Steaming beets in the microwave is a quick and easy way to prepare this nutritious vegetable. It’s a method that retains the beets’ vibrant color, sweet flavor, and high nutrient content. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to steam beets in the microwave.
To steam beets in the microwave, first rinse them thoroughly and trim off the beet greens, leaving about 1 inch of the stem. Pierce the beet skins in several places with a sharp knife. Place the beets in a microwave-safe dish, add a teaspoon of water per beet, and cover the dish. Microwave on high power for about 7 minutes for one medium-sized beet, adding 2 minutes for each additional beet. Stir halfway through the cooking time. Check for doneness by inserting a fork or knife into the center of the beet. Let them cool before peeling and seasoning.
Selecting and Preparing Beets for Steaming
Choose firm, heavy beets with smooth, blemish-free skin. If possible, select beets of similar size to ensure even cooking. Before placing the beets in the microwave, rinse them thoroughly under running water to remove any dirt or debris. Then, trim off the beet greens, leaving about 1 inch of the stem attached to the beet. These greens can be cooked separately like kale or Swiss chard.
Next, pierce the beets’ skins in several places with a sharp knife. This step is crucial as it prevents steam from building up inside the beets, which could cause them to explode in the microwave.
Steaming Beets in the Microwave
Place the prepared beets in a microwave-safe dish and add a small amount of water – about 1 teaspoon per beet. Cover the dish with a microwave-safe lid or another sheet of microwave-safe parchment paper.
Microwave the beets on high power. The cooking time depends on the size of the beets and the power of your microwave. As a general guideline, microwave one medium-sized beet for about 7 minutes, adding 2 minutes for each additional beet. For diced beets, the cooking time may be shorter, around 3-15 minutes depending on the size of the pieces and the amount in the bowl.
Halfway through the cooking time, carefully uncover the dish and stir the beets to ensure even cooking. Then, cover the dish again and continue microwaving.
Checking for Doneness
To check if the beets are fully cooked, insert a fork or knife into the center. The beets should be tender but not mushy. If the beets are not yet tender, continue microwaving them in short increments until they reach the desired texture. Once the beets are cooked, carefully remove them from the microwave and let them cool for a few minutes before handling.
Peeling and Seasoning the Beets
When the beets are cool enough to handle, use a paper towel or a clean kitchen towel to rub off the skin. The skin should come off easily after steaming.
To enhance the flavor of the steamed beets, you can add additional ingredients like olive oil, salt, spices, herbs, or vinegar.
When steaming beets in the microwave, remember to use a microwave-safe dish and lid, add a small amount of water, adjust the cooking time based on the beet size, turn the beets during cooking, test for doneness, and allow the beets to stand for a few minutes after cooking. Be cautious of hot steam when removing the cover from the dish.
Steaming beets in the microwave is a quick and efficient method to prepare this nutritious vegetable. It retains the beets’ vibrant color and sweet flavor, making them a great addition to any meal. With this guide, you’re now ready to steam beets in the microwave like a pro! Enjoy your healthy and delicious steamed beets.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I steam beets without piercing their skin?
No, it’s essential to pierce the skin of the beets before steaming them in the microwave. This allows steam to escape and prevents the beets from exploding.
Can I use plastic wrap to cover the dish when steaming beets in the microwave?
Yes, you can use plastic wrap to cover the dish when steaming beets in the microwave. However, make sure to leave a small vent for steam to escape.
What’s the best way to store leftover steamed beets?
Leftover steamed beets can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Can I steam other vegetables using this method?
Yes, you can steam other vegetables using this method. Just adjust the cooking time based on the size and density of the vegetable.
Can I use this method to steam frozen beets?
Yes, you can steam frozen beets using this method. However, the cooking time may be longer compared to fresh beets. Start with the suggested time and add more if necessary.