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Mommy Makes: Berry Beet Parfait

I recently asked myself, “Would it be crazy to add vegetables to my favorite dessert?” Turns out the answer is “no” and the result was surprisingly delightful: berry beet parfaits.

In this ongoing blog series, Christine, a budget-minded mom and Whole Foods Market team member, explores ways to create healthy, organic foods that appeal to both child and husband. Read the other posts in her ongoing series.

When the weather warms, I lean towards light meals with lots of fresh vegetables. I also crave fruit-filled desserts. I recently asked myself, “Would it be crazy to add vegetables to my favorite dessert?” Turns out the answer is “no” and the result was surprisingly delightful: berry beet parfaits.

This is my second experiment with beets. In September of 2013, I set off on a beet revolution to add red beets to bread. So adding them to a dessert seemed like a good next step for me and my family.

The key to this recipe is making sure that the beets play nicely with the fruits by achieving the right balance of sweetness and acidity. A friend of mine told me that roasting beets would bring out their sweetness (and she was right). I roasted the beets with coconut oil and soaked them in fresh squeezed orange juice. The smells were amazing!

Here’s how I made my not-so-crazy Berry Beet Parfaits.

Beet Berry Parfait

Ingredients:4 organic red beets

4 teaspoons organic coconut oil, divided

1 (6-ounce) container organic raspberries

1 (6-ounce) container organic blackberries

12 organic strawberries

1 teaspoon organic cane sugar

Juice of 1 organic orange

Sprigs fresh organic mint

1 (8-ounce) tub non-dairy whipped topping

1 (10-ounce) package granola

Serves: 6

The focus of this recipe is on the beets. Begin by preheating the oven to 375°F. Trim the stems off the beets, give them a good scrub and pat them dry. Place the beets on a large piece of aluminum foil. Top each beet with 1 teaspoon coconut oil and fold up the sides of the foil, so that the beets are completed covered. You don’t want any drips.

Place the beet packet directly into the oven. Roast the beets for 25-30 minutes for small beets and up to 1 hour for large beets. Keep checking on them. You will know when they are fully cooked when the skin easily falls off and they feel soft when poked with a fork. Once cooked, cool them for 10 minutes. Then remove and discard the skin and chop the beets into small pieces. In a medium bowl, toss beets with orange juice and sugar. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

While the beets are chilling, wash and dry the raspberries and blackberries. Wash and dry the strawberries; and then chop them into small pieces. When the 30 minutes for the beets are up, add the berries to the beet mixture. Take out 6 dessert cups, granola and whipped topping.

Okay. Assembly time! This is a fun step kids enjoy helping with. Begin to layer the cups with fruit, granola and whipped topping. And then, another layer of fruit, granola and whipped topping. Add a spring of mint to the top of parfait to finish off the dish. The desserts can be eaten right away or covered and placed into the refrigerator and served later. The ending result is a lovely dessert with a nice mix of flavors and textures.

The best part of this recipe is that I got my son to eat beets!

This parfait would be delicious with a number of different combinations. Adding coconut or grilled pineapple or peaches might be nice. I wonder if golden beets would work just as well?

Can you come up with any other crazy parfait combinations that use veggies?

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