After the Holidays (a.k.a. the universal feasting marathon), January is usually a time to reboot. What better way to start your year off than with clean eating and lots of organic fruits and vegetables? The “juicing” craze is alive and well in Los Angeles and many of our favorite juice shops are promoting a New Year’s Juice Fast/Detox to help you kick-start your resolutions. More than just a diet fad, juicing is a quick and delicious way to get those healthy vitamins delivered right where you need them. Inspired by detox juices but wanting a little more “bite”, I created a detox salad that has all the delicious sweet and savory flavors of an apple & beet juice, but with all the fiber and crunch of actually eating food…so you leave fully satisfied.
When my body is screaming for a cold-pressed juice, my favorite flavors are both sweet and savory. I’ve integrated my favorite delicious immune- boosting ingredients into this salad:
Apples are anti-inflammatory, high in fiber, filled with anti-oxidants and full of C & B vitamins.
Beets are anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting, filled with anti-oxidants, rich in A & C vitamins, B vitamin folate, potassium & manganese. This blood-red vegetable is good for your heart, liver and respiratory tract, aids nerve and bone function, supports your kidneys & pancreas and aids in digestion.
Celery is anti-inflammatory, high in fiber and burns more calories eating it than are in it.
Ginger Root is anti-inflammatory and soothes the digestive tract.
Lemon is anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, rich in vitamin C, boosts the immune system and flushes out toxins.
Avocado is a good source of fiber, rich in anti-oxidants, lowers cholesterol, and has more potassium than bananas. The “good fats” aid in the absorption of nutrients.
Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds) are rich in protein, anti-oxidants and minerals (magnesium, potassium and zinc). This salty little accent adds an immune-boosting crunch.
***One thing I cannot express enough is the importance of using organic fruits and vegetables for this recipe, especially lemons and celery. The many good nutrients that you are putting into your body could be counteracted by the amount of toxins you are absorbing if you don’t use organic.
2 large Organic Fuji Apples
2 medium Organic Beets
3 stalks of Organic Celery
2 Organic Lemons
1 “knob” of fresh Organic Ginger Root
1 small Avocado or ½ of a large Avocado
1/8 cup Pepitas (Roasted Pumpkin Seeds)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
Wash and dice your celery into small chunks and place in a large glass or metal bowl.
TIP: The smaller you make the celery chunks, the more flavor it will absorb from the other ingredients.
Peel the apples. Chop in half. Cut out and dispose of the core. Cut the apple into small chunks. Add to the bowl.
TIP: Fuji apples are used in this recipe for their sweetness, versus Granny Smith apples which are tart. The sweetness of this variety of apple balances the root flavor of the beet and the tart flavor of the lemon.
Cut 1 lemon in half and squeeze the lemon juice on top of the apples and celery.
TIP: If you squeeze the lemon juice into a bowl first, you can easily filter out the seeds before pouring it over your salad. The acid in the lemon keeps the apples from browning.
Peel the skin off of the ginger root and use a microplane grater-zester or a small-holed grater to finely grate the ginger root over the bowl.
TIP: The amount of ginger root you use is at your taste discretion. It is a very bold flavor and if you are like me and believe the more ginger the better, grate the entire root over the salad. If it is too intense a flavor for you, add a smaller amount for a more subtle flavor.
Cut your ripe avocado in half length-wise. Tap your knife into the seed and twist. It should come out easily. Draw a grid into your avocado half, with a small knife and use a spoon to scoop out the avocado from the skin. Add the avocado chunks to your salad.
TIP: By using a spoon, the avocado will stay in chunks verses a mashed avocado consistency. Gently fold the avocado into the salad with a spoon. The lemon from the salad will also keep the avocado from browning.
TIP: Beets will stain your hands and any wood or plastic surface red. SO…I usually chop this last and quickly rinse off my knife, cutting board, hands and anything else the beet juice touched. To keep your hands from staining, you can use rubber gloves when handling them or rub salt on your hands and then rinse with dish washing soap. This is also why I recommend using a metal or glass bowl for the assemblage of the salad.
Chop the tops and tail off of your beets and peel the skin with a peeler. With a cheese grater, grate your beets over the salad or onto a metal or glass bowl. Add to your salad.
Chop and squeeze the last lemon over the top of the salad. Drizzle with olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste and toss with the pepitas.
TIP: Make sure to gently mix or “fold” the salad as to not mash the avocado.
I have made this salad without the avocado and pepitas before and it is still delicious. The avocado adds a rich creamy texture and the pepitas add an additional crunch, but you can alter this recipe to your preferences.
Here’s to a healthy and happy New Year! BON APPÉTIT!
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Recipe & Photography by Sarah Prikryl
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