Maple Roasted Butternut Squash and Beets

These vegetables are made out of dessert.

…And roasted butternut squash. And roasted beets. But mostly, they’re made out of dessert.

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash and Beets

Fall, you’uns. Welcome to it!

Fall is officially here and I’m embracing all the fall-like things. Long-sleeved shirts (see picture below. Just kidding…that’s a bad example), Chai tea lattes, slow-cooked comfort food, and anything that can be roasted and/or drizzled in maple syrup. I want it all to slam dunk me in the face. At the same time. In abundance.

Are you ready for fall to set up camp in your mouth?

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash and Beets

I know what you’re thinking.

Is Julia wearing pants?

The answer is at the bottom of this blog post written upside-down, backwards, and in Icelandic.

But first: vegetables.

I have determined that there’s such a thing as dessert vegetables, and these are they. There’s only one tablespoon of pure maple syrup in the recipe, but the natural sugars in the butternut squash and beets seep out during the roasting process and coat the veggies in caramelized sweet emotion. The cinnamon also adds to the warmth of the veggies, which is what makes you feel as though autumn has kick started your locomotion.

Don’t skimp on the salt (unless you need to for medical reasons), as salt makes things taste sweeter, sho’ nuff!

Don’t skimp on the oil. Fat makes things taste reaaaal good, ah shhh-t son!

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash and Beets

Time for some root-speak!

Beets, you’uns. I can’t say enough about them. They cleanse, they heal, they energize, they replenish. I’ve given you nutritional facts and figures in the past, so instead of going there again, let’s talk big picture:

Cleansing: Beets are cleansing because they are full of betalains, which are antioxidants. I like to look at antioxidants as the cleaning crew that sweeps through a house after a massive party and removes trash, rearranges furniture, fixes broken items, and puts everything back in working order. Beets are also full of fiber and speed up your metabolism, which helps your body process all the food that’s already there, leaving you with a clean(er) slate.

Healing:  The cleansing and healing properties of beets go hand-in hand. It’s one thing to clean up a system, and another thing to fix damage. The antioxidants in beets detoxify your system, helping to remove dammaged cells caused by every day pollutants (including crappy food), and help prevent your healthy cells from oxidizing. In the same regard, they prevent your cells from oxidization (damage), boosting your immune system, and keeping your cells working efficiently.

Energizing: Beets are full of natural sugar. Because the sugar is coupled with fiber, your body recognizes it as an incredible source of fuel. The fiber helps your body process the sugars efficiently and slowly, which provides sustained energy to your system as opposed to a sugar spike and crash.  If I were a sports nutritionist, I would recommend athletes include beets (and sweet potatoes) in their diet as one of their sources for healthy carbohydrates.

Related to energy: Beets are an aphrodisiac. They are full of boron, which helps produce human sex hormones, and also contain nitrates, which increase your blood flow and circulation. Need proof? Eat a pile of roasted beets at dinner and see what happens at 3am. Just.say.ing.

Nature’s Viagra, go get it!

Replenishing: Beets are ridiculously full of Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes. They contain [in order of abundance] folate, manganese, potassium, copper, magnesium, vitamin C, iron, vitamin B6. This nutrient profile elevates your vitamins and replenishes your nutrient tank. They are also a natural anti-inflammatory, which helps calm your cells and brings them back to a state of balance (homeostasis). This anti-inflammatory characteristic is why beets are touted as a natural cancer fighter.

Bonus features: beets elevate your brain function because the nitrates help increase blood flow (see Viagra comment above), and bring more oxygen to your brain. Boom! Beets make you smart. They also help lower your blood pressure and increase your stamina for high-intensity exercise. Boom! Beets make you strong.

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash and Beets

If you aren’t quite ready to be sucker-punched by fall, save this recipe for your Thanksgiving gathering. It’s a fabulous side dish and you can easily double the vegetables to feed a huge crowd. Or if you’re like me, make this recipe a weekly occurrence. I use leftover roasted veggies on green salads for lunch. These leftovers would be perfect for my Fall Roasted Vegetables Salad.

You’re such a good listener. It’s time for dessert.

Tools I Used to Prepare This Recipe:



Maple Roasted Butternut Squash and Beets

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash and Beets

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Author: Julia
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Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 large red beet peeled and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed or olive oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup*

For Serving:

  • Zest of 1 orange optional
  • Dried oregano
  • Toasted walnuts
  • Pistachios

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Peel and chop the butternut squash and the beet into ½” cubes.
  3. Place them in a mixing bowl and add oil, salt, cinnamon, and maple syrup. Toss well using your hands and make sure the veggies are all evenly coated.
  4. Lay the vegetables out on a large (or two smaller) baking sheet in a single layer.
  5. Roast vegetables for 40 to 50 minutes, stirring once half-way through roasting.
  6. Place oven on the broil setting for 3 to 5 minutes in order to crisp up the veggies.
  7. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with dried oregano, orange zest, and additional salt if desired.
  8. Serve with toasted walnuts and pistachios.

Recipe Notes

*You can add an additional tablespoon if you would like to sweeten the veggies even more.

Made-ja look!

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Comments

  1. Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness

    I STILL WANT TO KNOW IF YOU’RE WEARING PANTS. Dang it, I’ll be wondering ALL DAY LONG.
    Until then, I am going to stuff my face with this. I may have to sub kabocha for butternut because it just went on sale for .58 cents a lb..so I am now swimming in the stuff.
    Anyway. that was neither here nor there. THIS. GIMME IT. Pinned!

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      $.58/lb??? What a fuh-reaking bargain! A lady never reveals whether or not she’s wearing pants. I’m pretty sure that’s an actual quote. As in, that’s totally not an actual quote. No one talks like that.

      Reply
  2. Kelsey M

    Oh my gosh- BEETS ARE MY FAVORITE and roasting them is the best thing ever…Same with butternut squash. Honestly, I can’t get enough of fall veggies- I’ve been diving right in myself (but I’ve been going down the pumpkin/squash route for now).

    Oh and funny story about the whole “Is she wearing pants?” thing. I totally took some pictures of me holding a massive fairytale pumpkin yesterday. I wasn’t wearing pants but it’s cool- that’s what cropping is for 😉

    Reply
  3. Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health

    You weren’t wearing pants, were you? Shoot, I wouldn’t be either. With all of those aphrodisiacs staring me in the face. <<say wha? The things I learn on The Roasted Root.

    With that in mind, I'm definitely ready to be sucker-punched in the face by a plate of these maple roasted beauts!

    Reply
  4. Traci | Vanilla And Bean

    Beautiful and mouthwatering recipe, Julia! Although it doesn’t feel like fall yet, the beets, and squash are here and ready to be enjoyed! The addition of maple syrup and orange zest is mouthwatering! Looking forward to this one! Thank you for the recipe!

    Reply
  5. Allison

    Ha! I was totally wondering if you were wearing pants. I just love roasted root vegetables and squash. It’s all I want to eat. All day, every day this time of year. Nuttin better.

    Reply
  6. Joanne

    I made dessert veggies this week also! It was kind of the best. They really are my favorite part of fall! Who needs dessert when you can have a big plate of these babies?!

    Reply
  7. Susan

    Wonderful recipe and wonderful information about beets. However, I need my sleep so I will not be sharing the viagra information with my husband… (just kidding).

    Reply
  8. Janis

    OMG… Im making these right now. I tweaked it a bit, added worcestershire sauce, and some garlic and onions. Didnt have maple syrup on hand so I opted for honey. Im sure it is still going to be delicious.

    Reply
  9. Hannah

    I made this the other day and it was delicious, however I had trouble with the beets and squash sticking to the pan. Could it be because I put foil on my baking sheet to cheat the cleanup process? Or do I just need to add more oil??

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Ahhh Jeez, the ol’ sticking of the vegetable..hate it when that happens! Yes, my guess is the foil had something to do with it, as the same thing always happens to me when I use foil. Which is unfortunate, because I like the easy cleanup as well. Another thought: You butternut squash and/or beet may have been bigger than mine, in which case, you would have needed more oil. I should have measured the exact amount of cubed squash and beets I ended up with. In general, I usually go liberal with the oil because it helps the veggies cook evenly and adds so much flavor. I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe in spite of the veggie sticking! 😀 xo

      Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Let me know how you like them! Roasting beets is my favorite method of prepping them – it adds so much flavor and a nice crisp! xoxo

      Reply
      1. Ashley

        I loved them! I didn’t have any maple syrup or pistachios so I went savory with it and did just olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic and also threw in a few carrots and a sweet potato. Yum! Our store here in Finland has a BIG bag of beets for 99 cents right now, so guess where I’m going tomorrow 🙂

        Reply
  10. Gen

    This was amazing! First time I’ve actually liked beets. 🙂 I usually roast butternut squash with brown sugar, but the maple syrup was so much better. I added a dash of cayenne, but I’m sure it would have been just as good without it as the original recipe described. Thanks for posting this recipe!

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      You got it, Gen! I’m so happy the recipe was a win! I find beets just need a little lovin and then they become tasty. I’m thinking your cayenne idea sounds stellar – a little heat to balance the sweet = brilliant! xo

      Reply
      1. George Colberg

        Julia, I would like to add the beet tops and rainbow kale to this mix to round out a vegetarian meal. Do you have any suggestion? Possibly add a topping with crumbled goat cheese of or Cotija?

        Reply
        1. Julia Post author

          Great thinking, George! I bet goat cheese and kale would be great additions. Maybe even add some brown rice and/or chopped nuts? Let me know how the whole thing turns out 🙂

          Reply
  11. Jack

    Just made this. SO GOOD!!! Added dried cranberries and topped it with blueberry balsamic vinaigrette and it took it to a whole other level. Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      MMMM MMMM MMMM! I’m so happy you enjoyed it, Jack! Dried cranberries and blueberry balsamic sounds like the perfect additions!!! xoxo

      Reply
  12. Megan

    Hi there! This looks amazing. Found you through Pinterest. Could I substitute sweet potato instead of the butternut squash?

    Reply
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