Thursday, February 13, 2014

Yogi Favorites (5) ~ Beet Salad

Ah beets, Nature's rubies...

Several years ago, it was reported in entertainment news that Mariah Carey was on a diet of purple foods, because she was convinced their anti-aging benefits would keep wrinkles at bay. As gimmicky as it may sound, there is some rationale behind this one!

While it's not recommended to limit oneself to such a small group of foods (balance and diversity is key), thinking of nutrition in terms of color can be an interesting and fun way to eat healthy. Betalain, the pigment in beets that gives them their beautiful red hue, is a powerful anti-inflammatory antioxidant that can reduce high blood pressure. 

Beets also help detox the body by purifying the blood and acting as a liver tonic. Combined with Vitamin E packed sunflower seeds and tarragon, a powerhouse herb full of vitamins and minerals also used as an appetite stimulant and digestive aid, Sri Dharma's Beet Salad is deceivingly light but can truly serve as a meal on its own or a great appetizer.

4 raw beets, grated
1 cup sunflower seeds, raw or toasted
1 tbs. chopped fresh tarragon
Cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, to taste

Begin by washing and trimming the beets as needed. If you buy beets with greens, you can use the greens for juicing or in any recipes that calls for dark greens. Grating the beets is a chore if you don’t have a food processor. If grating by hand I recommend the boxy type grater, it keeps the shreds from flying all over the place and staining everything they fall on. 

Once you have grated the beets you can add the sunflower seeds, and tarragon and oil. Tarragon leaves are longer than the thyme I used and chopping them releases their essential oils.

 If you choose to use raw sunflower seeds you can soak them prior to making the salad to soften. I usually rinse once then leave them sitting on a wet paper towel for 20 minutes so they don’t get too soft. I forgot to do this when I was prepping this time, so note the seeds will soak up the juice of the beets and soften that way as well if you let the salad sit for 15-20 minutes.

If you use roasted seeds, add them at the last minute before eating so they do not get soft! 

Stir all the ingredients together. Makes 3-6 servings.

Text: Lana J. Lee & Amy Stinchcombe Pictures: Amy Stinchcombe & Enid Johnstone
Recipe Source and Sprouting Instructions: The Dharma Yoga LOAY Teacher Training Manual

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