Beets are best when cooked whole, to retain the flavor, color, and nutrients. To prepare beets, cut off the green tops, leaving an inch of the stem to prevent bleeding and flavor loss. Scrub beets, wrap them in foil, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours, depending on their size, at 400°F (200°C). Let them cool slightly and then peel the skins off. Baby beets can be steamed whole for about 30 minutes, then peeled and sliced. Beet leaves have a rich flavor resembling that of spinach. If they are crisp and bright green, they can be steamed or braised with onions and garlic in a little olive oil.