Fall is a wonderful time of year in the northern hemisphere for vegetables and fruit. Just because it's getting a little chilly outside doesn't mean there isn't local produce that will delight your tastebuds and paint your plate with gorgeous rich fall colours enough to make the top chefs of New York City envious!
Apples and beets go together like apple pie and ice cream (or for all you health nuts out there, like almond butter and sliced granny smith apples). This recipe won't make your waistline grow or send your blood sugar skyrocketing (diabetic friendly). A megadose of antioxidants, liver-loving fiber and enough nutrients to make your daily multi supplement jealous. You simply cannot encapsulate into a pill all the nutrients in this salad.
Here are some of the benefits of apples & beets:
Source of Quercitin: A flavonoid that is a natural anti-histamine (allergy-preventative) and extremely potent anti-inflammatory ( heart-health).
Cancer-fighting Antioxidants: Catechin, phloridzin, chlorogenic acid and more. Make sure you eat the skins for these free radical scavenging antioxidants to do their work. Beets with their brightly coloured flesh are particularly important for reducing the risk of colon cancer.
This fact blew me away: Studies have proven that beets increase the activity of two antioxidant enzymes in the liver, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione-S-transferase. As you may know from my previous posts that the liver is the body's primary detoxification organ where toxic substances are broken down and eliminated, a process that generates a lot of free radicals. Glutathione peroxidase and glutathione-S-transferase are the bodyguards for liver cells, protecting them from free radical attack, so they can continue to protect us. Source: www.whfoods.com
Source of folate, potassium, vitamin C and fiber: One medium sized apple has approximately, 4 grams of fiber per serving and 1 cup of beets has nearly 15 grams per serving. Both insoluble fiber (like cellulose) and soluble fiber (like liver-loving pectin). Studies have shown that both types of fiber can lower your LDL cholesterol. Most of the fiber is found in the skin.
Apple & Beet Salad Recipe
3/4 lb (375 g) beets (did you know you can save the leaves from the stems and eat them?)
1/3 cup (75 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp (25 mL) red wine vinegar
1 tbsp (15 mL) snipped fresh dill
1 tbsp (15 mL) Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
Sea salt and pepper
2 McIntosh Apples diced (purchase organic so that it's safe to eat the nutrient rich skin)
In saucepan of boiling salted water, cook beets for about 10 minutes or until tender; peel and dice. Or if you have more time then roast the beets at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until tender.
Meanwhile, in large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, dill, mustard, garlic, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste; toss with beets and apples. Yes, it's that easy.
How to make it look fancy, here's how to impress your guests:
On large serving plate or 4 individual salad plates; arrange Belgian endive leaves like spokes of a wheel. Mound salad mixture in middle; garnish with dill springs.
Source of recipe: www.foodland.gov.on.ca