Acquiring a taste for beets

Last night I learned a very important lesson.

I like beets.

It came as a shock to me since I’ve been trying them now for about two years.  A little here, a little there.  And every time, my thoughts were, “They’re not disgusting, but I would never choose to eat beets.”

Well last night, I chose to try beets again and just like I’ve learned to eat dark leafy greens, okra, sweet potatoes, tomatoes (yes, at one point I didn’t like sweet pots or ‘maters – shudder), I have now learned to like beets.

These beets eased me into it, but the roasted beets I incorporated into last night’s meal, solidified it.  I like beets. 🙂

Roasted Beet and Walnut Couscous
1/3 cup whole wheat couscous
2/3 cup vegetable stock
1/2 a large beet (~5 inches in diameter), cubed*
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 oz. feta cheese
2 Tbsp. walnuts, chopped

Roast beets on an oiled pan at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes; flip with a spatula and allow to cook an addition 10-15 minutes. (You'll know when they're done because they will shrivel a bit as shown in the photo above.)

Cook couscous in vegetable stock according to package direction. When couscous and beets are fully cooked, place all ingredients into a large bowl and toss to make sure ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the dish.

Serve and enjoy!

*I didn’t peel my beets which I found is kind of unnecessary if you roast them well.  A little extra fiber never hurt anyone is fine unless you have trouble digesting fiber.  Plus peeling beets are super messy and laborious. I’m all about quick and easy.

What a delicious and fresh summery meal!  I can’t wait to make this as a side for Brad, who will want a piece of meat to round out his meal.  This portion was enough for me as a meal (with some roasted green beans).  I love dishes that incorporate a lot of different flavors and textures and this dish does just that.  Plus it doesn’t hurt if the dish is pretty to look at; including veggies always makes for a prettier meal.

You may be wondering why I’ve forced myself to try beets over and over, despite not having an initial liking for them.  There are two reasons:

1- 99% of the vegetables I eat were learned; I didn’t like them initially or maybe even the third time I tried them.  By trying them in different ways and repeatedly, I developed a taste for them.  Can you imagine what it would be like to eat virtually no vegetables? Welcome to my diet in high school.

2 – Beets are soooo good for you. Some of the health benefits:

  • Beets contain powerful nutrient compounds that help protect against heart disease, birth defects, and certain cancers;
  • have a unique combination of antioxidants – Vitamin C and Manganese;
  • contains uncommon phytonutrients that act as anti-inflammatory compounds; and
  • supports detoxification by aiding in the elimination of toxins for the body.Early stage research shows that beets might be beneficial for:
  • Eye health
  • Overall nerve tissue healthy
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Preventing cancer (source)

What’s your favorite way to eat beets? Links to recipes are welcome!

Do you have any vegetables that you had to learn to like and how did you do it?