Beets – you either love 'em or hate 'em.
Which is sad, considering how great they taste and how great they are for you nutritionally. Nevertheless, beets seem to get the same scornful treatment as other hated root vegetables like turnips, rutabagas, and parsnips. I'd assume that most people held those veggies in contempt because they were subject to some type of vegetable-related torture as a child, but it seems like most people hate them simply for the sake of hating them.
In all fairness, I can vaguely understand why people dislike turnips and rutabagas – prepared improperly they can be rather distasteful, almost bitter. Beets, however, have none of those acrid properties and are, in fact, quite sweet and delicious. I'd compare them more to a carrot than to any other vegetable. If you like carrots, then you'll definitely like beets.
If you don't like carrots...then you really need to reassess your life choices and start eating like a grown up. (Kidding! ...sort of.)
All that being said, adding beets to your diet is a smooth move nutritionally. Beets hold the title of being one of the foremost “superfoods” that all people should strive to include in their diets.
They're low in calories and high in fiber, include decent amounts of Vitamin C and iron, and are high in folate, potassium, and manganese. Furthermore, the compounds that give beets their striking color are also responsible for all sorts of other health benefits.
So, how does one enter the world of beet-eating? Easily. You don't even have to cook them (although they are delicious baked, roasted, or steamed, as well). Grate them in a food processor or by hand (though be prepared for some interesting staining) and toss them with a couple ingredients you've likely already got on hand. 'Et voilà , delicious beet salad!
Grated Beet Salad
4-5 beets, peeled and grated in a food processor or by hand
2 tablespoons rice vinegar (or red wine vinegar, if that's what you have)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
pinch kosher salt
Toss all ingredients together. Serve either chilled or at room temperature.