Instant Pot Beets
I love using an electric pressure cooker, especially for vegetables such as in this Instant Pot Beets recipe. Using a pressure cooker has been a savior to me as a working mom. Pressure cooking gives you that “cooked all day” quality food in just minutes, without the stress. I love using the pressure cooker so much, I wrote a cookbook featuring all pressure cooker recipes called Mediterranean Pressure Cooking: Vibrant Mediterranean Diet Recipes for Any Electric Pressure Cooker, which you can order here.
Using a pressure cooker makes cooking those more difficult-to-cook foods easier. One food I find difficult to cook in the traditional manner is beetroot. Beets can be messy, staining your hands and clothing. Additionally, roasting beets in the oven can cause some parts of the beet to cook and others to not cook. However, the pressure cooker allows the beets to cook evenly, which in turn makes peeling the beets easier.
Pro tip: to avoid staining of your hands, use paper towels and/or wear gloves while peeling the beets. Because of the pressure cooker, these instant pot beets are now a popular veggie featured in many of my meals.
Let’s dive into a little more detail about beets!
All about beets
Beets are a type of root vegetable with many different varieties. Most commonly you will see red beets and golden beets in the supermarket. Beets are vibrant in color, almost gem-like, and have an earthy, yet sweet flavor.
Beetroot, versus beet greens, were first consumed in 1542.1 However, beetroot wasn’t a food that was consumed often until it was popularized in Northeastern European cuisine two hundred years after its discovery.1 Now, however, you can find beets all over restaurant menus prepared in many different ways.
Health benefits of beets
When choosing fresh foods to eat, you often are told to eat foods that vary in color, especially those with darker hues. That is because these foods have tons of nutrients, and beets are no different. Beets have chemical substances in them that can convert to a compound called nitric oxide.2 This is beneficial because nitric oxide has been shown to have benefits to your heart, by lowering blood pressure.2,3
In addition to their ability to form nitric oxide, beets also contain other nutrients such as fiber, folate and manganese.3 Together these nutrients are important for gut health, cell health, the formation of DNA and RNA, bone health, amino acid and carbohydrate metabolism, and immune health.4,5,6 In addition, when it comes to fiber, research has shown it may reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes.4 So beets are a really great vegetable to incorporate into your diet!
Recipe ideas featuring beets
Believe it or not, beets are actually a very versatile ingredient. Below are a few of my favorite preparations incorporating my instant pot beets:
- Grain salad: One of my favorite grain salads consists of quinoa, instant pot beets, pistachios, blueberries with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of salt and pepper. So simple, yet so flavorful!
- Veggie burger: Create a veggie patty with shredded instant pot beets, roasted sweet potato, black beans, garlic, onion, salt and pepper
- Simple beet salad: Cook red beets and golden beets according to my instant pot beets recipe. Once peeled and cooled, cut into 1 inch cubes or thin rounds. Top with mint, feta and a drizzle of olive oil.
- Chocolate cake: You can use pureed beets as you would applesauce in certain varieties of chocolate cake and cupcake recipes that call for a fat substitute. I recommend following a recipe for this as baking is more of a science.
Also, no need to throw out those beet greens! They can also be used as you would any other green in a salad or sauteed.
Be sure to let me know your favorite way to incorporate my instant pot beets into your dishes! Tag me @ChefAbbieGellman on Instagram.
- Avey T. Discover the history of beets. PBS. https://www.pbs.org/food/the-history-kitchen/history-beets/#:~:text=Despite only growing well during,Italy, first recorded in 1542. Published October 8, 2014. Accessed January 8, 2021.
- Beręsewicz A, Gajos-Draus A. Enjoy your heart-beets. The role of dietary inorganic nitrate in cardiovascular health. Kardiol Pol. 2016;74(5):403-410. doi:10.5603/KP.a2016.0028
- Coyle D. 9 Impressive health benefits of beets. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-beets#TOC_TITLE_HDR_3. Published May 26, 2017. Accessed January 8, 2021.
- Anderson JW, Baird PH, Davis RH, et al. Health benefits of dietary fiber. Nutr Rev. 2009;67(4):188-205. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2009.00189.x.
- Office of dietary supplements – folate. NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Folate-HealthProfessional/. Accessed January 8, 2021.
- Office of dietary supplements – manganese. NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Manganese-HealthProfessional/. Accessed January 8, 2021.
- pressure cooker
- 1 pound beets washed and trimmed
- 1 cup water
- Place one cup of cold water in the electric pressure cooker. Place the beets in a steam basket or on a steam rack in the pot.
- Secure the lid and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. After cooking, quick release the pressure. Unlock and remove the lid.
- Transfer to an ice water bath and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Peel beets by gently rubbing fingers to remove peel. Slice into quarters or rounds.