This beet and broccoli salad is a vibrant, healthy, and easy-to-make side dish that adds a pop of color and nutrition to your table. Not only is it visually appealing with its vivid colors and textures, but it’s also packed with heart-healthy ingredients and is perfect for vegetarians and gluten-free diets.
Thanks to the folks at California Prunes for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own!
Why I Am Loving This Beetroot And Broccoli Salad!
- Crunchy and Refreshing: The combination of fresh beets and broccoli creates a satisfying crunch, while the overall freshness of the beet broccoli salad makes it a perfect choice for warm weather gatherings.
- Rich in Color and Texture: The deep reds of the beets contrast beautifully with the green broccoli, offering an inviting and appetizing look.
- Heart-Healthy: As a heart health dietitian, this dish doesn’t can’t get any better for your heart! Not only are beets and broccoli renowned for their cardiovascular benefits, but so are most of the ingredients in this dish! Keep reading to find out how.
- Versatile for Any Occasion: Whether it’s a casual family dinner, a picnic, or a BBQ, this broccoli beetroot salad fits right in. It’s an excellent side dish that compliments a variety of main courses. Or throw on some chickpeas and add quinoa to make it a meal!
- Easy to Execute: There is some chopping required, but otherwise it’s easy to throw together.
- Sweet and Nutritious Addition of Prunes: California Prunes not only add a natural sweetness to balance the earthy flavors but also contribute to blood pressure management.
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Heart Health Benefits
Beets are a powerhouse for heart health due to their high content of nitrates, which are converted into nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide helps to improve blood flow and lower blood pressure, both crucial for maintaining a healthy heart.
Broccoli is rich in antioxidants and fiber, which contribute to better heart health. Broccoli contains many nutrients, specifically quercetin, a flavonoid, and antioxidant.
California prunes are a great source of potassium and soluble fiber, both essential for heart health (2). Potassium is a staple in the DASH diet which helps regulate blood pressure, while soluble fiber can reduce levels of bad cholesterol in the blood.
Walnuts are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, known for their heart-healthy properties (3). They help reduce inflammation and have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease as they are a key component in Portfolio Diet Recipes.
Olive oil is a staple in the Mediterranean diet, a heart healthy way of eating. It’s high in monounsaturated fats, which are known to reduce the risk of heart disease by improving risk factors like cholesterol levels. This article explains olive oil and blood pressure in more detail.
- Beets – If you buy them fresh, don’t throw out your beet greens! Be sure to use them in this beet green smoothie to lower blood pressure. You can also purchase beets frozen, and just steam them, or already cooked! However, if you buy them canned, just be sure to rinse them to remove any extra salt.
- Broccoli florets – I buy mine frozen and already chopped to save on the meal prep, but fresh works too! If you have leftover broccoli, be sure to use it in them awesome broccoli stirfy!
- Prunes – California prunes can protect your heart in so many ways!
- Red onion – Adds a sweet flavor and crisp texture, as well as a nice pop of color!
- Feta cheese – Choose crumbled or cubed! Your choice.
- Walnuts – Can be crushed or halved.
- Olive oil – Extra virgin olive oil, for optimal heart health benefits!
- Apple cider vinegar – Read more about how apple cider vinegar can lower blood pressure.
- Dijon mustard – This acts as an emulsifier for the salad dressing, but mustard can also play a role at lowering blood pressure.
Here’s a summary of the equipment needed:
- Sharp knife and cutting board
- Large mixing bowl
- Tin foil and baking sheet for cooking beets
- Steamer for steaming broccoli
- For this broccoli and beetroot salad, begin by preparing the beets: wash them, trim off the tops and roots, wrap each in aluminum foil, and bake on a baking sheet at 375°F (190°C) for 45-60 minutes, or until fork-tender. Let them cool, peel, and dice.
- Meanwhile, lightly steam broccoli florets for 3-5 minutes in the microwave until they are bright green and tender-crisp, then let them cool. In a large bowl, combine the diced beets, steamed broccoli.
- While this cooks and cools, be sure to chop the California prunes, red onion, feta cheese, and walnuts.
- Create the dressing by whisking together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and Dijon mustard in a small bowl.
- Then combine all of the ingredients and pour the dressing over the beetroot broccoli salad and toss gently to combine.
- Serve the beet and broccoli salad chilled or at room temperature. This dish is not only visually appealing but also full of nutrients and fiber, making it a healthy choice.
If you are a visual learner, be sure to check this out!
Make this beet broccoli salad your own with these suggestions:
- Garlic: Add for extra flavor.
- Bread: Serve with crusty bread.
- Cheese Options: Use blue cheese, goat cheese, or mozzarella.
- Herbs: Enhance flavor with herbs like dill or parsley.
- Mashed Potatoes: Include as another blood pressure-lowering ingredient.
- Sweetener in Dressing: Add maple syrup for extra sweetness.
- Greens: Incorporate arugula or baby spinach for additional nutrients.
- Nut Alternatives: Substitute walnuts with pistachios or almonds.
- For Nut Allergies: Use seeds like pepitas instead of nuts.
- Extra Zing: Add ginger.
- Vinegar Choice: Use apple cider vinegar
This salad makes a great side dish to heart healthy omega 3 rich salmon.
Or add some legumes like chickpeas, white cannellini beans or lentils for soluble fiber and plant protein to increase compliance to the portfolio diet.
Beets in salads are typically cooked, either by roasting or boiling, to soften them and bring out their natural sweetness. However, some salads use raw beets, which are thinly sliced or grated for a crunchy texture.
Roasting beets is best for salads because it enhances their natural sweetness, making it a preferred method for salads. Boiling is quicker and simpler but can dilute some of the flavor and nutrients.
Beets pair well with ingredients like goat cheese, nuts (like walnuts or pecans), citrus fruits, fresh herbs (like dill or parsley), and balsamic vinegar, as these complement their earthy sweetness.
If you find yourself with beets and broccoli in your fridge and are unsure how to use them, this broccoli and beet salad is a fantastic solution.
It’s a creative and delicious way to incorporate these nutritious vegetables into your diet, ensuring you reap their heart health benefits in a delightful and tasty manner.
If you make it, let me know how it goes in the comments below!
Beet and Broccoli Salad
- 2 beets cooked, peeled, and diced
- 2 cups broccoli florets lightly steamed and cooled
- 1/2 cup California prunes chopped
- 1/4 cup red onion finely chopped
- 1/4 cup feta cheese diced, optional
- 1/4 cup walnuts chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- Prepare the Beets: Wash the beets and trim off the tops and roots. Wrap each beet loosely in aluminum foil. Place them on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) for about 45-60 minutes, or until they are easily pierced with a fork. Once done, let them cool until they can be handled, then peel and dice them.
- Prepare the Broccoli: Lightly steam the broccoli florets for about 3-5 minutes until they are bright green and tender-crisp. Let them cool.
- In a large bowl, combine the diced beets, steamed broccoli, chopped California prunes, red onion, feta cheese, and walnuts.
- In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard to create the dressing.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine.
- Serve chilled or at room temperature. This salad is not only colorful but also packed with nutrients and fiber.