Spring is in the air so I’ve been experimenting with more raw vegetables to jumpstart my seasonal detox program. If you are into that sort of thing, there is no better vegetable to supercharge your diet than the humble beet. This superstar veggie is full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties to reduce risk of some cancers, heart disease and dementia. Move over, kale! The Russian centenarians who frequently feasted on borscht and pickled beets were on to something!
My new beet and carrot salad is refreshing, delicious and interesting enough to make you forget you don’t like beet. The vegetables are spiralized using the Paderno vegetable slicer which I love so much and wrote about it here. The simple dressing made from lemon juice, zest, mint and ginger bring out the flavors beautifully and help preserve the salad well so consider doubling the recipe and saving a batch for next day’s lunch or dinner.
What’s so great about this?
Beets may look unassuming and rugged but they are powerhouses of phytonutrients and minerals (potassium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, iron, vitamins A, B & C, beta-carotene, beta-cyanine). Beets are a great source of folate so they are recommended to pregnant women. Just eat them raw, not from a jar! The phytonutrients in beets are not very heat stable so cooking beets for prolonged periods of time diminishes their superpowers. So forget about roasting, peel them, then grate or spiralize into salads for a special twist on side dish.
They are a rich source of betain, a nutrient that provides antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support in so called phase 2 detoxification. In phase 2 detoxification toxic substances are bound with a small nutrient group, neutralizing the toxins and ultimately helping excrete them through urine.
Beets boost your stamina. Studies show that beet juice can boost endurance during workouts and certain marathon runners I know have been experimenting with incorporating this magic elixir into their pre-running eating regimen.
- 1 raw beet peeled
- 2 large carrots peeled
- 1 tbs fresh lemon juice
- zest from on elemon
- 1 tbs fresh ginger grated
- 3 tbs fresh mint chopped
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
Peel the beet and carrots and run them through the spiralizer. Carrots are a bit tricky to spiralize so make sure you select nice thick ones and if you are not getting long strands, cut them in half. In a bowl, combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, grated ginger, mint, parsley and salt and then toss gently with the veggies until well coated.