Jan 28, 2016
Swedish Beetroot Salad (Rodbetsallad) ~ plant-based, dairy-free
Hello, gorgeous! Isn’t that just the sexiest looking bowl of roots you’ve ever seen? Okay, so you either love beets or you hate them. That seems to be the consensus anyway. Personally, I love them. Not only for their vivid color but they have some pretty astounding nutritional benefits as well…
These colorful root vegetables contain powerful compounds that help protect against heart disease, birth defects and certain cancers, especially colon cancer. What makes beets really stand out from their veggie counterparts though are a particular kind of phytonutrients called betalains. The betalin pigments present in beets have repeatedly been shown to support activity in our body’s “Phase 2 detoxification process.” Phase 2 is the metabolic step that our cells use to hook up activated, unwanted toxic substances with small nutrient groups. This process effectively neutralizes the toxins and makes them sufficiently water-soluble for excretion in the urine. Speaking of urine, if you eat a lot of beets, don’t be surprised if your pee turns pink! It’s totally normal and there’s even a name for it: beeturia. But if your urine is particularly red after eating beets, chances are your digestion needs a little pick-me-up, so try eating more probiotic foods.
Keep in mind that while the antioxidants in beets have tremendous anti-inflammatory properties, they are particularly sensitive to heat and cooking, so it’s important not to over-boil or over-bake your red wonders! Try adding a beet to your juice blends or enjoy raw, shredded beets on salads.
This salad is traditionally served at Christmas and made with pickled beets, but I used fresh beets and I’m eating this one ANY time of the year. Mountain Man said, “This is the weirdest salad I’ve ever had,” while eating a huge portion. LOL. I used some of my homemade cashew cream cheese for the sour cream dressing, just thinning it out a little. You could also make some dressing from cashews and not bother with a cultured cheese (see recipe below) but PLEASE don’t use the store-bought vegan sour cream. It is NOT a healthy food.
- Bobek P, Galbavy S, Mariassyova M. The effect of red beet (Beta vulgaris var. rubra) fiber on alimentary hypercholesterolemia and chemically induced colon carcinogenesis in rats. Nahrung 2000 Jun;44(3):184-7. 2000.
- Elbandy MA and Abdelfadeil MG. Stability of betalain pigments from a red beetroot (Beta vulgaris). Poster Session Presentation. The First International Conference of Food Industries and Biotechnology & Associated Fair. Al-Baath University, North Sinai, Egypt. Available online at: www.albaath univ.edu.sy/foodex2010/connections/ Posters/6.pdf. 2010.
- Lee CH, Wettasinghe M, Bolling BW et al. Betalains, phase II enzyme-inducing components from red beetroot (Beta vulgaris L.) extracts. Nutr Cancer. 2005;53(1):91-103. 2005.
- Reddy MK, Alexander-Lindo RL and Nair MG. Relative inhibition of lipid peroxidation, cyclooxygenase enzymes, and human tumor cell proliferation by natural food colors. J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Nov 16;53(23):9268-73. 2005.
- Song W, Derito CM, Liu MK et al. Cellular antioxidant activity of common vegetables. J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Jun 9;58(11):6621-9. 2010.
- 3 large beets, boiled or steamed (I cooked mine in my InstantPot pressure cooker)
- 1 small, red onion
- 1 large apple (any kind you like, though Granny Smith or other tart apple is traditional)
- 1 TBS horseradish (prepared or freshly grated)
- ½ cup homemade cashew cream cheese (link to recipe above), thinned to sour cream consistency, OR
- ½ cup raw cashews, soaked for 5 or more hours
- ½ cup water
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp miso or 1 tsp tamari or other low sodium soy sauce
- 1 TBS nutritional yeast
- You can peel and chop your beets before or after cooking. I find it easier to do after they're cooked. Chop into about 3/4" cubes.
- Chop the onion and the apple, also in 3/4" cubes.
- If making the sour cream from scratch, rinse and drain the cashews and blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender.
- Toss together the beets, apples and onion with the horseradish and sour cream.
- If you have a favorite, vegan sour cream dressing of your own, of course use that. 🙂 Also, if you're not fond of horseradish, simply omit it. The salad tastes great with or without. Enjoy!