I was a self proclaimed beet hater. Not many foods can claim to cause me to hate it, but beets were one of the few. I mean I'm a lover of brussel sprouts, asparagus, cold pizza and cold spaghetti.
To put it simply, I like food. Beets, however, were never something I was even remotely fond of, I think this is mainly because of the way I've eaten beets in the past. Pickled was what my mother would do to the poor root veggie we'd have out of the garden, and I would have none of it. Until the other day.
I saw that they had a bag of fresh beets on sale, and throwing away my distaste for the red-violet colored root I decided to get one to see if I could find a way to enjoy them. I even called my mother to get some ideas. She suggested Harvard beets and read off the recipe. It sounded like it would have a lot of the same flavor as pickled beets, so I ignored that idea. There were a few other ideas she came up with. One of which was called Beet Baskets, but I couldn't find the recipe online anywhere, but it did sound like it might be good. After the phone call I decided to look up things on my own and ask some of the wonderful people on Twitter what ideas they had.
Roasted beets was one I heard a few times, and one from Divina over at Sense & Serendipity that was a beets and lentils recipe that looked delicious. The unfortunate thing about the recipes is that either I didn't have one of the ingredients or that it wasn't something I thought the little one would eat. I then realized that beets aren't normally soft. That comes from boiling them, which most beet recipes tend to call for.
Chips. That sounded like something I might actually like. The hubby may like them too and perhaps even the little one! I looked at a few different recipes for beet chips and mainly found besides slicing them thinly, between 225F and 325F seems to be the ideal cooking temperature in the oven if you aren't frying them.
I chose to slice mine with a knife fairly thinly, anywhere from 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Make sure to be careful because the beets are a little slippery after being peeled (I know. I have a nice little cut on my thumb because of it) and also the deep red-violet color can stain the hands for a little bit, though it does wash away after a good scrubbing with soap.
I didn't do what a lot of recipes called for, which was to boil them in sugar water. I instead put the slices in a big zip lock bag with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and some garlic salt. If it gets too salty add in a little sugar to help balance it. Use the bag to toss the beet slices with the oil and salt. Lay them flat on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, making sure they don't overlap. Set in the oven at 300F for 45 minutes to 1 hour, checking every 10 to 15 minutes.
When they came out of the oven the thin ones were quite crisp and the thicker slices were dry but had a bit of a bite to them. After a couple of days they actually get a bit chewy but still taste good (I'm actually eating them as I type this up :D)! The taste is a salty sweet at first, but for me it tastes a bit bitter at the end. I however have a very hard time stopping myself from eating 'em! The hubby liked the initial taste but isn't fond of the bitter aftertaste. The little one however didn't try them, but I found a different beet recipe that he actually likes which I'll share later! I'll definitely will make these again, if not just because I love the taste but the color of them is to die for!