The Beet Prep Mistake That Will Leave Stains Everywhere

While we all love ordering beet and goat cheese salad at a restaurant, we may shy away from recreating it at home because the root vegetable is known to stain pretty much anything and everything it comes in contact with. Betalains, which are responsible for that beautiful, vibrant, ruby-red color, can't help but leave a little bit of that color on whatever they touch. When you cut and cook your beets, betalains, which are water-soluble, can rub up against your hands, favorite cutting board, marble countertop, or white pants, and boom, you've got a stain that is almost impossible to clean. Luckily, there is a way to avoid this mishap.

To minimize the possibility of turning your kitchen red, you should wear gloves when handling beets. Additionally, instead of using a wooden cutting board when prepping, you may want to consider a plastic one that can be easily cleaned with bleach to get rid of the pink and purple hues left behind. 

Lemons are your friend

However, if you have no choice but to use your wooden cutting board for beets, there are a couple of ways to prevent those color stains. The first line of defense is to line the cutting board with waxed paper. As you cut, the beets' pigment will be left on this covering rather than your cutting board, and if you slice through the paper, simply replace it. And if you still end up with some red streaks, simply sprinkle some coarse salt onto the board and using half a lemon, scrub the board until the color is gone or almost completely faded. Wash your cutting board and it will be ready for use.

Lemons can also be helpful when beets stain your hands or fall on your lap and mess up whatever you are wearing. For your hands, simply rub a slice of lemon over the stain and rinse. When it comes to clothing, use some lemon juice as a pretreatment wherever the beet has splattered. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it out with cold water. Treat it with a solution of water and laundry detergent, and then proceed to wash as usual. 

However, lemons can't always do the trick; if your clothes are still soiled after washing, you may want to try a stain remover.