Orange-Scented Beets

Yes, it’s citrus time which is why you will see oranges, and other citrus fruits, featured in my winter recipes. Citrus is high in Vitamin C which helps keep us healthier. It’s not so amazing that Mother Nature has a plan which is offering food that we need when we need it.

I have so been enjoying this recipe that I have made for more than 20 years and still enjoy. I make it in the pressure cooker but it could be made by roasting the beets, or even buying the packages of precooked beets (yes there is such a thing), and then cooking them in the orange vinegar liquid. These beets taste great on top of any salad or eaten as a side dish. Beets provide nitric oxide which is good for your blood and good for your heart. I chose this recipe because it is Valentine’s Day month but I encourage you to open your heart every day of the year.
Serves 4
Cooking beets has never been easier. They become so tender in the pressure cooker that you don’t even need to peel them if you don’t want to. It’s best to use young beets that are no more than 3 or 4 inches in diameter as they are most tender and even the skin becomes edible in the pressure cooker.

  • 1 1/2 pounds beets (about 3 to 4 medium)
  • 3 large strips orange peel
  • 2 teaspoons grated zest
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (1-2 oranges)
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Sucanat or brown sugar (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 scallions, sliced
1. Scrub the beets. Remove the stems and tails and cut in half. Lay cut-side down and cut into ¼-inch slices.

2. Combine the orange zest strips, orange juice, and vinegar in a pressure cooker. Add the beets. Lock on the lid. Bring to high pressure; cook for 3 minutes. Let the pressure come down naturally for 7 minutes, then release any remaining pressure. Remove the lid carefully, tilting it away from you. Insert a knife into the beets to be sure that they are cooked through. (If not, put back on to pressure for another minute or two.)

3. Remove and discard the zest strips. Stir the Sucanat, if desired, and mustard into the beets.

4. Remove the beets from the cooking liquid and transfer to a bowl. Let cool for at least 5 minutes. (At this point, you may chill the beets in their liquid for a day or two; mix in the grated zest and scallions just before serving.)

5. Mix the grated orange zest and scallions into the beets. Pour the liquid from the cooker over the beets.

6. Serve hot, warm or cold.

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© 2021 by Jill Nussinow, MS, RDN. Reprinted with permission.
Adapted from "Vegan Under Pressure" by Jill Nussinow (Houghton, Mifflin Harcourt). Photo by Jill Nussinow.
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