Aah, beets. These versatile root veggies are one of my favourites! As a dietitian, part of my job is to know how to prepare healthy foods like beets. So I’m sharing a couple of my favourite ways to use them. A classic storage, root veggie, you can find local ones (fairly cheap) throughout the winter here in Victoria, BC.
And, because of their naturally sweet taste, many kids like them.
However, people often wonder what the heck to do with them. Here are some of my favourite ways to use them.
Grated – Raw Beets
Beets don’t even need to be cooked. Simply wash them, peel off the outer skin, and grate them into a salad.
It doesn’t get any easier than that!
Grated veggies are a fantastic finger food for little ones to practice that pincer grasp.
However, be warned – beets stain! Pick up pieces from all surfaces (including the floor) quickly.
Grated, raw beets are a delicious part of my lentil-farro power bowl (full meal salad).
When I’m turning on the oven to cook something, I often pop a few beets in at the same time – either for a warm side-dish today, or for chilled as a salad in the future.
- Wash beets and cut off any long tails or furry top bits.
- Cut a piece of tin foil large enough to wrap the beet in. Lay it on the counter, shiny side up. Pour a dollop of olive oil in the centre.
- Roll the beet around in the oil to coat it. Wrap the tin foil tightly around the beet.
- Repeat for each beet.
- Place wrapped beets on a cookie tray or in a baking dish.
- Roast until tender, how long this takes depends on the size of the beets and the heat of your oven – at 350 degrees F it may take as long as 2 hours; at 425 degrees F it may take as short as 45 min.
Beet and Bean Borscht
Check out this fantastic hearty and tasty full meal in one pot, vegetarian borscht here. While the recipe takes a little longer to cook, it makes a lot of soup. And, this soup tastes great re-heated. Freeze leftovers (without the yogurt or sour cream topping) in small batches. I wanted to share it not only because it’s so tasty, but because it’s handy to have healthy meals like this in the freezer when the busy holiday season starts up.
Beans, beets and cabbage are all super healthy (and inexpensive) that I’m always looking for new recipes. I picked up this little pamphlet at the Saskatchewan pavilion at the 2010 Olympics. Did you know that we grow tons of beans, split peas and lentils here in Canada?
If the mixed textures in this soup are too advanced for your little one, simply take beans and pieces of the veggies out of the soup and place them in your little one’s dish/ on their tray.