I chose mix of watercress, spinach and wild rocket because of its strong and peppery taste, which goes very well with delicate and sweet taste of beetroots. Smoked curd cheese is one of my favourites at the moment. Since I started eating dairy again, I find new quality in each kind of cheese, and this smoky aroma of curd cheese goes great with this salad.
Beets are one of my favourite veggies and looks like my body needs them lately, because I feel an urge to have a bit for my breakfast. So last couple of weeks I make this salad for my breakfast, adding couple of fried eggs.
Beets as root vegetables are not keto friendly, as they contain larger amounts of carbohydrates. 100g of cooked beetroots has from about 6g to 10g of carbs, depending of source of your knowledge. One small cooked and peeled beetroot is less than 100g, it’s still quite a lot, but on the days when your carb intake is smaller, and if you like beetroots as much as I do, you can add them to your meal. Ofcourse if you’re not an orthodox keto user 🙂 Beetroots are build of simple sugars — such as glucose and fructose, also are source of fructans — short-chain carbs classified as FODMAPs. Some people cannot digest FODMAPs, causing unpleasant digestive symptoms. So if you have IBS or you’re at the beginning of your keto journey, beets might not be a good idea.
Their glycemic index is 61, which is medium, so this means that they should not have a major effect on your blood sugar levels, especially if you eat them in smaller amounts.
Beets are natural source of nitrates, which in the body turns into nitric oxide and travels through the artery walls sending signals to the tiny muscle cells around the arteries, telling them to relax. When these cells relax, the blood vessels dilate, and blood pressure goes down.
Food producers often add nitrates and nitrites to processed meats, such as bacon, ham, sausages, and hot dogs. This chemical compounds eating in larger amouts are harmful for your body. Nitrites may turn into nitrosamines, which can cause cancer. When protein from processed meat goes in reaction with sodium nitrite during cooking on high heat, they become nitrosamines. How to recognise if the meat you buy contains nitrates? Look for any of these ingredients on the label:
- sodium nitrate (E251)
- sodium nitrite (E250)
- potassium nitrate (E252)
- potassium nitrite (E249)
How to avoid them? Try to look for local butchers or farmers market, read the labels to make conscious decisions and if you won’t find a good source to shop, try to buy less of processed meat, and cook it on lower heat not to let it burn.
Going back to our beetroots, natural nitrates existing in beets are fine for your body, so you don’t have to be afraid to eat them.
Beets are also great source of fiber, folate (vitamin B9), manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C. This root veggie can improve oxygen use, stamina, and exercise performance.
You can boil them, steam or bake. I like steaming couple of beets, peel them after steaming, and keep in the fridge for my salads. They can be stored in the fridge up to a week.
Let’s go to the recipe, I hope you’ll like it as much as I do.
beetroot and smoked curd salad
- mix of watercress, baby spinach and wild rocket
- slice of smoked curd cheese
- 1 small cooked beetroot
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- pinch of coarse pepper
- 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1-2 tsp organic apple cider vinegar (I like Tree of Life, it’s with mother, raw & unfiltered)
Rinse your greens thoroughly or skip this step, if you have bought ready washed mix. Place them on the bottom of the bowl. Cut beetroot in smaller pieces, crumble curd with your fingers. Place them both on salad leaves. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and pinch of coarse pepper. Pour over 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar. Decorate with thinly cut avocado slices.
Enjoy for breakfast with fried eggs, on it’s own for lunch or light supper.