and spongy ones.
  • Search for beet with a dark green, leafy top.
  • Until ready for cooking, you can store beets in the fridge.
  • THOROUGHLY rinse the beet skin before peeling and cooking.

Either cooked or raw, it is up to you. Most of the times seasoned and prepared foods would taste amazing if it is done the right way. But, you might want to learn these cooking methods for beets if you are not into beet juices and salads and help reduce the earthy taste and smell.

  • Steaming: It is the quickest way to cook beets. However, it may not remove the strange taste. Experts suggest adding a small amount of olive oil in order to change its taste.
  • Boiling: It is the easiest way to cook beets. This may result in a beet with a softer texture and more subdued flavor that can be used for various recipes.
  • Roasting: This cooking method will bring out the hidden sweet taste and more concentrated flavors of beets. It will result in a tender, potato-like texture.

Beets are amazing!

From roots to its leaves, beet is one amazing root crop! Its roots and dark green leaves are medicinal and edible. Yes, that’s right! You do not have to throw anything and add beetroots and leaves in your recipes!

Today, many restaurants include this vegetable to their menu. It is also beneficial to include this root crop in your diet plan. Why not? Beets have substantial amounts of nutrients. It has low calories and exploding in iron, potassium folic acid, beta-carotene, vitamins, C, B, and A!

More than just earthy taste

Beets have a dirt-like, earthy taste because of the organic compound geosmin. Together with its natural grittiness, most people would go on without it. However, with proper preparation and using the right components, you can tease out its hidden sweetness and transform this soil-y like food into a subtly sweet treat.

Did this article answer your question? I sure hope it does. If you have further questions or suggestions, you can comment below. I would love to hear from you!

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DOWN TO EARTH CROP: What do beets taste like?DOWN TO EARTH CROP: What do beets taste like?
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Nancy
 

Hey there, I'm Nancy, founder and editor in chief here at TOMYCook, and I’m absolutely in love with food and health blogs. I'm on a mission to share my insider cooking, food and health tips with all of you...

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