When I was a kid I hated beets. They tasted like dirt to me and everything about them was gross in my opinion. Fortunately as an adult I’ve grown to appreciate them–both for their flavor and their incredible health benefits. Rich foods and party cocktails are in abundance at this time of year so if your body (especially your liver) ever needs a little help it’s probably going to be now. Beets are especially good for detoxing because they stimulate the liver which helps filter toxins out of our blood. The good news is, you don’t need to juice them to get these benefits. In fact, eating the beets is even better for you because the fiber in beets binds to toxins, especially heavy metals in your colon and carries them out of you, preventing them from getting reabsorbed into your bloodstream. Even a small amount of beets can have a big impact so if beets aren’t your thing, this salad is a great way to sneak them in. The tanginess of the goat cheese offsets the earthy sweetness of the beets perfectly and cuts some of that beety taste that some people don’t like. Pumpkin seeds are also excellent for you as they are high in vitamins and minerals that support detox and did you know they can even kill parasites? Yeah I’m a big fan of that!! Ewww…just thinking about it creeps me out! Bring on the pumpkin seeds! I put those suckers in everything now! You can use any base of greens but I chose Mesclun for this one because it has radicchio and red leafed lettuce which contain anthocyanins, another potent detoxifier and antioxidant that reduces inflammation in your body and is a proven cancer fighter. Don’t you feel healthier just reading about this salad??? The great news is it’s at least as delicious as it is good for you!
4 cups mesclun greens
2 medium beets
4 Tbl pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
2 Tbl balsamic vinegar
1 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
Cut the tops off of the beets (these are excellent chopped and sauteed in olive oil and garlic!). Wash the beets and place them, still whole and unpeeled, onto a small baking sheet or even some aluminum foil. Roast them in the oven at 375 degrees (f) for about 40 minutes or until softened and a knife can easily pass through them. Remove from the oven and cool. Peel the beets and chop into about 1/2 inch cubes. These will keep in the fridge for days or can be frozen so make extra and you’ll be able to throw this salad together in just a few minutes the next time! Place the greens in a large bowl and top with the beets, pumpkin seeds and crumbled goat cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over the balsamic vinegar and olive oil just before serving. I like to keep them separate in this salad so I can taste them both individually but if you prefer to blend them first you can, it’s purely a matter of preference! Your taste buds will thank you and so will your liver! Enjoy!