Beet Purée

I used to be known to friends as the condiment queen. Open my fridge on any given day and you would find a Costco-sized container of mayonnaise. I used it for everything from sandwiches to cheese (gross, I know). If it was more than just mayonnaise I was after, I would drown whatever I could in my mother's special sauce - a mixture of ketchup and mayonnaise.

Not that much has changed. I still enjoy an abundance of sauces and spreads, but these days I try to keep things a bit healthier. I first branched out from mayo by mashing avocado with lemon juice and a little salt. Then I began to experiment - what other fruits and vegetables could I turn into a delicious purée?

This beet purée is a great example of how you can add richness, not to mention vibrant color without giving up your healthy intentions. Plus, I like to use beets as often as possible so my husband can say his favorite joke - "Hey babe, are those beets? But are they fresh beets??"

In the picture above, I used the beet purée on a salad in place of salad dressing. The mayonnaise-loving side of me couldn't resist topping it with a runny egg yolk, but I promise, this would have been equally satisfying without the egg.

Beet Purée

4 beets, trimmed of root and stem

2 carrots, peeles

2 teaspoons coconut butter (manna)

salt to taste

Preheat your oven to 425. Wrap the cleaned beets together in tin foil, place on a baking tray and roast for 1 1/4 hours until the beets are tender. During the last 30 minutes of cooking, remove the vegetables from the oven and allow to cool. Peel the beets by gently rubbing the skin until it comes off.

Place the beets, carrots, coconut butter and salt in a Cuisinart and process until smooth. Use on sandwiches, salads and crackers.