Easy raw beet salad with crunch and color
Although beetroot is most commonly eaten cooked or pickled, the satisfying crunch of raw beetroot is ideal for salads. When uncooked, the sweet and earthy beetroot flavors are even more prominent, and set off perfectly by the tangy taste of soft, crumbly feta. Lemon and balsamic dressing and a sprinkle of chopped walnuts give a sophisticated finish to this colorful salad, which is great on its own or served alongside your main course. And, with just a few key ingredients and minimal prep, you can make it from scratch in under 5 minutes.
Health benefits of beetroot
Historically, beetroot has been used to treat many conditions, including skin ailments and digestive issues. Beetroot is low in fat, high in fiber, and a good source of naturally occurring folic acid. It also contains iron, magnesium, potassium, and other antioxidants. It is thought to help lower blood pressure, thanks to its nitrate content.
As with other brightly colored fruit and vegetables, the rich red hue signals that beetroot is packed with vitamins, such as vitamins A and C. Of course, the downside of this is that the red juice tends to add a pink tinge to everything it touches! If you get it on your hands, use lemon juice to avoid staining.
Big salads with big flavors to keep you full for longer
Beetroot isn’t the only nutrition powerhouse in this salad:
- Spinach contains many essential vitamins and minerals but is a particularly good source of iron, which helps blood cells transport oxygen around the body, and vitamin K, which supports healthy bones.
- Tomatoes are rich in the antioxidant lycopene, which is associated with a reduced risk of some cancers and promotes heart health.
- Lemon juice contains health-boosting vitamin C, which promotes healthy skin.
- Parsley is a natural diuretic and thought to help symptoms of arthritis.
Salads are a great way to pack more vegetables into your diet. In fact, just one big salad such as this can easily include more than five portions of vegetables, which takes the pressure off your other meals – great if you’re in a rush or have fewer options at other times of the day. They’re also quick and easy to make, and the options are endless.
To create a big health-boosting salad, start with a green, leafy vegetable (such as spinach or kale) as your base. Add some chopped salad vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, or peppers. Top with some protein and fat for flavor and satiety in the form of nuts, cheese, or cooked meat. Finish with a healthy, homemade dressing and some herbs, and you’ll have a nutritious and tasty meal in no time. Try to choose contrasting colors and textures for a more interesting meal. And best of all, any leftovers can go in the refrigerator so you have a ready-made side dish for your next meal.
Beetroot and Feta Salad with Balsamic Dressing (makes 1 large portion or serves 2 as a side)
For the salad:
2 small beetroots, peeled and cubed
1 cubic inch feta cheese
2 handfuls of baby spinach
6 cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
A few walnuts, chopped
For the dressing:
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
- Wash and peel the beetroots and chop into small cubes.
- Put the spinach leaves, beetroot, and tomato in a bowl.
- Crumble the feta over the top, and sprinkle the parsley on top of that. Add walnuts to garnish.
- To make the dressing, combine the liquid ingredients in a small jar and stir well with a teaspoon. Add salt and pepper.
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve.
- You can also use cooked beetroot if you prefer, but avoid pickled beetroot as it will taste too vinegary.
- You can vary the salad vegetables according to what you have to hand – red and yellow peppers will work well, or try adding some chopped spring onions or radishes.
- The walnuts can be swapped for pine nuts, or omitted altogether for a nut-free version.
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