Known as beetroot across the globe and simply “beets” in the states, this deep red root veggie packs plenty of potassium, magnesium and iron in addition to its rich, sweet flavor. Incorporate grated beets into salads, soups and even mini pizzas, Just as you have options for serving, you also have options for grating the root. Although electric kitchen devices work well for grating beets, you can get the job done with affordable old-fashioned tools.
Wash the beet thoroughly under warm water and cut off the ends with a vegetable knife, so that it's in the shape of a sphere with two flat sides. Peel the skin with a vegetable peeler, holding the beet firmly and applying pressure as you make even strokes up or down its surface.
For coarsely grated beets, choose a sturdy, four-sided box grater with thick, stamped holes, rather than etched holes. Hold the handle firmly, pressing it downward onto a clean cutting board. Press the flat side of a cut and peeled beetroot onto the side of the grater with the largest holes, holding the vegetable near the bottom. Move the beet across surface, keeping it firmly pressed. Collect the grated root from the cutting board or open the grater's latch to empty the shreds, if your grater has a trap.
For finely grated beets, use a rasp-style grater, a paddle-like tool with a corrugated metal bar attached to a handle. Hold the peeled beet firmly on the cutting board, pressing it down so it doesn't budge. Run the rasp's paddle over the surface of the beet in even, downward strokes, being careful to avoid catching your fingers or knuckles. Collect the gratings from the cutting board.
Use a food processor's shredding blade, chopper attachment or grater attachment to grate whole peeled beets. In some cases, the processor's standard blade does the trick for coarsely grated beetroot. If your processor has a pulse button, use it -- this allows you to see how finely grated the beets are after each burst of the spinning blades.
- Love Beetroot.co.uk: Beetroot's Health Benefits
- BBC Food: Beetroot Recipes
- Cook's Illustrated: Graters
- Cook's Illustrated: Rasp Graters
- The New York Times: Grated Raw Beet Salad
- The Kitchn: Recipe: Grated Beet Salad with Blue Cheese
- Weight Watchers: Market Fresh: Beets
- The Kitchn: What's the Best Way to Shred Hard Root Vegetables?
- The New York Times: The Food Processor, the One-Man Band of the '70s, Takes Center Stage
- Delia Online: Food Processors and Blenders
- For grating purposes, choose smaller beets -- under 2 inches in diameter, if possible -- with firm skin and bright green tops.
- Use grated beets in beetroot soup with feta, citrus salad, beet salad with blue cheese, roasted vegetable mixes or beetroot seed cake.
- Refrigerate dressed and grated beets in an airtight container for a few days.
With a diverse professional background and a decade of experience as a freelance writer, Dan has contributed lifestyle content -- from fashion to travel to fitness and more -- to publishers including Chron, Fortune, Sony, GlobalPost, ModernMom, Moviefone, Salon.com, Techwalla and dozens of others.
Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images