Any ideas for making beets more palatable?
Trying to include more veggie variety in my diet and I know beets are so good for you, but I just don't like the "earthy" taste. Any ideas on how to make them taste better?
Funny, my favorite way to eat beets is to cook those long ones that are shaped like horseradish in foil. I bake them and simply peel them. But if you don't really like the taste of beets, find something you do like. You can alter the taste by such things as pickling them, cooking them in a cream sauce, or even in orange juice with a bit of clove. You can grate them raw into salad. You can serve them in borscht. But no matter what, they still taste like beets.
Cape Gooseberry makes a beet bread. I have no idea what that tastes like.
Freshness is the most important, so apart from growing them yourself, pick them up from your local farmers' market, preferably from someone who specializes in root vegetables. They taste so sweet.
Of course, you can also marinate in a red wine vinaigrette with some honey, or dress with some fresh-squeezed tangerine/orange juice for brightness.
I'm slowly beginning to appreciate beets more. My favorite way currently is to make a salad with barley, diced beets, feta and a balsamic vinegarette. Really good if you let the flavors meld for at least a few hours.
Edited to say that I cook the beets as others have suggested...well washed, wrapped in foil and "roasted" at 375 until tender. The time depends on the size of the beets, so you need to check after 40 minutes or so to see if they are tender. Continue to check every ten minutes until done. After they are tender, let cool enough to handle and then peel and dice.
If earthy tastes are not to your taste, I'd recommend pickled beets. If those are too earthy for you, you don't like beets. Everybody doesn't like everything, there's no shame involved, and there are tons of other things equally good for you that you probably do like.
Beet people will tell you that there is nothing that should be done, they are perfect! Earthy!
Non-beet people (represent!) will tell you that if you don't like dirt, you don't like beets. Don't force it. It leaves more for the beet people.
(I think it may be a cilantro-type thing - some genetic predisposition which prevents us non-beeters from appreciating their glory.
But beets and cilantro are so wonderful together!
Don't cook them- grate them raw into a bowl. Add sliced onion, chiles (jalapeno if you must, but the more fiery ones work best) and a whole lot of cilantro, dress with lemon juice, maybe some cumin. Voila, a wonderful salad or slaw or whatever you want to call it that tastes fresh as a daisy and perks up any meal.
Hmm. Lovely recipe. I shall try it.. with jicama.
I cannot be converted. Many have tried. I'm like the op, charmedlife - I've TRIED, I swear.
Ironically, I tend to love everything the more "common" palate professes to detest. But I haven't broken the code. The dirt always predominates.
You may be onto something, shanagain and TongoRad. As another hound wrote, beets taste like "basement" to me, although I have cooked them many ways in an attempt to appreciate them. Cilantro doesn't taste soapy to me - just acrid and miserable. I wonder if there's an anti-beet gene that somehow pairs with the anti-cilantro gene......
I don't know, cilantro does taste slight soapy to me at times, but I love it, and have a bunch in the fridge at all times. Curious.
An aside, I've actually eaten what is supposed to be the best dirt in the US, Alabama's red/purple clay dirt, as a child. Though I know some people actually crave said dirt, I was also not a fan. My sister loved every minute of it.
I only have one of those genes. I've been spitting out beets since my Mom tried to give them to me as baby food. I try them every 6 months or so to see if I still detest them. So far, GACK!!!
But I LOVE cilantro! I double the cilantro in my salsa recipe, sprinkle it on all sorts of stuff, and am never without a bunch in my fridge, "just in case."
Maybe if I try Tongo's slaw (and double the cilantro, ha) I won't want to hurl at the mere smell of beets?
Thanks for all the replies! And yes, it may be that I just don't like beets, because as you said Shanagain, I don't like the taste of dirt (also don't like alfalfa sprouts for the same reason). My kids will sit there and eat a bowl of beets - they love them! It does make me feel like there must be something wrong with me - LOL! Before I give up though, I'll experiment with the pickled variety.
I think it has to be genetic...I just can't stand beets in any way, shape or form. I used to detest the canned ones my mom would serve when I was a kid, and even now, I tried a roasted beet sandwich(with goat cheese and some other stuff) because the waiter assured me they taste nothing like canned beets. To me, they tasted exactly like the canned stuff. I don't even like them roasted with other root veggies, the beets have a strong taste that I simply do not like. Wish I did, though, since they're so good for you.
I like to add a little red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, dried oregano and thin sliced red onion to sliced cooked beets for a simple salad. Or roast the wrapped in foil, but drizzle them with salt, pepper and olive oil. Then quarter them over baby greens, drizzle with balsamic or sherry vinegar, and top with some candied walnuts and a dollop of goat cheese. yum!
Try different varities if you can find them too. I had some red and white striped beets (candy cane beets, I think) last summer and they were sweeter,
And try to find smaller ones, they'll have more sweetness.
I don't like beets either. But I don't like the fact that there are things I don't like. I'm delighted that my tastes keep expanding with age, and I keep trying things I didn't like, hoping that I eventually will like them.
A while back at the farmer's market, I bought a bunch of red chard on a whim, not knowing what it tasted like. I thought it tasted faintly of beets. My initial reaction was disappointment, of course. But I just kept eating my way through the bunch over the course of several days, not wanting to waste it. The beet flavor was there, but not overpoweringly strong. And by the end of the bunch, I wasn't hating it. I figured I may have been easing my way into developing a taste for beets by eating something with a milder version of that flavor. I still haven't tried beets since, but I remain hopeful.
Weem, it's funny to me that you don't like beets but came to enjoy the greens. Mrs. O is the exact opposite: loves beets, can't stand either beet greens or their siblings, Swiss chard. In fact her whole family despises chard, whereas I adore it.
I just thought of another possible way to mask the dirt flavor: my mom's one and only beet dish was something she called Dutch-style beets, which were a sweet-and-sour preparation. I remember that when I finally was served fresh buttered beets I was amazed at the flavor, which of course is the one the OP hates...
Try roasting the beets, peeling when cool, and immediately splashing with a small amount of raspberry wine vinegar. Then do whatever you want with them though my favorite is in a salad with red onion, avocado, blue or feta cheese and walnuts. Try beet risotto for one of the most beautiful dishes in this world. I was once a beet hater but now I love them.
I 'm not the biggest beet fan, but I love a roasted beet salad with a simple sour cream horseradish dressing. Whenever I make it, I eat so much that my pee turns bright pink for days. ;-)
If you don't like them pickled and chilled, which disguises the taste the most, consider roasting them in foil and serving them with goat cheese and walnuts. I ate that at Mario Batali's restaurant once, and thought it was amazing.
The only way my beet-hating husband will eat them is grated, raw on salads. "They don't taste like dirt" when prepared this way, he says.
I have hated beets since I was a kid. My grandmother used to grow them, and I was forced to eat them, and I hated them. Her beets were big, round, and really dark. At the farmer's market this year, my husband bought some tiny beets that were pink and white, and some yellow ones. We roasted them with olive oil and salt, then I put balsamic vinegar on them while they were still warm. and while they still tasted faintly like the beets I hated as a child, they had other good qualities, too. Later in the season, we found the bigger beets tasted just like the ones I hated as a kid. So they were a no go. But the little ones were pretty good.
cooked beets in a cheese sauce.
raw grated beets in salad
cooked or raw cubed beets in salad with goats cheese.
I don't love beets, but I've learned to like them. Some tips.
1. I agree with the others... get your beets from a farmers market.
2. Pan roasted beets. Slice beets about 1/4" rounds. Get some butter or oil and let beets cook on medium heat in a heavy skillet. Turn every now and then. Add a small amount of water to keep moist, but not wet. You want the beets to brown a little bit. When the beets start to soften, toss in some sliced carrots. A bit later, add a couple handfuls of sliced cabbage or kale. During the cooking, I also like to add some greek seasoning mix. You know it's done when the beet rounds break easily with a fork.
3. Lemon zest and/or kalamata olives are a nice complement to cooked beets.
4.Shredded raw beets are really good on a salad. Combine shredded raw carrots, beets, and turnips. Really nice color and flavor combo.
There was an almost identical thread about beets a few months ago:
Similar threads about other foods crop up frequently on CH: "Please help me to like blue cheese. . .rapini. . .brussels sprouts. . .sardines. . .etc." I don't understand why people feel upset, sad or inadequate because a particular food doesn't appeal to them. Do you expect to love everything you read? Every movie you see? Why should it be different with food?
There are perhaps half a dozen foods that I truly despise, beets among them. (And yes, I've tried them numerous times prepared different ways.) However, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of foods that I really like. I think that is a pretty good ratio in favor of the positive. Do I feel deprived for shunning beets? Not in the least.
I happen to love roasted beets in a salad and recently I had a beet salad at a greek restaurant and it was really delicious. But it is only within the last 2 years that I began to like them. I'm not sure what it was that even made me try them. But I was hooked.
I think this recipe for Beet Hummus looks good, and you can't beat (no pun intended) the color!
I find beets and citrus a great combination. A nice salad of beets, orange sections, sliced fennel with a dressing made from the orange juice can't be beet.
I poke em liberally with a fork, drizzle with olive oil, add rosemary and lots of garlic cloves and wrap this all up in some foil . Roast them for about 45 min (if they're med size). Peel the beets. Fork mash the garlic with some kosher salt and olive oil. Use that as your dressing. Pure beet heaven. This one is also a great dinner party hit. :)
I find the yellow beets are less earthy than the red ones. That's how I started to like beets.
It also helps to have really fresh ones, they are much sweeter and don't have that rotten acidic after-taste that the older beets sometimes do.
If you don't like them - you just don't like them. They may be healthy, but I am sure there are veggies that are more palatable to you that deliver the same nutrients.
I will try a food item prepared in a number of different ways, but at some point, I just say - this is not for me and move on. There are way too many foods that I truely enjoy eating to waste time choking something down that I don't like.
I love roasted beets! First used a recipe from the Joy of Cooking back in the 1970s. I believe that one was called Baked Beets. And I just roasted some last night to use in a salad today: baby spinach, roasted beets, crumbled goat cheese, toasted pecans and a vinaigrette made with fig vinegar. Yum.
Haven't made it in a while, but somewhere I have a recipe for a beet salad I ate in Morocco. It was grated raw beets with mint and a vinaigrette dressing. We were at the restaurant with a group and my daughter and I were the only vegetarians. They made us that beet salad and a carrot salad along with other things) that were wonderful. And luckily for me they shared the recipes.
Not sure if this is similar to what you are... but I once made a shredded beet salad with mint and raisins and a sweet/spicy dressing. It was fantastic. The dressing was made in the food processor, then the beets were shredded in the food processor to pick up any leftover bits of dressing.
You gave it several tries, you still don't like them. Live with it and leave all the yummy beets to those of us who LOVE them!
The agar permanently binds the mustard oil with the beet mixture when blended together. The beet mix originally served as a ravioli filling that liquified when heated, like a soup dumpling. Here's the recipe:
Spicy Beet Wasabi Substitute
2 cups mustard oil
beet schmoo (recipe follows)
- puree thoroughly in blender
1 cup water
1/4 cup honey
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp agar agar (powder)
3 cups sliced roasted beets
- bring water, honey and salt to a simmer
- whisk in agar agar and stir 2 minutes
- puree everything in blender and allow to cool
Bake them wrapped in foil. Then glaze them when a balsamic reduction. (See Gordon Ramsay's recipe for balsamic beet root with Roquefort. It's the best beet recipe I've tried.) Baked beets are also great if you saute them with butter and shallots and finish with some fresh herbs (like tarragon or dill). You might even want to add a splash of sherry vinegar.
All in all, I think baking beets before using them in dish is the best method of taming their flavor. If you don't like the earthiness, definitely do not eat it raw. Baking them will bring out the sweetness. Pairing it with acidic ingredients like vinegars will help balance the sweetness.
I like beets and my favorite has pretty much been covered - roasted, then cooled and served cold in a raspberry vinaigrette with small pearl onions or finely diced red onions.
No one has mentioned borscht, which is a Russian beet soup sometimes served cold with sour cream or yogurt or hot with a meat stock. Not my favorite preparation, but a lot of people really like it.
I used to not like beets either, but I LOVE goat cheese, so out to dinner at a restaurant I trust, I tried a salad of microgreens, goat cheese and beets and liked it. What I like to do: peel, chop into either tiny pieces or chunks. Wrap in foil, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and roast for about 40 minutes. I agree with others about trying golden beets - besides being a little sweeter and less earthy, you won't look like you murdered someone when done peeling them:)
Once roasted, I either toss the chunks with viniagrette, arugula and goat cheese or spread goat cheese (or fresh ricotta) on a baguette and then sprinkle the tiny beets on top.
I find the beet/cheese combo to be a great match.
Oh, and I also had a great recipe for roasted beets with clementines. I found it on epicurious and the orange took a nice sweetness.
Danish herring salad. Dice beets w/ marinated herring and combine w/ whipped cream. The herring makes the beets taste sweet. If one doesn't like a fishy flavor, then it "beets" me.
Blue ribbon winner Texas State Fair.
Beets, botanically-known as Beta vulgaris, are native to the Mediterranean. Although the leaves have been eaten since before written history, the beet root was generally used medicinally and did not become a popular food until French chefs recognized their potential in the 1800's.
• Select the best quality beets for canning. Choose fresh, firm beets and pickle as soon as possible. If you must hold them, store in a cool, well ventilated spot.
Ingredients: Pickling Syrup
• 2 cups sugar
• 1½ cups vinegar
• ½ cup water
Ingredients: Salt Added to Jars
• 1 teaspoon to quarts
• ½ teaspoon to pints
1. Wash 1-pint Mason-type jars in hot suds and rinse in scalding water.
2. Put jars in a kettle and cover with hot water.
3. Bring water to a boil, covered, and boil jars 15 minutes from time that steam emerges from kettle.
4. Turn off heat and let jars stand in hot water.
5. Just before they are filled, invert jars into a kitchen towel to dry. (Jars should be filled while they are still hot.)
6. Sterilize jar lids 5 minutes, or according to manufacturer’s instructions.
1. Cut the tops off the beets, leaving about 1 inch of the stems. Wash the
beets, cover them with boiling water, and simmer until they are tender.
2. Remove from the hot water. Cool slightly and remove the skins.
3. Slice the beets to a uniform thickness so that they will cook evenly. Small beets can be left whole.
4. Dissolve 2 cups sugar in 1½ cups vinegar and ½ cup water and bring
the liquid to a boil.
5. Pack the beets in glass jars to within ½ inch of the top and cover with
the boiling pickling syrup, leaving ½-inch headspace.
6. Add salt to jars.
7. After filling the glass jars, work the blade of a knife down the sides of
the jar to remove air bubbles, and add more liquid if needed to cover
8. Wipe the ring and the jar rim clean and screw on the cap...
9. Adjust the lids and process in boiling water for 30 minutes.
Note: In this hot pack method the beets are cooked in water until tender before they are put into the jars. The beets are then covered in the jars with boiling pickling syrup and then processed in a boiling-water bath for thirty minutes.
i've only read a few posts, but i agree with the baking in foil method. after that i like to marinate in good evoo, and nice vinegar, some fresh herbs, salt and pepper. then pop it on my salad with a sprinkle of blue cheese....so good. yellow beets are nice too....
Grate some cooked beets and apples together. Cook briefly. Thicken with a little roux. Enjoy. Yummmmmmm.
We recently enjoyed beet gnocchi at a restaurant. I made a lazyman's takeoff by making spaetzle instead: Simply puree cooked beets with an egg and some water, add salt and flour to make a stiff batter and put it through a spaetzle press into boiling water. They cook in seconds. They could be served as a side dish or with goat or blue cheese as a starter. So good and soooo easy.
Three amazing ways to enjoy beets :
1) Alton Brown's savory herb roasted pickled beets
2) Lynn Crawford's Beet Salad
3) Laura Calder's Endive and Beet Salad
All of these recipes will have you looking forward to your local beet season. Honest.
If you like fish, make a Nordic Xmas beet and herring salad w/ whipped cream. The herring so overpowers the beets, that the only flavor one gets from the beets is "sweet".
Here's a recipe I recently made and enjoyed. It didn't convert the beet hater to whom it was served so I doubt it will convert the beet-haters on this thread.
I served this salad as the first course when we had some company. Whoops! I didn't know that the husband was a beet hater. One bite of a beet and he started picking the beets out of the salad and putting them on his wife's plate. She, who loves beets and never makes them because of his antipathy, was thrilled with her double portion.
Beet and Apple Salad With Horseradish Vinaigrette
6 medium beets, unpeeled, but with tops removed
2 tart green apples, such as Granny Smith
3 scallions, thinly sliced (white and light green part only)
1 tablespoon Dijon or Creole mustard
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
3 tablespoons red wine or raspberry vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Make the salad dressing. Set aside.
Roast the beets in foil at 350 for 40-60 minutes, until the beets give to gentle pressure. Remove from oven and let the beets sit in foil for about 10 minutes. Open one packet at a time to peel. (Peel when still hot for convenience. There's a point when the beet is still too hot to be comfortable to handle, but won't burn you. That's when the peel slips off without any effort.)
Cut the beets in large dice or small wedges. Use some of the dressing to marinate the beets until serving time.
Just prior to serving time, cut the apples into medium dice. Slice the scallions. Combine the marinated beets, apples, and scallions. Mound mixture on a bed of mache. Drizzle remaining dressing over everything. (I plated this salad on individual plates.)
Notes: The original recipe cut the beets into julienne strips and grated the apples. I prefer my version.
The original recipe did not include mache.
The original recipe did not include lemon juice. I found the dressing tasted too oily without the addition of the extra acid. Experiment with your favorite vinegar.
I love roasted beets and eat them all kinds of ways, but I think my favorite is to slice them and make a dressing of dijon mustard, red wine vinegar and olive oil. I love to slice them and eat them with fresh mozzerella and fresh basil or parsley. I don't pick up an earthy flavor from beets, I get that more from sprouts but I love it.
re: chef chicklet
Now might be a great time to try beets again. I think the ones in our NH garden have been sweetened by light frosts. I agree yellow beets are sweeter and lighter tasting than dark red beets. The candy striped ones are probably chioggia which are in our garden right now. A late planted crop is now baby beets in November.
DH hates broccoli and cilantro but he recently agreed that broccoli fresh from the garden didn't have that old cabbage-y taste he hates. There's a big difference in taste for some vegetables between fresh at a farmers market or farm stand and sitting who knows how long in the supermarket.
Chocolate beetroot cake. It intrigues me. I haven't tried it yet, but here are a couple of links that my google search brought up:
The first one sounds especially good - extremely moist chocolate beetroot cake with creme fraiche and poppy seeds - think I'm going to have to try that one!
I love the pickled kind in a jar.....they really add a spark to a salad. Try a mandoline shaved beet + fennel + granny smith apple whisked with a vinaigrette made from lemon juice, cider v, garlic and olive oil and then top with good goat cheese crumbles and toasted sesame seeds.
My favorite: beet chips. Thinly slice beets (preferably krinkle-cut on a mandoline). Coat with flour by placing slices & flour in large baggie & shaking ... & shaking. Then deep fry them; drain on paper towels; gorge. They are delicious - similar to Terra Chips but better. Guests will be amazed that they're eating beets when they find out what they've just ingested. Not particularly healthy, but that's why they're so good.
So glad this was bumped up, since I've been trying to make beets work this week.
The beet gnocchi sounds interesting, but what sauce is good with it? Guessing I can take the safe route and just go with a butter/herb sautee, but I was hoping there was something more interesting, and maybe even something that uses the beet greens.