Do you rarely cook beets? (Yes, this Paleo Russian Salad calls for beetroots.)
And is that ‘cos you have no idea how to prep them in creative ways? (And no, beetroots don’t taste like dirt, like many people think.)
You’ll be amazed at how tasty they can be with just a sprinkle of salt.
If you still think that they taste like dirt, don’t worry. Because in this Paleo Russian Salad, they get balanced out with the natural sweetness of sweet potatoes and carrots.
The best part about this salad? It calls for only 6 readily available ingredients and is ready in no time.
1. Good to know:
– Since beets contain a nice amount of fat-soluble vitamin A, make sure to add some healthy fats to the beets. For example:
- Extra virgin olive oil mixed to raw/steamed beets.
- Coconut oil drizzled on roasted beets.
– Many people use pre-cooked beetroots in salads. I personally prefer using raw beets. Working with them gets quite messy and stain your hands but, they give salads such a beautiful color and crunch!
2. Heads up: It’s totally normal for your sweet potatoes and carrots to turn red. Blame your beautiful beets😉 To avoid this, mix in the beets just before serving.
3. Serving suggestion: Serve this paleo Russian salad as a side dish with meat, chicken, paleo crispy fried fish or any seafood of your choice.
What beets should you buy?
- Red, yellow / golden, or stripped / Chioggia beets: which one would you choose? Well, it depends on your taste preference since:
- Red beets have an earthy flavor.
- Yellow / golden beets taste less sweet and less earthy compared to red ones.
- Stripped beets have a strong earthy taste and crunchy texture.
However, you can use them interchangeably when cooking or baking.
2. Look for beets that are firm to the touch.
3. If you plan to roast / steam whole beets, choose beets that are about the same size / weight. As such, all of them will take the same amount of time to cook.
Good to know: Do you throw away the beet greens (i.e. the scarlet stems and the green leaves attached to the beets)? If yes, well you’re feeding your trash can with lots of antioxidants and vitamins A and C.
1. Do you throw away the beet greens (i.e. the scarlet stems and the green leaves attached to the beets)? If yes, well you’re feeding your trash can with lots of antioxidants and vitamins A and C.
2. These bonus veggies are high in antioxidants, vitamin C and vitamin A. Next time, think about subbing chard and collard green for these beet greens in your soups and stews. You can also sautee them along with some sweet potatoes.
Did you know? Beet greens are quite bitter and can help improve digestion by triggering the release of digestive enzymes + bile flow! And they include some of the nutrients the liver needs for its detox pathways to work optimally.
Handy storage tips about beets
1. Fresh beets that still have their leaves can be refrigerated for three to five days.
2. Beets that have no leaves can be refrigerated for two to four weeks.
3. Uncooked grated beets can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
4. Cooked beetroot can be refrigerated for three to five days in an airtight container.
5. Freeze cooked beets in airtight containers for up to 6 months. They’ll come in handy the next time you’re too tired or in too much pain to cook.
- Freeze whole small beets.
- Slice all the large beets into ¼” or dice them.
- Spread the sliced / diced beets on a tray in one layer and freeze them.
- Once they’re frozen, detach them and freeze them in airtight containers.
- Whenever you need your beets, let them thaw. Then heat them in a pan.
How to handle beets without making a mess
1. Cover your workstation with parchment paper or simply use a glass chopping board.
2. Wear a pair of disposable gloves to avoid staining your hands. But be careful: cornstarch is often used to powder these gloves.
3. If you don’t like wearing gloves (or can’t find a cornstarch free one), you can either:
- Remove the stains off your hands by rubbing a piece of lemon on them, or
- Wash your hands with hot water, or lemon juice.
1. Beets can be eaten in a number of different ways. You can choose to:
- Or eat them raw.
2. Add some crunch to your salads by:
- Slicing your beets thinly, or
- Shredding them.
3. SO. What do you do with the beets’ peel?
- Get organic beets and just chop off the ends. Keep the peel when cooking – lots of betalain in it!
- If your local market doesn’t carry organic beetroots, peel your beetroots with a peeler just as you would on a sweet potato before cooking.
- Scrub the raw, non-organic beetroots and cook them until they’re fork tender with their skin on. Once they cool down, just scrape away their skin with a knife.
Paleo Russian Salad (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Grain Free, AIP)
- 2 big sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into cubes (466g)
- 3 big carrots, cut into cubes (276g)
- 2 medium beetroots, peeled (if not organic), cut into cubes (408g)
- 3 cups water, hot or at room temperature
- 1 medium red onion, thinly chopped (68g)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon unrefined sea salt
- Ground black pepper, to taste (Omit for AIP)
- Scallions / coriander, finely chopped finely chopped
- Add water to your food steamer over high heat.
- Once the water starts to boil, add the sweet potatoes, carrots, and beetroots.
- Allow the veggies to cook for about 20 to 25 minutes over low heat. Make sure that they’re fork tender when you open the lid.
- While the veggies are cooking, mix the onions, extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper in a large glass bowl.
- Once the veggies are ready, mix them with the vinaigrette.
- Sprinkle some chopped scallions / coriander on top to add a pop of color to your salad.
- Chopped Granny Smith apples,
- Finely chopped green cabbage,
- Steamed broccoli,
- Baby greens.