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I can see you wrinkling your nose… yes, you! I see you! Can I ask for a favor? Can you just trust me on this and give it a try? Even if you don’t care for beets, please try it. I don’t ask for much from you do I?
The reason I feel so confident in asking a non-beet-eater to try this is… Bob, my loving husband
hates, despises, loathes… dislikes beets, putting it mildly and he ended up really enjoying this granola.
I was sneaky when I presented it to him, I didn’t tell the name of the recipe nor did I explain what was in it. I just asked if he would try it, he tilted his head back and opened his mouth… I dropped in a cluster of granola mixed with a few dried fruits. He chewed and swallowed. I sat there starring at him, but trying not to be obvious about it.
I wanted to catch his unedited facial expression after tasting it. That often tells me more than any words could. He nodded his head up and down (always a good sign), his eyebrows lifted (another positive reaction), he gently moved his mouth around as if savoring and thinking about the flavor (I held my breath) and he didn’t go running to the kitchen to wash the taste out of his mouth. That right there said everything I needed. Then to confirm my thoughts, he nodded at me and said that he really liked it. He still doesn’t know that I made it with beets and that will remain our little secret, well until he reads this post. haha
When working with red and pink beets, be prepared for beet-red stains on your hands and countertops. Because the color is difficult to remove from wood or plastic surfaces, you may want to work on waxed paper and wear gloves. Choose small to medium beets for a sweeter flavor, and look for those with fresh looking green tops. When you get them home, store beets and greens separately. Use the greens within two days, but you can refrigerate the beets in a plastic bag for up to two weeks.
So why use beets? Well for starters I needed some color in my life! Most granola mixes are in the natural tan and brown colors, which I thoroughly enjoy, but sometimes I just crave color. I knew that I didn’t want to use any food coloring chemical so beets came to mind. I have been making beet juice for the past week and the color always leaves me amazed just how gorgeous it is. This recipe is a great way to use left over pulp from making beet juice, such as my Sweet & Spicy Detox Juice.
yields 10 cups dried granola
One of the greatest joys when creating raw food recipes is experimenting with different ingredients… a practice that I highly encourage. Daily I get questions regarding substitutions. Of course we all might have different dietary needs and tastes which could necessitate altering a recipe. I love to share with you what I create for myself, my husband, friends and family. I spend a lot of time selecting the right ingredients with a particular goal in mind, looking to build a certain flavor and texture.
So as you experiment with substitutions, remember they are what they sound like, they are substitutes for the preferred item. Generally they are not going to behave, taste, or have the same texture as the suggested ingredient. Some may work, and others may not and I can’t promise what the results will be unless I’ve tried them myself. So have fun, don’t be afraid, and remember, substituting is how I discovered many of my unique dishes.