Beets have a reputation for tasting like, well, dirt. Here’s how to fix that: pop them in the oven and roast until the beets are caramelized, sweet, and downright perfect.
Once beets are roasted to perfection, they make a tasty side dish or great addition to salads, quinoa, sandwiches, smoothies, or even topped on oatmeal or chia seed pudding – seriously, try it.
The Health Benefits of Beets
You can tell just by looking at beets that they are one healthy vegetable. Along with boasting serious nutrients, beets contain powerful antioxidants that support the body from head to toe. These powerful phytonutrients, which give beets their vivid color, are thought to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects.
Beets, of all colors, contain important vitamins and minerals including folate, manganese, potassium, copper, iron, magnesium, and vitamins C and B6, among others. They’re also great sources of dietary fiber, which promotes digestive health and optimal cholesterol levels.
Beets help to support the health and function of the liver by supporting the liver’s natural detoxification pathways. For this reason, beets have been historically considered a natural liver cleanser.
Beets may also help to lower blood pressure thanks to their naturally occurring nitrates. These are converted into nitric oxide in the body, which acts as vasodilator, or blood vessel dilator, which can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure.
How to Make Perfectly Roasted Beets
Earthy flavored, raw beets are an acquired taste. Roasted beets, on the other hand, are sure to please even the pickiest of vegetable eaters.
The key to making perfect roasted beets is to use high heat and a high heat cooking oil, such as avocado oil. Oils like olive oil and coconut oil have relatively low smoke points (of around 300-350 degrees Fahrenheit) and are not suited for high heat roasting.
With a liberal sprinkle of sea salt (the more the merrier) and ample amounts of crushed black pepper, roasted beets taste more candy-like than dirt.
Feel free to add on dried herbs before roasting to add additional flavor. Some delicious additions are dried thyme, herbs de Provence, basil, oregano, turmeric, and garlic powder.
Allow beets to roast for at least 25 to 30 minutes in the oven. This ensures that the beets will be tender, juicy, and still a bit crisped. They’ll be done when edges start to become brown. Remove the roasted beets from the oven and let slightly cool before digging in.
You’ll be eating these roasted beets straight from the baking tray – they’re that perfect.
Photos by Kate Gavlick