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Roasted Beets

Beets can be intimidating.

They’re bright red, they’ll stain your clothes, and they turn your pee a funny color.

Boil them and they taste like nothing.

Get ‘em from a can and they taste like… well… can.

Try to cook them any other way and it takes for-ev-er.

Luckily, your oven is your BFF. Roasted beets are not only easy, but they taste just like those really amazing ones served at snobby upscale restaurants with pea tendrils, lavender goat cheese, toasted hazelnuts, and lemon-infused salt… just minus all those snobby things.

(Full disclosure: I love those snobby things, but I’m a realist and don’t have the patience to eat snobby all the time.)

What follows is a super easy non-snobby recipe for roasted beets that always comes out good. Not just good, but good good.

My friend Erin, a California native living down under, requested a beet recipe, since apparently “beetroot” is super popular with Aussies. Erin, this is for you!

Roasted Beets

Ingredients

  • 4-5 medium beets (about 1 pound)
  • 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil or ghee
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar* (added after cooking)

* Get a really high-quality balsamic vinegar that’s thick or a balsamic glaze. They are more flavorful and less sour.

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Wash beets. Since they grow in the ground, you may need to scrub ‘em.
  3. Slice off beet tops (you can use the greens separately like spinach or kale).
  4. Peel each beet with a vegetable peeler and cut into 4-8 wedges, depending on size (if you’re using super tender spring beets, there’s no need to peel). The shape doesn’t really matter, just make sure the pieces are consistent in size to ensure even cooking.
  5. Place the cut beets on a baking sheet and toss with the oil and spices. Save the vinegar for after cooking.
  6. Cover the baking dish. Seriously. No cover = dry beets. I’ve made that mistake too many times. Almost all my other roasted veggie recipes go sans lid, but beets are the exception.
  7. Roast for 45 to 60 minutes, turning once with a spatula, until tender when pierced with a fork.
  8. Remove from the oven and drizzle with vinegar. This brings out the flavor big time and cuts down on the earthy flavor.

And there you have it: Non-snobby, delicious roasted beets!

BeetsPeeling_beetshow_to_peel_beetsSliced_Beetshow_to_prepare_beets

Roasted beets make a great side dish or salad topping (and are especially yummy with some creamy goat cheese – yes, even lavender goat cheese).

Did you know you can eat beet greens (and stems)?

When you prep your beets be sure you don’t throw away your beet tops. You can cook ’em up just like kale or spinach or chard. They have a slightly salty bite, so they don’t need as much seasoning as a bitter green, like kale. I like to add beet greens to soup or make pistachio beet green pesto.

If you’re especially keen on eating more beet greens, you can actually grow your own from the beet tops (you just have to be a little careful when cutting the stalks). I explain how to grow beet greens at home in this post.

Lastly, beet stalks can also be used. I like to separate them from the greens, since they take longer to cook. Simply slice them up and saute like onions. It’s a great addition to a stir-fry, can be hidden in things like pasta sauce, or you can throw ’em in the pot when making a batch of bone broth. No one will even notice.

Like grandma said, “Waste not, want not!”

Did you like this recipe?

Tell me about it in the comments below.

Until next week,

Lily

PS – One last tip: Unless you like Jackson Pollock, wear black when preparing beets. They stain clothes. Don’t worry about your hands or cutting board. The beet pigments will wash off, but clothing isn’t always so forgiving.

Are you eager for more recipes from me? Leave a comment below telling me what recipes you’d like to see.

Your suggestion might be featured as my next recipe post and I promise to give you a proper shout out.

I can make literally any vegetable taste good (just ask my husband, a former veggie-phobe), but the recipe request doesn’t have to be limited to veggie-dishes. I’m an omnivore, so I’ll eat and cook just about anything.

See you in the comments.

Oh, and please no requests for steamed anything. We can do better than that, friends!

Veggies: Eat them because you want to, not because you have to

Your guide to making vegetables taste seriously good

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Lily Nichols is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator, researcher, and author with a passion for evidence-based prenatal nutrition and exercise. Her work is known for being research-focused, thorough, and unapologetically critical of outdated dietary guidelines. She is the author of two bestselling books, Real Food for Pregnancy and Real Food for Gestational Diabetes.

5 Comments

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  1. Can’t wait to try your roasted beet recipe.

    The winter squashes that are popping up in the market these days seem a little intimidating to cook, a good winter squash recipe would be great.

    Keep the great recipes coming:)

    • Hi Joanna,
      Great idea! I’d be happy to share a winter squash recipe or two in the upcoming weeks. Let me know how the beets turn out!

  2. Thanks for sharing! I bought two bunches yesterday. I’m roasting today and will try your recipe. I hope all is well with you.

    • Likewise, Marie. Nice to hear from you and enjoy the recipe. 😉

  3. Best low carb version of a Baked potato

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