Those little “baby” carrots you see at the supermarket weren’t always so cool. Not until a farmer named Mike Yurosek realized that he could bring his farm’s carrot waste to an end by peeling and cutting misshaped or broken carrots down to bite size pieces. I’m sure that most kids think the same as mine, carrots grow in this tiny size and are rounded on the edges. With a little help from Jim Dunn, former Coca-cola executive, and a 25 million dollar ad campaign, “baby” carrots are now one of the most popular snack foods for kids.
Other fruits/vegetables that seem to have reached cool status among kids are grape tomatoes, sliced apples (I grudgingly give McDonald’s credit for this one) and edamame (my kids ate a ton when I bought them in little Kung Fu Panda packs). Seems like a fairly easy formula. Process vegetable into a fun shape and/or put them in cool packaging.
How about beets?
They don’t look so good before you peel them but after they’re roasted and cut into bite size chunks, it seems like the type of food that could potentially have kid appeal. The fact that they’re not green is a great selling point! I don’t have a 25 million dollar budget nor the endorsement of some cool cartoon character so I’m hoping with the help of cheese and one of their favorite nuts, I can sell my kids on beets this week.
Three C’s Roasted Beets (Cheese & Cashews & Currants)
2-3 large red beets
¼ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp honey mustard
1 tsp maple syrup
Salt & pepper
3 Tbsp goat cheese, crumbled
2 Tbsp cashews, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp currants, or raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a shallow dish with aluminum foil.
Wash and scrub beets to remove dirt. Cut off top and bottoms.
Cut beets in quarters and place in shallow dish. Drizzle with some olive oil and toss lightly.
Place another sheet of foil on top and seal edges all around. Bake in oven for 1 to ½ hours depending on the size of the beets, until fork tender.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl prepare the dressing. Whisk together the lemon juice, honey mustard, and maple syrup. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and mix until well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. (Extra dressing can be refrigerated for up to three weeks)
Allow beets to cool and peel off the skin. Cut into bite size chunks and add to medium mixing bowl. Toss with about two tablespoons of dressing. Top with the crumbled goat cheese, chopped cashews, and currants.
And the VERDICT is:
Matthew (age 7): “Goat cheese?!”
Liam (age 5): “This cheese is too goatey!”
Dylan (age 5): “Goat cheese is for goats”
I didn’t anticipate how amusing goat cheese would be to my kids. Needless to say, they never even tried the beets!