I discovered the joy of raw grated beets on a salad several years ago in Sedona, Arizona. My husband and I decided to escape our infertility woes and the wintry Northeast with a trip to the land of vortexes, crystals, and red rocks.
On that trip we experienced our first true vegan restaurant and fell in love. You see, we live in Pittsburgh and back then the idea of pure vegan was a plate of fries and a chopped iceberg salad. So the complex, layered, fresh salads and vegan dishes at D’lish were a welcome change for our palate and our health. My favorite discovery at D’lish, which is sadly no longer operating, was their use of grated raw beets atop of a pile of fresh greens, avocados, nuts, and seeds. I’ve been replicating it and creating my own variations ever since.
If the thought of beets conjures up a jar of soggy pickled gems, think again. Raw beets are crisp and add great texture and flavor to salads or side dishes. Roasted beets are earthy and when paired with other winter root vegetables, create a gorgeous warming meal.
Raw beets are nutrient dense, detoxifying, and contain fertility boosting properties. They are a good source of folate, which promotes fertility and is critical to help prevent birth defects during pregnancy. Beets also contain vitamin C, B-6, iron, magnesium, dietary fiber, potassium and manganese. Beet greens contain vitamin C, carotenoids, flavonoid anti-oxidants, and vitamin A — so hang on to the greens and saute them up with some olive oil, garlic, and a squeeze of lemon.