Roasted Beets

Posted on March 19, 2013. Filed under: Food Made Simple, Health | Tags: , , , |

Food - Roasted Beets

I used to hate beets.  Now it seems I can’t get enough of them.  How did that happen, you ask?  Simple, I knew they were really good for me, especially my hard-working liver, and I wanted to change my response to their taste.  So I do what the French do with their children (pay attention to this American parents!) I cooked up some beets for my husband who loves them, and then I would just taste 1 spoonful – chew and swallow, done.  The first few times it tasted just like mud to me.  Then it changed a little bit, and by the 10 or 12th time, I got the sweetness and began to enjoy them, taking a small bowl instead of just 1 spoonful.  The French just tell their children who don’t like anything on the first or second taste, “That’s fine, you’ll like them when you are a little more grown up.”  I love that kind of manipulation of children instead of them getting the best of us.  I’ve heard parents say in exasperation, “I have to drive to the fast food store to get him/her to eat anything.”  Really?  Who is in charge here?  There is a book, French Kids Eat Everything, get it, read it, do it, that’s all I’m going to say about that.  http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_15?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=french+kids+eat+everything&sprefix=French+kids+eat%2Caps%2C298

Additional helps:  try any red vinegar on them – balsamic, red wine, whatever.  Red vinegars just seem to enhance the sweetness.   So I would steam and douse with olive oil and red vinegar.  Then I moved on to oven roasting and this is where it changed for me from tolerating them to falling in love!

This is so simple, just scrub organic beets, chop off tops and bottoms, and chop into wedges.  Throw all of the clean, chopped beets in a big bowl, drizzle olive oil on and toss around so they get coated.  Then put into a single layer on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with a little salt and bake at 350-400° for 1.5 – 2 hours depending on your oven, the beets themselves, and your preference for doneness.  You have to check and test and see when they get perfect.  I like them crispy on the outsides and soft on the insides where the flesh has carmelized and they are sugary.  My husband complains they are too sweet this way, so I take his out earlier than mine.  The oven temperature range is great because you can do these when you are baking just about anything else and save energy.  I also like to make these when I just have time but I might not use them right away.  They are great cold out of the refrigerator, on a salad, thrown into a soup, into a sandwich, you name it!  So always make extra, they are a great way to get some extra flavor and nutrition into other meals.

I have made these for visiting beet-haters and every time I get surprised eyes with tentative bites and then requests for a few more.  So don’t say about a food that is good for you, “Eeww, I don’t like that.”  That can be a very temporary situation if you choose!

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