Cooked beetroot and horseradish salad

Written by Endeavour College of Natural Health | 12 June, 2020

Endeavour academic, Monica Marian shares with us this healthy and nutritious recipe that makes for an excellent winter salad.

It’s also a very versatile dish and can be served with entrees, together with eggplant, cauliflower or garlic dips, mushrooms, cheese, hard boiled or devilled eggs and olives; and warm dishes like omelettes (together with fresh rocket, spring onion, parsley), risotto, cooked meats with roasted vegetables and spinach, or lentil casseroles.

Firstly, let’s look at the nutritional benefits of this salad.

Beetroot is a winter root vegetable with amazing nutritional value. Is considered amongst the top ten antioxidant rich foods (rich in phenolic compounds and flavonoids) and has been used for centuries in the European cuisine. It is highly alkalising (like all root vegetables), rich in potassium and folate, moderately rich in fibre, with a medium glycaemic index of 61 but with a very low glycaemic load of 5, making it suitable also for diabetics.

It’s also been used as a juice or in cooked form to support patients with anaemia, osteoarthritis, convalescents, patients with chronic heart, liver diseases and even in cancer. Has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Some studies have shown that due to the high nitrate content, based on people’s ability to convert nitrates to nitrites and nitric oxide in the body, there is a potential for regular consumption of beetroot to assist in decreasing high blood pressure, improving oxygenation in tissues, increasing athletic performance and brain functioning. The beets can be juiced, steamed, roasted, or pickled and the leaves are also used in soups or cooked like spinach.

It’s worth noting that excess consumption can be problematic for patients with oxaluria, as beetroot is rich in oxalates. Also, due to the presence of GOS (galacto-oligosaccharides) and fructans, large serves of beetroot can be problematic for some FODMAPs intolerant patients with IBS – Diarrhoea Type, but they might be able to tolerate well small serves of 20-30 grams at a time.

Horseradish is a root containing pungent volatile oils. It stimulates digestion, therefore is often used as a condiment when eating rich foods. It is well known to help clear catarrh and assist with sinus infection.

Caraway seeds have been used in cooking and medicine since ancient times in many parts of Europe, Egypt and India. It has well known carminative effects through a compound called carvone, being used to reduce flatulence. Is often added to dishes known to produce more wind like cabbage or beans. Can be cooked into a soup with sautéed onions, strained and served with croutons as an easy to digest dish in convalescent people. Diluted carraway seed tea has been traditionally used in alleviating colicky pains in babies.

Cooked beetroot and horseradish salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg fresh beetroot tubers
  • 1 tablespoon carraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon plain salt
  • 1 small jar (approx.200g) of horseradish paste (some can contain dairy, but there are dairy free options in Australia)
  • 1 small (5-6 cm) stick fresh horseradish root (for extra flavour)
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice (approximately juice of 1 lemon, according to desired taste)

Method:

Peel the beetroot tubers and dice them into small (0.5-1 cm) cubes.

Place the beetroot cubes into a bowl that can fit inside a steamer and sprinkle the carraway seeds and the salt on top of the cubes. Steam until cooked through (for approximately one hour). Remove the steaming bowl from the steamer and tip the entire content (together with all the juice formed during cooking) into a larger mixing bowl or clean pot. Let the cooked beetroot cool down to room temperature, then cool down further in the fridge.

Once beetroot is cold, grate finely the horseradish stick on a grater or chop finely in a food processor (the etheric oils will open your sinuses!). Mix the cooked beetroot, the fresh horseradish and the horseradish paste. Add lemon juice (and possibly more salt) according to taste. Transfer into glass containers with sealable lid and store in the fridge for up to two weeks. Needs to be served cold, as the etheric oils from the horseradish are lost through heating.

Recipe notes and tips

Dicing is much quicker and easier with a mandolin dicer: cut the peeled beetroot in 0.8 cm thick slices and press through the 1 cm sided dicing frame.

When buying the horseradish paste look for a white colour rather than a creamy one. The horseradish pastes have usually “Best before” dates within one year of manufacturing and sometimes they can lose some of the pungent volatile oil and get oxidised before the expiry date.

Some cooks in Eastern Europe (where lemons are not readily available) use only freshly grated horseradish (e.g. a 12-15 cm stick) together with approx. 30 ml of vinegar and 60 ml of sunflower oil (or can use rice bran oil, preferably cold pressed) and no horseradish paste.


Endeavour College of Natural Health

Endeavour College of Natural Health is Australia's largest Higher Education provider of natural medicine courses.

The College is known as the centre of excellence for natural medicine and is respected for its internationally recognised academic teams and high calibre graduates. Endeavour offers Bachelor of Health Science degrees in Naturopathy, Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine, and Acupuncture, a fully online Bachelor of Complementary Medicine, Undergraduate Certificates, a Diploma of Health Science and massage courses.

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