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©iStockPhoto/mdmiller

Most of us are familiar with the most common purple-red beets, yet I've seen their earthy flavor and pink juices intimidate even the fiercest of cooks. In season through autumn and found in a variety of colors, beets can be eaten raw or cooked. However, their buttery texture and sweetness shine through when roasted in foil with olive oil, salt, and pepper in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes--a simple recipe for those cool and breezy days that are soon approaching. Be gentle with their flesh and store them in a cool place, and slice them up for a perfect side or even a shining star in a salad, soup, or on a burger. Here are some other interesting combinations (ever had beet ice cream?) and classic dishes:

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