Are Beets Sweet Or Bitter? (Explained)

Disclosure: As Amazon Associates we earn from qualifying purchases. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.

Are Beets Sweet Or Bitter

Are you wondering if beets taste sweet or bitter? No worries, this post will answer all of your questions about the taste of this unique vegetable. Not only will you learn whether they are sweet or bitter, but also learn more details about where they get their taste from and how to make them sweeter, among other things.

Start reading to learn all about the taste of beets!

Are Beets Sweet or Bitter?

The most common description most people use when describing how beets taste is “earthy” or “dirt-like”. However, this can mean different things to different people. So, what do they taste like?

Beets are higher in sugar, so they are naturally sweet vegetables. Their taste is muted and subdued, which is why they are often described as earthy. Still, the conclusion is that beets definitely taste sweet.

Depending on how you prepare your beets, you can pronounce that sweetness even further by combining them with different dishes. Some beets can taste bitter, but this is because of other factors. 

Naturally, they will taste sweet, and the level of sweetness is determined by their sugar content. It is reflected in their color, with white beets being the sweetest ones.

Are Cooked Beets Sweet?

Beets actually develop their full flavor when you cook them. This means that they become even sweeter than they are raw. They also become more tender and are an excellent addition to any dish, salad, or even soup.

Why Do My Beets Taste Bitter?

Beets can become bitter and develop a stronger flavor when they don’t get enough water. They also develop white rings when this happens. Also, too much chemical fertilizer in the soil can cause the sugar content in beets to decline. 

You should get rid of chemicals and try to use as much organic matter in your soil as possible. This way your beets will taste sweeter. If you feel like you absolutely must use a fertilizer, use one that has trace elements. 

Beets get their specific flavor from a compound called geosmin. It combines with the sugar in them to create the unique flavor of beets. The best ones have a good balance between sugar and geosmin.

Is it OK to Eat Bitter Beets?

Yes, of course, it is ok to eat bitter beets. Their lack of sweetness occurs because of chemical fertilizers and a possible lack of water in the soil. However, if you don’t mind the taste, they are perfectly safe to eat that way. 

You can also make them sweeter by adding other foods with fresh, bright, and sweet flavors.

Which Beet is the Sweetest?

White varieties of beets are the sweetest. They are quite popular and are known to be the least earthy-tasting and mildest beets as well. This is because they don’t contain betalain, which is the compound that usually gives them the red or yellow color found in other varieties.

Because they are the sweetest, white beets have a higher sugar content than the other types. You might run into beet seed packets that are labeled as “sugar” beets. This is because white beets are often grown commercially in order to be processed into sugar.

No worries, you can eat them just like any other type of beet.

Do All Beets Taste The Same?

While it can be said that all beets taste similar, there are some subtle differences that are determined by the beet’s color of all things!

Red beets have the slightly sweet, earthy flavor you’re familiar with. Golden varieties of beets are sweeter and less earthy. They are a bit milder than red beets and are quite uncommon.

Striped beets up the ante on the mildness, as well as the sweetness, and are much easier to eat raw. Finally, white beets are definitely the sweetest thanks to their high sugar content.

How do You Make Beets not Taste Like Dirt?

Despite being sweet, some people do not like the earthy undertones of the taste of beets. They often compare it to eating dirt. There are ways to go around this, of course.

The easiest way to get rid of this flavor is to marinate your beets in lemon juice or salted vinegar for 30 minutes at least. The longer you marinate them the better if you want to lose the earthy flavor.

You can also add a couple of tablespoons of vinegar to the water while you’re boiling them. This will also help them lose that flavor.

Wrap Up

Now that you know that beets taste sweet, you know how to deal with them while preparing dishes. If your beets taste bitter, we gave you the reason why this happens.

Since we also provided you with the taste differences between different types of beets, you will know which ones to get if you’re in the mood for something sweeter. You’ve also learned that you can make beets taste sweeter, and less earthy if that is something you want to do.