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The Best Ways to Pressure-Cook Beets

By M.H. Dyer

Beets are a nutritious root vegetable that is low in calories and high in fiber, folic acid, and vitamins A and C. Choose from a variety of preparations, including boiling, roasting, steaming, microwaving or pickling. Cooking beets in your pressure cooker is an especially effective cooking method, as the beets cook quickly and retain most of their nutrients and the bright color. Use young, small beets, which are the most tender.

Preparing the Beets

Rinse the beets gently in cool water. Leave them whole with at least 2 inches of root and 1/2 to 1 inch of stem intact. Don't peel the beets. Leaving the beets whole with the peel, root and stem attached prevents the beets from bleeding and preserves the attractive red color. Leaving the beet intact also prevents the red color from staining your skin.

Preparing the Cooker

A 6-quart pressure cooker accommodates approximately four medium-size beets, each beet measuring about 2 to 3 inches in diameter. Place the beets in your pressure cooker's steamer basket, then place the basket in the cooker, along with 1 1/2 cups of water. Place the lid securely on the pressure cooker, then check to be sure that the lid is locked into position. Attach the pressure regulator.

Cooking Beets

Place the pressure cooker on a burner set at high. Allow the pressure cooker to heat until the regulator begins to rock back and forth gently and reaches 15 lbs. of pressure. Reduce the heat so that the pressure is maintained and the regulator continues to rock gently. Maintain the pressure for 15 minutes for soft beets or 12 to 13 minutes for firmer beets.

Cooling the Cooker

Once the beets are cooked, your pressure cooker needs to cool completely before you open the lid. Place the cooker under cool running water to cool the cooker quickly and stop the cooking process. Cool the cooker until the pressure gauge reads "0" and the pressure regulator has completely dropped. Never open the lid while the cooker is still under pressure.

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