With all the mouthwatering sides at Thanksgiving, salad is often the first thing to get overlooked. Especially when it’s competing with sides like Paleo Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes or Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon.
But your guests will do a double-take (and take a double serving!) with this vibrant, savory salad at the front of the line.
Yes, it’s a gorgeous salad. But beauty is only skin deep, and the good news is, it’s good on the inside, too.
This Thanksgiving salad is also nutritionally jam-packed, keto-friendly (skip the feta and it’s paleo-friendly, too!), and utterly delicious.
Why You Should "Beet Up" Your Thanksgiving Salad
Your goal for Thanksgiving might be to do the least amount of harm while doing your best to not totally overindulge.
But you can do better than that.
Rise to a higher standard for everyone involved (including your guests) with a nutritious salad made with beets - a delicious superfood that is brimming with health benefits.
Don't just choose salad because it's the "least harmful" food in the buffet line. Pick it because it features one of the healthiest foods on the planet.
You'll never want to serve another meh iceberg lettuce salad again.
Top Benefits of This Roasted Beet Salad Recipe
- Beets are commonly known as one of the healthiest foods in the world. They've been shown to lower blood pressure [*], improve exercise performance [*] and help with energy levels [*]. Plus they are rich in betalain, a phytonutrient that helps reduce inflammation [*].
- MCT Oil has been shown to support weight loss when combined with a low-carb diet [*]. Studies have also found it may prevent the development of metabolic syndrome [*].
- Pistachios are an energy-dense nut that is rich in fiber and protein, making it potentially beneficial for weight loss [*]. One study showed that overweight individuals who ate 20% of their calories from this nut lost 0.6 more inches from their waistline than those who did not eat pistachios over 24 weeks [*].
Three Health Benefits of Beets
If you’re eating a low-carb diet, your first reaction might be to avoid beets because of the sugar.
While overindulgence in beets (is that even a thing?) might kick you over your carb comfort zone for the day, the reality is that one serving of beets only has 9g of net carbs. The health benefits and flavor more than make up for these extra carbs.
Plus, when you learn to cook beets right (like in this recipe!), you’ll have no excuse not to “beet yourself up!"
1. Beets May Support Healthy Blood Pressure Levels
Beets have been shown to naturally cut your risk of heart disease by increasing nitric oxide in your bloodstream.
In one study, drinking beetroot juice reduced blood pressure by a significant amount -- up to 4–5 mmHg over just 6 hours.
The impact of beets on blood pressure levels is attributed to their naturally high levels of dietary nitrates, which your body turns into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide relaxes blood vessels, allowing for increased blood flow and circulation.
2. Beets Have Been Shown to Improve Exercise Performance
The nitric oxide that your body produces from beets is beneficial for exercise performance, too. Consuming dietary nitrites helps your body use oxygen more efficiently, which is especially helpful for endurance athletes.
Eat more beets to support stamina, oxygen-efficiency, and overall exercise performance!
3. Beets are a Superfood
Beets are low in calories and high in antioxidants, phytonutrients, and essential nutrients, making them one of the world's healthiest foods.
- Contains high levels of betalain, a phytonutrient that helps reduce inflammation
- Contains 37% of the RDI for folate (Vitamin B9) in one cup
- Contains 22% of the RDI for manganese per cup
Plus, they're rich in multiple B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc.
And don't worry too much about the sugar. One serving of beets (1 cup) only has 9.2 grams of net carbs and 34 calories overall.
- Yield: 10 servings
- Serving size: 1 cup
- Prep time: 15 minutes
- Cook time: 2 hours
- 10 medium beets, leaves removed
- 3/4 cup FBOMB MCT Oil, divided
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup dry-roasted pistachios, shelled
- 1/4 cup Sherry or red wine vinegar
- 1/2 shallot or sweet onion, minced
- 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 large handfuls mixed baby greens
- 1/4 cup chopped chives
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional garnish)
- Fresh mint leaves (optional garnish)
Roast the Beets:
- Preheat the oven to 375°.
- In a large roasting pan, toss the beets (skin on) with 2 tablespoons FBOMB MCT Oil, garlic, and thyme; season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover tightly with foil and roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the beets are tender. Let cool, then peel the beets and cut them into different sized wedges, chunks, or slices.
Make the Salad Dressing:
- In a medium bowl, whisk the vinegar, shallot/onion, and mustard together, let stand for 10 minutes.
- Gradually whisk in the remaining MCT oil and season with sea salt and pepper.
Make the Salad:
- In a large bowl, toss the beets with half of the dressing and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the baby greens and roasted beets on a platter. Sprinkle the chives and pistachios on top of the salad.
- Scatter crumbled feta cheese (omit for the paleo version) and torn mint leaves over the top.
The roasted beets can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving. Salad dressing can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
- Fat: 20g
- Protein: 3g
- Carbs: 11g
- Fiber: 3g
- Net Carbs: 8g
- Fat: 76%
- Protein: 5%
- Carbohydrates: 19%