Thanksgiving Beets Part I: How to Roast Beets

Beets. When I was a kid I hated beets. They looked gross, smelled gross, and tasted gross. One night Ma made beets as a side dish with dinner and while she and Dad were yapping about their day, I very stealthily placed each beet under my plate. I knew I could get away with it because me and Rob usually had to clear the table and wash the dishes. Alas my plan was foiled when Ma jumped up and said, “Robin, you look tired, why don’t you go study and I’ll clear the table,” as she reached for my plate under my protests. Too late I had been had. The mushed beets under my plate had been seen. But I got away with it because she laughed. Parents, it is impossible to discipline your kids while laughing. Trust me, I’ve tried.

It wasn’t until recently when I discovered a new love for beets. The difference? Non-canned, absolutely fresh from the market beets. Fresh roasted beets are the best. In this first part of How To Roast Beets I will show you just that. How to roast beets which can be eaten plain, in salads or for use in any dish calling for cooked beets. In the second post I will fill you in on two great recipes using beets as a colorful and delicious addition to your Thanksgiving Feast. So this is a three for one deal. One vegetable, three recipes.


Remove the greens from your fresh organic beets. Leave at least two inches of the stems attached, this is so the beautiful red pigment of the beet will not leak out during the cooking process. The red color, or betacyanin in the beet is water soluble so if you ever were to boil it the pigment would fade away. Also leave the root intact for roasting. Do not peel the beet either. Save the lovely edible greens! In Part II I will tell you how to cook these wonder leaves.


Using a vegetable brush, scrub the beets well. Remember to rinse between the stems. Keep that root intact! Once the beets are scrubbed, place them in a large casserole. I roasted 9 beets. I also needed beet juice for the Harvard Beets recipe so I added 1 1/2 cups water. Now you will tell me I’m steaming the beets and not roasting. Blah, blah, blah. Now cover the beets tightly with foil and roast for 1 hour 15 minutes in a 400° oven or until the beets are fork tender.


Let cool until you are able to handle them. Then simply pull away the peel, roots, and stems. This is a messy job so wear gloves (if you have them- I didn’t), old clothes, and don’t use your favorite cutting board. Save the juice, you will need it for the Harvard Beets recipe coming in Monday’s Post. The beets can be eaten now warm or at room temperature with a sprinkle of Kosher salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Also very good in salad.

STEP 4: How to Remove Beet Stains From Your Hands

Even after a good scrub with soap and warm water, my hands remained stained.

My MIL, Marilou told me how to get beet stains off of my fingers and nails. It’s very simple actually. Polident! After making a bright fuchsia mess of my hands, I was ready for a soak.

Place a tablet or two of Polident (I used the Target brand knock-off) in a bowl of very warm water and soak your hands for five minutes.

Look it works! And so minty fresh. It got my diamond ring pretty spiffy too. Boy I’ve never noticed that I am in desperate need of a manicure until I showed the world my cruddy nails!

Thanksgiving Beets Part II: Beet Greens and Harvard Beets

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Have a great weekend!


  1. Veronica
    Posted November 7, 2008 at 9:38 AM | Permalink

    You are so right about fresh beets-I grew up on the canned variety and yetch, they just don’t compare to roasting them yourself. But they sure are messy.

  2. Jane
    Posted November 7, 2008 at 10:28 AM | Permalink

    I can’t wait to try them. I actually have some fresh beets that I just purchased at a farmers’ market hoping that I would find a recipe. I’ll save the greens for Monday waiting for your recipe. Thank you

  3. OhioMom
    Posted November 7, 2008 at 11:08 AM | Permalink

    LOL .. I too hated beets as a child, until I roasted them. They are soooo good roasted, great tip about the stains 🙂

  4. Muse in the Kitchen
    Posted November 7, 2008 at 12:35 PM | Permalink

    Polident to clean beet-stained hands – I love it! I usually have to use a pair of thing latex gloves from my studio but this would be so much better. Great tip!

  5. biz319
    Posted November 7, 2008 at 12:47 PM | Permalink

    The only beets I’ve ever known are the canned ones, and I agree with you, they look gross, smell gross and taste gross!

    I may have to give the fresh ones a try!

  6. Karen
    Posted November 7, 2008 at 1:26 PM | Permalink

    Love beets… I roasted some this summer and ate them all (with olive oil and salt) before I could make any kind of recipe! LOL

  7. Candy
    Posted November 7, 2008 at 1:31 PM | Permalink

    Great tips! I love fresh beets and beet greens. Have you ever tried the golden beets? Yummy!

  8. Shelly
    Posted November 7, 2008 at 1:31 PM | Permalink

    I’ve always loved them, even when I was a kid. My mom would make pickled beets…yum!
    Thanks for the tip on beet stained hands, now I can stop using bleach…bleck.
    I got here from Lori’s – love that girl.

  9. Tanya
    Posted November 7, 2008 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

    I have never tried beets, mostly because it was a food I was never introduced to. My mom never made them and I’ve never ordered a dish with beets in it from a restaurant. I’d love to try them, but have always been afraid mostly because they don’t have the best reputation. Thanks for the tutorial – I might have to try them now!

  10. Stacey Snacks
    Posted November 7, 2008 at 5:24 PM | Permalink

    I LOVE beets, and I love the Polident story!

  11. Lori
    Posted November 7, 2008 at 6:49 PM | Permalink

    Isnt that funny. I hated beets then but I love them now. I guess there is hope that my kids will one day embrace vegetables like I do.

    Cool trick with the polident!

  12. Jesse
    Posted November 7, 2008 at 6:53 PM | Permalink

    Great tip! Now do you have any tips for getting the stains out of unfinished wood? I always get little flecks of beet juice on my counter.

  13. Clumbsy Cookie
    Posted November 7, 2008 at 7:33 PM | Permalink

    I’m not really very much found of beets, but really love the Polident tip! I allways have my hands stained with food coloring from the cakes, I wonder if it also works with it…

  14. Robin Sue
    Posted November 7, 2008 at 7:51 PM | Permalink

    Veronica- But such a pretty colored mess!

    Jane you will love them and the greens for Monday for sure.

    OhioMom- Thanks!

    Muse- I was never fon of using gloves with cooking!

    Biz319 give it a go!

    Karen they are even great plain with no a thing on them too!

    Candy I will have to look for the gold ones as I am seeing pop up in the food world.

    Shelly- Glad you found me at Lori’s ooh bleach I bet you smelled squeeky clean!

    Tanya- give them a try. You may like Harvard Beets coming on Monday!

    Stacey- Glad you like the polident!

    Loir- I hope my kids like a lot more than they do now or they will be in big trouble health-wise!

    Jesse can’t help you with the wood stains. Sorry.

    Clumbsy- I wondered that myself after finding this tip. I will have to place red food coloring on my hands and see!

  15. Theresa
    Posted November 7, 2008 at 9:26 PM | Permalink

    I hated beets too, until I got older. Like the Polident tip!

  16. Joanna
    Posted November 8, 2008 at 12:05 AM | Permalink

    this is so cool!! i never used to like beets until my mom made her own pickled beets. they were amazing!!

    you have really nice fingernails btw mine look like crap haha

  17. Joie de vivre
    Posted November 8, 2008 at 12:16 AM | Permalink

    Polident! Brilliant! (and I love fresh roasted beets)

  18. noble pig
    Posted November 8, 2008 at 3:59 AM | Permalink

    Cool trick! I do adore beets, I once ate so many I peed purple for two days.

  19. bigredkitchen
    Posted November 8, 2008 at 9:17 AM | Permalink

    Theresa- Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! Your Pumpkin Bars look fantastic!

    Joanna- Thank yo so much for stopping by! Well my nail did not last much longer after the beets- I had to wash a lot of dishes and away they went. I broke two!

    Joie- Brilliant! Yes MIL’s do have some great ideas!

    Noble Pig- I think I will have to try that! Purple pee- too funny!

  20. jancd
    Posted November 8, 2008 at 11:56 AM | Permalink

    I made you jalapeno popper dip for our game night at church last night. It was a big hit. I had to come home, copy your recipe (with your e-mail address attached) and send it to a few of the participants. Now your popper dip recipe is spreading through our church in Kingwood. Thanks. Jancd

  21. Robin Sue
    Posted November 8, 2008 at 12:59 PM | Permalink

    jancd- So happy your congregation liked the dip! Thanks for spreading it around and letting me know you liked it!!

  22. Anonymous
    Posted November 8, 2008 at 2:56 PM | Permalink

    MMmmm – beets are so delicious. Lemon juice will also take most of the beet juice off your hands, if you don’t have Polident hanging around.

    I don’t even bother washing the beets, since I’m going to peel them. What I do is plunge the hot from the oven beets into a pan of ice water, let sit for a few minutes, and most of the beet skin slips right off. You lose a little juice to the water, but not much… they still taste roasty delicious!

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    Posted November 8, 2008 at 3:33 PM | Permalink


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  24. Grace
    Posted November 8, 2008 at 3:57 PM | Permalink

    glad you got some jewelry cleaning out of the deal. 🙂
    this is a great how-to post, robin sue–thanks!

  25. Alexa
    Posted November 8, 2008 at 4:27 PM | Permalink

    Polident? Too funny and clever. I love beets now but as a kid it was a different story. My older kids love them.

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