This raw golden beets recipe is part of our family’s evolution towards more plant based and raw foods. I don’t know that we’ll ever completely remove meat from our diet, nor is that the goal as we are not deprivation oriented in terms of our lifestyle choices on a practical level. However, our intent is to keep our diets balanced. We strive to incorporate more plant based and raw foods into our food consumption at the expense of meat. Also, as with most recipes I post they reflect an attempt to both modernize traditional soul food and more closely align with African roots of cooking which features more grains, vegetables and legumes.
I’m of the mindset that what we eat and our health are highly correlated. When you look at the prevalence of certain diseases diabetes, cardiovascular, cancer, etc., I believe they are connected to a diet today that has become increasingly meat and convenience focused. Cancer and medical research in general is so focused on addressing symptoms that the root causes are overlooked or not considered. Imagine if research and efforts focused on the long term effects of certain foods in our diets and/or the overall food system vs. insulin, chemotherapy blood thinning agents, etc. With the latter the disease isn’t eliminated, only the symptoms are addressed which means they are likely to return at some point.
My older brother referred to beets, turnips, prunes, etc. as geriatric food and absolutely refused to eat them as a kid. I was the opposite (except with respect to prunes) and thought everything my grandparents ate/did was the best choice. My grandmother kept pickled beets in the house, and always encouraged us to eat them. I was more than happy to oblige and loved both the taste and texture. However I was not prepared for the purple stream of urine post my first consumption of a full bowl of purple beets. I was highly concerned, but my embarrassment was greater so I sweated things out vs, alerting my grandmother of my mutation. I was relieved a full two days later after achieving a normal urine sample.
Fast forward to parenthood and my wife and I made some critical,decisions regarding food choices for our pending kids/family. One as infants our kids would only eat homemade baby food which meant we’d be pureeing a lot of vegetables and fruit including beets, carrots, spinach, etc so yes we had a rainbow of baby poop. Two as toddlers and youths they would eat the foods we ate. Now we weren’t necessarily feeding them jerk chicken or spicy pad Thai, but there were lots of green and root vegetables as well as complex grains and lean protein. Net net they’ve always had an appreciation for “clean eating” and I beam with pride when they reach for items like beets, Brussels sprouts, and fennel.
This raw beets recipe is one of their favorites. The beets don’t last long when they’re out on the table. The key to them is slicing them thinly. I recommend using a mandolin for evenly sliced beets or else you can just rely on your knife skills. Another tip would be to make the sauce a few hours ahead of time to allow the flavors to mesh. Additionally you should top the beets with the sauce about 30 minutes before serving. The best part of the recipe besides the fact that the kids need no parental nudging, is that no oven is needed and it tastes delicious with minimal effort. We chose golden beets over purple ones because they tend to be a tad bit sweeter thus more palatable and they are less messy as purple ones tend to stain everything they touch.
The dish is simple, eye appealing, and a healthy choice for you children’s. Because it’s raw, all those nutrients are present. So what are those health benefits you ask – they are heart healthy high cancer fighting oxidants, lower blood pressure and cholesterol and excellent kidney cleansers.
- 2 medium golden beets sliced thinly
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon fresh mint finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh basil finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh parsley finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Combine oil, vinegar, garlic, herbs and spices in a bowl and mix well.
- Pour mixture over beets and let sit for at least 30 minutes