Always make sure the beets you buy have the stems and root ends attached. They stay fresher for a longer time plus the stems and leaves are just as nutritious as the root.
You generally should try to buy small to medium sized beets as the larger ones can take a long time to cook.
Cut the green stems so that 2 inches of it remains on the root. Do not cut the root ends. This prevents the red juices from seeping into the water.
Boil the beets in lightly salted water for up to 45 minutes depending on the size of the beetroot.
After the beets are cooked, run the beets over cold tap water for 30 seconds. To peel, simply wrap the beet in a paper towel and peel the skin with your hands. The skin of the beets will peel right off. Cut in square cubes and season with salt and pepper and a splash of olive oil.
Just make sure you don’t splash any juices on your clothes as it can be difficult to get the stain out.
If you prefer roasting beets it’s just as simple. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove the green stems and tail end from the beet and season with salt and pepper and some olive oil. Wrap the beets in aluminum foil and roast for 45 minutes or until tender. Cut into square cubes.
I find that roasting beets produces better results because you are preserving the flavor and juices. But both methods certainly beats canned beets. There is just no comparison in texture and flavor.