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beet salad with walnuts and goat cheese
Foods That Cleanse The Body: Beets
Beets are beneficial to your health for many reasons. Beets are an antioxidant vegetable which contains many nutrients that detoxify the liver, lower cholesterol, are anti-inflammatory, have anti-aging properties and are linked to reductions in certain cancers. The nutrients in beets are called betaine, betacyanin, betalains, betanin, iron, folate, fiber, iron and pectin. Pectin helps in the detoxification of the liver. It is a fiber in beets that actually cleans the toxins that have been removed. The body will then gets rid of those toxins by flushing them out. This detoxification process is what researchers link to the prevention of colon, liver, lung, skin cancers. Keeping the liver healthy is essential to everyone’s longevity. Beets get their red or yellow color from phytonutrients called betalains. These unique phytonutrients work to reduce inflammation in the body, thus providing cardiovascular relief.
The beetroot is most commonly thought of as the part to eat, however, the greens are said to be the healthiest part of the plant. These greens contain protein, vitamins A, C, B6, K, magnesium, folate, copper, zinc, fiber, iron, manganese and calcium. Beet greens can ward off osteoporosis from the calcium content, boost the immune system, and can play a key role in fighting Alzheimer’s Disease. So make sure the next time you have the opportunity to eat the whole plant, please do! Be aware that the beetroot is high in carbohydrates and sugar, but low in calories. The greens however are not high in sugar, and are low in calories too. So eat the beetroot in moderation and indulge in the greens. Here is a great salad that will allow you to enjoy the whole plant, and reap those health benefits!
Beet Salad with Walnuts and Goat Cheese
- 1 1/2 lb. golden or red beets or a combination
(about 6 medium), with greens attached
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 12 oz. mixed baby greens
- 1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted
- 12 oz. goat cheese (I prefer herbed)
Preheat an oven to 400°F.
Wash beets and remove greens. Set greens aside. In a bowl, toss the beets with enough oil to coat evenly, and season with salt and pepper. Wrap the beets individually in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake until the beets are tender when pierced with a knife, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove from the oven. When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel them and cut them crosswise into 1/4-inch slices.
In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, salt and pepper until blended. Slowly whisk in the 1 cup olive oil.
In a bowl, combine the beets with 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette, season with salt and pepper, and refrigerate until ready to use.
Rough chop the beet greens previously set aside, to match the size of mixed greens. Then in a large bowl, toss the mixed baby greens and beet greens with salt, pepper and enough of the vinaigrette to coat lightly. Divide the greens among 8 salad plates. Sprinkle the walnuts and beets evenly over the salads, and drizzle with additional vinaigrette if needed. Crumble the goat cheese over the salads, and serve immediately.