Ok, so the long spell of unusually hot weather isn’t doing me any favours as far as training and competing goes – I really struggled in the heat in yesterday’s leg of the Welsh Castles Relay that I ran for my club – but I am loving the weather for preparing and sharing some of my favourite salad recipes with you! Today’s offering is this delicious beetroot and feta salad.
The sweet, earthy richness is complemented perfectly by the sharp tanginess of the feta, while the base of spinach and rocket (aragula) add an interesting contrast of taste and texture both to each other and to the beets and cheese – and a whole host of nutritional goodies! The dressing uses freshly squeezed OJ as its base – again helping boost the already considerable vitamin C content of the beetroot and feta salad.
This recipe uses a pack of ready cooked beetroot and pre-packed leaves for speediness and convenience. You can have this on the table in 10 minutes tops!
(This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click through and make a purchase, I will earn a commission – at no additional cost to you.)
Beetroot juice is well-known as a popular supplement amongst athletes – and with good reason. The nitrates in beetroot are converted into nitric oxide within the body, and it seems it is this which helps support athletic performance.
And don’t let talk of ‘athletic performance’ throw you! The power of the beet can be reaped by all athletes! A study suggested that beet juice can help all athletes reach optimum performance more quickly – not just elites!
And it’s not just of value to sprinters either! Another study suggested that beetroot juice supplementation increased endurance at submaximal effort as well – endurance is improved.
Of course, you aren’t going to get the same concentration of nitrates in fresh beetroot as you are in the concentrated juice, but you are still going to get useful quantities – and (some friends of mine would definitely say!) in a much more tasty form! But whether or not you try the concentrate, please give this tasty beetroot and feta salad a go!
Beetroot is also a good source of betaine, an amino acid that is also found in high quantities in wheat bran and spinach. It is also widely used as an animal nutrition supplement – and with good reason. It helps to fight inflammation, and combat environmental stress.
Beetroot is also thought to help with liver health, heart health and again help improve endurance. Research findings spoke about “an improved sense of well-being, less fatigue, and greater general strength and endurance during recovery.”
It is also thought that beetroot can help control blood pressure , and it is a good source of vitamin C, iron, folate and manganese.
Feta cheese contains saturated fats and sodium – but a little goes a long way and it also contains useful nutritional value – and it tastes good! Feta cheese is a good source of calcium and phosphorus, which helps bone growth, brain function and protein synthesis.
Spinach is of the same family as beetroot and is rich in vitamins A, C, K and folate, as well as being a good source of manganese, magnesium, iron and vitamin B2.
Rocket (aragula) is very rich in folate and a good source of B vitamins, as well as vitamins C and K. It also contains useful levels of copper and iron.
I hope you enjoy making and eating this salad on a nice hot summer’s day. As ever, let me know what you think in the comments section, and rate the recipe below. If you like this recipe, you might also want to check out the spiced couscous salad that I added recently.
Happy running, cooking and eating!
P.S. Even if you aren’t interested in buying or trying the beetroot shots, check out the reviews on the link below – both in terms of the possible effect on performance . . . and the taste 🙂 Lol!
Beetroot and Feta Salad
A healthy and delicious salad – perfect for post-run refuelling on summer days!
- 300 g cooked beetroot
- 200 g feta cheese
- 100 g baby leaf spinach
- 100 g rocket (aragula)
- 1 sprig mint
For the dressing
- 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 0.5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp clear honey
- 0.5 tsp wholegrain mustard
- freshly ground black pepper
Slice the beetroot and cube the feta cheese. Wash and dry the salad leaves. Pick the mint leaves and coarsely chop.
Mix the leaves together and share between the serving plates.
Divide the beetroot slices between the plates and top with the feta cheese and chopped mint.
Either place all of the dressing ingredients into a clean screw-topped jar and shake well to mix and emulsify, or place all into a small bowl and whisk well with a small whisk. Spoon the dressing equally over the salad.
For some added crunch, add some chopped walnuts to the salad. Although high in fats, walnuts are a good source of the omega-3 alpha-linoleic acid 🙂