Beetroot is a dark purple root vegetable that is a bright pink colour inside.
Beetroot can be eaten raw, cooked, hot, cold, and pickled and can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes.
Its flavour is earthy, rich, and slightly sweet. Beetroot is healthy and is said to have antioxidant qualities.
What Does Fresh Beetroot Taste Like?
A lot of other root vegetables can’t be eaten raw, but raw beetroot is a great way to added colour, crunch, and earthy sweetness to a salad.
Raw beetroot works best when it is grated and added with other salad items. It can often be found in mixed salad bags. The bright colour of raw beetroot also makes it very appealing when raw.
What Does Pickled Beetroot Taste Like?
Pickled beetroot has a less earthy taste than raw beetroot and is often the preferred way to use beetroots. When pickled the beetroot becomes softer and takes on the sharp tang of the pickling vinegar and the extra sweetness of any added sugar.
A mild earthiness can be tasted alongside the sweet and sour tang of the pickling process.
Why Does My Beetroot Taste Bitter?
If your beetroot is bitter tasting, then it may also have white rings around the inside of it, caused by the beetroot not having enough water while it was growing.
This is known as “water stress”. Water stress can cause the beetroot to have a more bitter taste, but it is still ok to eat.
Cooking the beetroot in a pan of salted water is a good way of removing some of the bitterness.
How Can You Make Beetroot Taste Sweet?
Something as earthy tasting as a beetroot may seem like a strange choice for a sweet dish but beetroots can be baked into desserts such as brownies in much the same way that carrots are used in carrot cake.
Beetroot in a brownie adds an earthy profile with the rich sweetness complementing that of the cocoa used.
Using beetroot in a brownie or other dessert also brings added health benefits without distorting the flavour.
What Does Beetroot Taste Good With?
Here are some ideas for beetroot accompaniments that work well with the flavour of beetroot:
- Nuts – The nutty taste goes well with the earthiness and sweetness of the beetroot.
- Salad – Picked, grated raw or cooked, beetroot works well in most salads.
- Goats’ cheese – Any cheese works well with beetroot.
What Are the Best Ways to Use Beetroot?
Beetroot can be sliced, grated, mashed, roasted, and pickled and its unique flavour works well with many different dishes.
Beetroot can be blended in with hummus or blended into a smoothie for a healthy addition to your breakfast drink.
Grated beetroot can be added to dishes like risotto where it both enhances the flavour of the dish and stains it a beautiful pink colour.
Beetroot can be used to make gnocchi where again its beautiful colour makes it stand out and adds a lovely touch to the dish.
As well as this beetroot can be added to soups, stews, tarte tatin and even used in a red velvet cake!
This large range of uses is a testament to the earthy mild sweet flavour of the beetroot and it’s this that makes it such a flexible and enjoyable ingredient.
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