Unlike many people I've come across, I have always had a love for beets...be it shaved or julienned in a salad, pickled or thrown in a blood-cleansing juice. I am certainly in the minority. Over the years I have scoured many living food recipe books and blogs to find a beet salad my students would enjoy. It wasn't until recently that I came across the recipe below, courtesy of Alissa Cohen, that I thought I'd play around with it, making slight modifications. After about an hour of testing flavors and a great complementary dressing, I had something I was very happy with. It's still the Pear, Beet & Jicama Salad, just my own variation.
Just a little background on the main attraction...Beets.
The health benefits of beets include the treatment of anemia, indigestion, constipation, piles, kidney disorders, dandruff, gall bladder disorders, cancer, and heart disease. It also helps to prevent macular degeneration, improve blood circulation, aid in skin care, prevent cataracts and mediate respiratory problems. These health benefits of beet roots can be attributed to their richness in nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Beets are good for heart health, reduces birth defects, good for liver health, prevents respiratory problems, prevent cataracts, boosts energy levels, serves as a natural aphrodisiac and much more.
ome of the health benefits of jicama include its ability to help you manage your weight, optimize your digestion, boost your immune system, prevent various types of cancer, increase your energy levels, help manage diabetes, build strong bones, increase circulation, lowers blood pressure, and boosts brain function.
Jicama is a root vegetable that is native to central and South America, and has been used for thousands of years as a dietary element and a medicinally beneficial substance. The name “jicama” is also thename of the vine of this vegetable, although the tuberous root is the most commonly eaten part. Some other names for jicama include the Mexican yam, or the Mexican turnip.
Pears are valuable fruits that have been widely used and savored for their delicious flavor since ancient times. Apart from being a tasty addition to the diet, pears are also packed with nutrients and nutritional value. Some of the health benefits of pears include their ability to aid in weight loss, improve digestion, improve heart health, regulate the body’s fluid levels, reduce blood pressure, increase cognitive ability, prevent cancer, promote wound healing and tissue repair, defend against birth defects, boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, increase the metabolism, improve circulation, protect against osteoporosis, while guaranteeing healthier skin, eyes, and hair. -Source: OrganicFacts.net
So, as you see, this salad is filled with a great number nutrients, but it really tastes good too! I'm eating this salad (and typing) as we speak. :)
I hope you try this recipe. I think you will enjoy it. I also show students how to prepare this salad in my Salad TossUp! and Level I Raw Food Certification Class. Word of caution: the juice beet juice can be very messy and may stain fabrics and counter tops. So, a 50/50 mix of water and peroxide can decrease the chances of staining. Bleach, while a much harsher chemical, works just as well.
PEAR, BEET & JICAMA SALAD
3 medium beets, grated
1 cup jicama, peeled and cubed
1 T. lemon juice
2 medium Bartlett pears, ripened and cubed
1/2 c. raisins
3 cups collard greens, stems removed, chiffonade
1/2 cup walnuts
Place jicama and pears in a bowl with the lemon juice for 30 minutes.
Add the beets to the bowl of jicama and pears and mix.P
Place collards in a large bowl. Place the pear, jicama and beet mixture on top of greens. Mix well.
Juice of 1 Navel orange
1 T. Raw Honey
1/4 cup olive oil
pinch of salt
Combine all ingredients. Mix well. Pour on top of salad. Mix salad thoroughly.
Regina Thomas Dillard is the author of "FEED: Living Food Recipes to be Made and Eaten with Love", and founder of Inner + Sanctum Wellness, a business dedicated to assist others as they embark on their holistic journey. All products are handmade and sourced from reputable organic and natural ingredients purveyors.