Detox Beet and Pink Grapefruit Salad is perfect for days when you want to eat light and clean.
With the holidays behind us and 2012 in full swing, everyone seems to be ready to hit the reset button and renew their vows to eat healthy. There are an abundance of detox diets, juicing diets, and the more well know diets such as the Dash Diet, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, and the Biggest Loser Diet. What do all of these diets have in common? Although each of these diets has their own angle, all of them promote a diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, lean proteins, heart-healthy fats, and low-fat dairy foods.
These individual diet programs offer a disciplined approach to eating with the goal of improving health and losing weight. However, if you simply set a goal of your own to pay attention to everything you eat and drink (keeping a log helps), I believe you can come up with your own customized healthy eating plan at a fraction of the cost, eliminating all processed foods, and enjoying a wide variety of your favorite whole foods. Although pre-programmed or pre-packaged diet plans might result in quick weight loss short-term, I believe a conscious commitment to feeding your body a balanced diet of unprocessed, whole foods is the key to long-term health. We all fall off the bandwagon once in a while, but if we know how to pick ourselves back up, we can return ourselves to good health.
Salads, smoothies and soups are the perfect medium for including a nice assortment of healthy fruits and vegetables in the daily diet. Today, I share a simple, straight forward Detox Beet and Pink Grapefruit Salad that is refreshing, light and clean. Complete with antioxidant rich beets and grapefruit, and heart healthy nuts, this salad is the perfect beginning to dinner and would just as easily serve as a nice lunch salad.
But before we get to the recipe, I wanted to share what I’ve learned about beets. I have to admit that I never thought much about beets until a few years ago. I was under the impression that they really didn’t offer much nutrition wise. Plus, until I tasted my first Roasted Beet Salad, I didn’t even like beets. Today, I am a beet convert, especially after learning just how powerful these little red vegetables are.
Beets have a unique phytonutrient profile different from many other antioxidant-rich vegetables. They are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains, which have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxification properties. Betalains are only found in edible form in beets and prickly pear. I’m getting a bit technical here, but one cool thing that I learned is how betalain pigments help detoxify our bodies. Apparently, betalains trigger a process by which toxins are neutralized, and made water-soluable for excretion from our bodies. Pretty cool, right? Okay, I’m showing my geeky pre-med side.
And what about grapefruit? Not only is grapefruit an excellent source of vitamin C, but pink and red grapefruit contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that may protect cells from the damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals. Several scientific studies have found a lower risk of cancer among people who eat lycopene-rich foods.
I hope I didn’t lose you with all that information, but I just think it’s so cool that the lowly beet and the common grapefruit can be such powerhouses.
Okay, back to that Detox Beet and Pink Grapefruit Salad recipe. This recipe was inspired by Betty Fussell, who is being recognized this week by a group of bloggers as one of the Top 50 Women Game Changers in Food. According to Gourmet Live, Betty Fussell’s books are a “snapshot of every major recent food trend – often before it happened.” For the past fifty years, Betty Fussell has been writing articles and books on the subject of what it is to be an American, covering a variety of topics – food, travel, movies, theater and the arts. Her writing has appeared in scholarly journals, food publications, popular national magazines and major newspapers. She is the author of eleven books, including The Story of Corn, documenting the history of corn, and a food memoir, My Kitchen Wars.
If you’re interested in more beet recipes, I’ve made Fresh Beet and Apple Soup, Pureed Beet and Carrot Soup, Pasta with Roasted Beets and Pine Nuts, Oven Roasted Beets with Sage and Thyme, and Orange and Beet Dip.
Detox Beet and Pink Grapefruit Salad
- 4 large handfuls of baby spinach mixed baby greens or arugula
- 4 small beets roasted, sliced
- 1 pink grapefruit peeled and sectioned
- 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup walnuts chopped
- 4 drizzles of avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 4 drizzles of your favorite fruit vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
Place a handful of greens on each of 4 salad plates. Arrange sliced beets, grapefruit segments, and red onions on top. Sprinkle walnuts on top.
Drizzle avocado oil and vinegar on top. Season to taste with a little salt and pepper.
I used Trader Joe's Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar, which has some nice tang and fruit flavors; use your favorite fruit vinegar (raspberry vinegar would be nice). I happened to have some avocado oil on hand; you can simply use olive oil.
Heather @girlichef says
You know what? I’m a total beet lover…especially roasted! I think I’d thoroughly enjoy this salad…and I’m needing the detox aspect right now. I’m thinking it’ll make an appearance in the kitchen this weekend 😀
Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. says
this looks great! All of my favorite healthy ingredients into one recipe
Beets have always been a favourite since I was a child. Of course they were pickled but I have learned to love their tuber as an adult. It sounds so refreshing in this New year salad.
I have to say I was not a beet lover growing up as all I knew were the canned ones that showed up at salad bars. But as an adult I have learned to love roasted beets, and now that I know how good they are for me, I like them even better.
I don’t think I have actually ever had a beet. Then again, I have an idea of what I think they taste like, so I must have at some point! This salad looks perfect though – I love grapefruits.
I love beets! Good info about them and grapefruit!
I love your approach to healthy eating and diet. This recipe sounds fantastic. I happen to love beets so this salad is perfect for me and my gang. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary
I’m eating my grapefruit. I love the idea of beets. I love the looks of beets. I make beets for husband. I try to like them every year – and don’t. And I look at your photo and think, “that’s one of the prettiest dishes ever.” Maybe beets are to be a still-life for me. And Betty is fascinating, isn’t she?
I need a few platefuls of this detox salad-although I would probably eat anyways , detox needs or not since I love grapefruit and beets.
This salad has such a ‘tang’ to it! I’ve made her recipe several times … and I, too, have used baby spinach. Beautiful photo of this salad, J!
Glad everyone is liking this simple, clean salad. I do like the combination of beets and grapefruit with a bit of tang.
Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) says
I adore beets, and while I adore every variety of garden-fresh beets, I also frequently buy the ready-to-eat beets from Trader Joe’s (not canned, but vacuum-packed, in the produce section). I love them in salads with an orange juice dressing. Beets and citrus pair so well, don’t they?
Great idea Lydia – I have bought vacuum-packed beets and they are good and a nice time-saver. I usually pair beets with orange, but I liked how the grapefruit complimented the beets in this salad too. Beets and citrus do indeed go well together.
Beautiful salad! I wish I had this for lunch right now:)
Such a lovely salad! After all the heavy food during the holidays…salads are just the ticket!! Have a wonderful New Year!
I’ve been doing Weight Watchers since PRE-January, mostly because I like that it allows me track what I’m eating without counting calories. It also works better for me than having ME decide how many calories I need to eat, etc. I like the structure but that I can also still eat whatever I want. And really, I had a diet based on whole foods anyway, so I didn’t really need to change that. I agree, though, that when one eats more fruits and veggies and less Doritos, weight loss HAS to happen!
This salad sounds like the perfect detox food! Grapefruits are my favorite citrus of all time.
Such a celan & healthy salad Jeanette! One I must try soon 🙂
Taryn (Have Kitchen, Will Feed) says
I kinda want to eat this right now. Or maybe five minutes ago. Beets + Grapefruits? Best idea ever.
Mireya @myhealthyeatingh says
I started cooking beets at home last year and I’m always on the lookout for new recipe ideas for how to use them, and this one sounds great.!
Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen says
Love all the info, I’m always interested in why and how the food we eat affects our bodies.
EA-The Spicy RF says
I still can’t believe I disliked beets (I mean REALLY disliked them) until a few years ago. Love the flavor combinations in this super healthy salad. Gorgeous too!
I HATED beets as a kid. But (thankfully) now I love them. I’m so glad that they’re healthy. But with that vibrant color? How could they not be! I also use beets to add red coloring to foods. Thanks for this great recipe!
Funny how so many people hated beets when they were younger. The only kind I knew were the canned ones at the salad bar. Roasted beets are the best 😉
juniakk @ mis pensamientos says
i’ve been meaning to try avocado oil! i love avocado with grapefruit together! nutrient packed salad to start the year. totally link this up to my #citruslove bloghop so others can find this! 🙂 have a great day!
I’m back to enjoy your beet and grapefruit salad! What a healthy option! Glad to share lots of citrus-love with you, Jeanette!
Thanks for stopping by – glad you like this light refreshing salad with citrusy grapefruit!
Feast on the Cheap says
Just came back from a mexican vacay and I could totally use this salad right now. My body is craving colorful veggies – no more quesadillas!
Glad to hear you had a chance to get away – this salad will definitely make you feel cleaner and freshened up!
The grapefruit with beets would be a great mix in a salad. I love grapefruit, but it can be intense, I love the idea of adding a sweet beet to off-set that intensity! Beautiful, Take care, Terra