Just about every health food enthusiast I know has a handful of staple salad recipes that are packed with hearty, filling ingredients, an abundance of nutrients and lashings of flavor. While those salads can be made almost blindfolded through repeated creation, it’s also very refreshing to add a completely different salad into the mix to surprise your taste buds!
This salad is a winter tradition in Eastern Europe, with different variations – some people add mayonnaise, some use pickled cucumbers instead of sauerkraut, but it is always related to the holiday season and the winter month. The harsh winters doesn’t leave much fresh food choice and people rely on fermented foods to build a strong immune system.
It’s quite hard to avoid all the hype around probiotics, and you’ve likely seen all the TV advertisements about how important they are for your overall health. That’s because probiotics support gut health, and can affect your entire immune system.
While marketers are cashing in on the hype and bringing out quite overpriced probiotic supplements, a much humbler, whole food version that’s been consumed since the dawn of time is sauerkraut.
Regularly consuming sauerkraut introduces live, beneficial bacteria into your digestive system, which helps to balance out the good/bad bacteria ratio. Sauerkraut also features vitamin C, vitamin K and iron.
Beetroot is loaded with so many health benefits and have been extensively studied for their protective properties. They contain high levels of antioxidants which are known to reverse damage caused by not-so-healthy food choices, and all the added chemicals that increase shelf life of products.
If you find yourself living a high-stress lifestyle, this also causes damage to your cells. That’s why it’s so important to include many antioxidant-rich foods in your diet.
Beetroot is a great source of folate, with around 30% of your recommended daily intake found in one cup. Folate is an important B vitamin that vegans need to include a lot of in their diet. It helps with energy production, as well as mental and even emotional wellbeing. Trace minerals include copper, manganese and potassium.
I’ve used russet potatoes in this salad as they are a great source of vitamin B6, with one potato offering around 30% of your recommended daily intake. They also contain vitamin C, folate, vitamin A and more potassium than one banana!
Potatoes aid with digestion due to their fiber content, which also helps to create that full feeling. I make this Russian salad for the Christmas dinner and serve it as a meal itself, because it’s filling and flavourful.
Russian Salad with Beets and Sauerkraut
- 2 medium beets
- 1 carrot
- 3 Russet potatoes
- 1 cup red cabbage Sauerkraut
- 1 bunch fresh parsley diced
- 1 red onion finely diced
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Place the potatoes into a medium pot and cover with water.
- Bring to boil over medium heat, then simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the beets and carrot into a colander, place it over the potatoes pot and steam them.
- Remove the vegetables from the pot/colander and set aside to cool.
- Peel the potatoes and beet, cut into small cubes and transfer into a large bowl.
- Add the sauerkraut and the rest of the ingredients, and mix to combine.
- Set aside for 10 minutes, to allow the flavors to combine, then serve.