As a nutrition practitioner and educator, one of my inevitable professional goals is to have my work published in various types of literature in my field - cue new recipe development for various Canadian publications!
This new recipe, focused for print magazine, cookbook publication and web-based publication is this gorgeous, colourful, fresh and cleansing Golden Beet & Berry Salad w/ Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette! Be sure to take a look at some of the benefits of a few of the key ingredients (following the recipe below); this salad is certainly cleansing and detoxifying for the body - processes we need to support the body with on a daily basis with our various dietary and lifestyle choices!
As I started experimenting with and testing this particular recipe this past summer, considering the seasonal ingredients at that time, I certainly wasn't going to wait until Spring 2018 to share it with you! With that being said, I hope you find an opportunity to give it a try - I think you'll love it! And, if you've never tasted golden beets before, then you're in for a REAL TREAT!
Golden Beet & Berry Salad w/ Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette
Yield: ~4 servings
Cook Time: ~30-40 minutes (dependent on beet steaming time)
Total Time: ~40-50 minutes
4 medium-sized golden beets, sliced into small wedges
½ cup strawberries, sliced
½ cup cucumber, sliced and quartered
½ cup blueberries
½ cup yellow grape tomatoes (or other small, sweet tomato variety), sliced in half lengthwise
½ cup sunflower shoots, plus extra for garnish
1 tbsp. raw sunflower seeds, plus extra for garnish
1 tbsp. hemp seeds, plus extra for garnish
Ice bath (to instantly cool steamed beets)
Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette:
Yield: ~1/2 cup
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
¼ tsp. balsamic vinegar
¼ tsp. sea salt
Sprinkling of black pepper, to taste
Wash and peel golden beets. Slice into wedges of desired thickness (i.e. approximately 1/2” wide). Steam until fork-tender (approximately 30-45 minutes; dependent on thickness). *Check periodically.
While beets are steaming, wash, prep and measure strawberries, cucumber, blueberries and tomatoes.
Wash and measure sunflower shoots.
Measure sunflower seeds and hemp seeds.
Create Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette (*see instructions below).
Once the beets are cooked, pour them onto an ice bath to cool to room temperature.
Once cool, combine beets with all remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Combine ingredients thoroughly.
Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette:
Peel one garlic clove and mince.
Wash and juice one fresh lemon.
Measure extra-virgin olive oil, Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, sea salt and black pepper.
Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly, using a high-speed blender, a whisk, or a small glass jar to shake and combine.
Pour dressing onto salad until lightly, yet thoroughly coated.
Top with additional sunflower shoots, raw sunflower seeds and hemp seeds, as garnish and ENJOY!
About Some of the Ingredients
Contain a group of phytonutrients (plant-based nutrients) called Betalains, which provide anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and detoxification support[i]
Betalains particularly support Phase 2 (the final of 2 phases) of liver detoxification; while Phase 1 transforms unwanted substances in the body into neutralized substances, Phase 2 supports the excretion of these neutralized substances from the body[ii]
Are anti-inflammatory and possess antioxidant nutrients; antioxidant nutrients help combat free radicals in the body
Free radicals are atoms in the body (with unpaired electrons) that are generated when oxygen interacts with particular molecules; this occurs during various types of interactions and processes we experience on a daily basis (i.e. exercise, breathing, metabolism), as well as exposure to such toxins as environmental pollution, smoking, etc.
Free radicals circulate through the body, attempting to steal electrons from stable molecules and damaging cells and tissues in the process, until such time they are countered by antioxidant nutrients (i.e. vitamins A, C, E, selenium and zinc, for example)
While acidic in nature, the metabolism of lemon leaves an alkaline residue in the body
Therefore, lemon is extremely valuable for helping to alkalize the internal environment; inflammation loves to thrive in an acidic environment!
Lemon also supports stimulation of digestive juices and metabolism, boosts the Immune System and supports detoxification as a highly cleansing, whole food ingredient
[i] World’s Healthiest Foods: Beets. Retrieved November 1, 2017 from http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=49
[ii] World’s Healthiest Foods: Beets. Retrieved November 1, 2017 from http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=49