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How to Cook Beets Without Making a Mess

Every time I cook Beets My Kitchen ends up looking like a crime scene. In spite of my best efforts, hot pink beet juice somehow winds up all over the counter and on the floor, and in some seriously random spots like the microwave and the fridge. And of course it'll be all over my face, hands, and clothes, too. There's no hiding it when I've done something with beets.

I've often found myself wondering if it's a way to keep the mess at bay, or if it's just one of the facts of life. So I have a couple of cooking experts who often work with them to find out if they have any secrets.

They told me that while there's no way to avoid the mess, there's a handful of things you can do do to minimize it. [194559004] If you really here, I'll try to keep your kitchen the tidiest .

Though they are the most common variety of the vegetable, there are many different types of color, Matt Aita, executive chef at The Little Beet Table New York City, tells SELF. He says that if you want to avoid the stains, you can just use other options like chioggia beets (which have a candy-striped interior), golden beets, or white beets. These varieties are commonly available at farms and health food stores like Whole Foods Market.

Aita says that you need to prep yourself before you even consider prepping the beets. Wearing gloves and aprons are just a way to treat you with stained hands and clothes. Manuel Trevino, corporate executive chief at by CHLOE tells SELF.

And don

If you've ever tried to peel it off, you probably know how it is. That's why you should always wait for it until after it's done, Trevino explains. And when you do finally peel the beets, he says that you should do it over the sink. That way, he says, "Any mess wants to get washed down the drain."

There are a couple of different ways to cook it.

Aita's favorite (and least messy) way to make a roast is under a thick layer of salt. The salt will draw moisture from the beet, which will reduce the amount of juice it produces. To do it, you'll need about a pound of kosher salt for every pound of you use. Mix it with one to two egg whites until it's wet enough to form around the bed. Wash and dry your beets, place them in a baking dish, and cover them in salt. Then, at the 425 degrees F and let them cook for an hour until the salt has started to brown all over.

When I tried this method myself, I found it to be totally worthy of Aita's hype. The salt pulled out of the excess juice, so it was easy to handle, and it stained my hands a little bit. Plus, it's super flavorful inside and out thanks to that thick layer of salt. It's plain, but you could just put it in any dish you like, it's a soup or a salad.

The second method calls for aluminum foil, olive oil, and herbs.

Trevino likes to roast beets with olive oil and to be honest, I think it's only way to cook herbs in individual foil packets. The foil packets capture the juice as it's released, so you have to do it when it's finished cooking and toss the juice-filled foil before it has a chance to stain anything.

To do it, wash and dry your beets, then massage them with a bit of olive oil (about a teaspoon per beet) plus herbs like thyme and salt. Wrap each beet individually with aluminum foil and roast them at 425 degrees until fork-tender, about 30 minutes for a medium-sized beet or 45 minutes to an hour for a large bed. Remove from the oven, let cool, and use them as you like. The foil-pack trick has helped me cut down on my usual beet mess.

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