Tuesday 10 July 2012

It’s raw and it’s colourful

Another glum day in London... As the sun is not shining as it was supposed to be, I’m bringing the colours to my plate. With so many beautiful and colourful roots in season, I decided to make a raw salad recipe given to me by my talented friend and chef Breno Morais.

Breno, this one is for you! Thanks for leaving the sunshine on a plate for us before you moved back to Brazil for good.

The garden peas are in season
The ingredients
My raw and super fresh salad
Breno's powerful and colourful salad

Powerful and colourful salad by Breno Morais
Serves 8 people
“It’s full of colours, healthy and light.  When the taste of the roots mix with the citrus of the orange in your mouth you will feel as you were in paradise.” (Breno)

I have changed this recipe slightly. In the original, Breno uses Broad beans instead of peas and mustard sprouts instead of radish sprouts. This recipe is packed with nutrients.


2 medium beetroot, grated
3 medium carrots, grated
1 bunch of radishes, sliced
Full hand of radish sprouts
150 g organic garden peas (Breno uses broad beans. As I had fresh garden peas, I used them instead)
150 g organic chickpeas
Sea salt and black pepper

For the dressing:
50 ml olive oil
Zest and juice of 1 orange
Sea salt and black pepper


In a small bowl, add the olive oil, the zest and juice of the orange and season.
In a bigger bowl, mix all the ingredients with half of the dressing. Season. Pour the other half of the dressing when you are ready to eat. Enjoy!

Some of the ingredients and their healthy benefits

Beetroot (Beta vulgaris)It contains betain, a nutrient that increases digestion and prevents heart and liver diseases.  Beetroot provides lots of fibre and that’s probably why it has shown to improve bowel function - it moistens the intestines, relieving constipation and regulates digestion. Studies have shown that beetroot strengthens the heart, regulates cholesterol levels, lowers blood pressure and benefits the liver. Beetroot colours can show up even in your urine or faeces, which is a harmless condition called beeturia.

The juice made with beetroot and carrot is a perfect combination to regulate hormones and relieve the symptoms of menopause.

Beetroot is a great source of betacarotene, vitamin B6, folic acid, manganese, silicon and potassium. It is also is a very good source of iron, which can prevent anaemia, especially for people who follow a vegetarian diet.

Beet greens have a higher concentration of calcium, iron and vitamins A and C than beetroots. It’s high in sodium, so little salt is required. Caution: Those who suffer from kidney problems should avoid eating too much beet greens due to its high oxalic content, as it inhibits calcium metabolism.

Carrot (Daucus carota): is high in carotenoid, an antioxidant compound associated with many healthy benefits. It contains lutein and zeaxanthin (carotenoids present in our retina), which is why carrots are famously known for being good for your eyes. The carotenoid and vitamin A contents found in carrots are fat-soluble vitamins - when eaten with a little fat (olive oil, coconut oil, ghee etc), they are better absorbed by your body. They also provide good levels of vitamin K, fibre, vitamin C, biotin, vitamins B1 and B6.

Chickpea or garbanzo (Cicer arietinum): it is the most nutritious of all the legumes. It is very good for your pancreas, stomach and heart. It is high in protein, fat and carbohydrate. It contains very good levels of iron (more than other legumes), calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, B vitamins and especially folic acid (B9). Sprouted chickpea contains vitamin C and enzymes.

Peas (Pisum sativum): They are a source of protein, carbohydrate and fibre. They’re mildly laxative. Strengths the spleen-pancreas and stomach, and harmonizes digestion. Peas contain B vitamins, vitamin C magnesium, vitamin K, potassium, iron and carotenes.

Radish (Raphanus sativus): it’s part of the mustard family. Radishes used to be predominantly black and not red. They contain high levels of vitamin C. They’re also high in fibre and water, which is very beneficial for people with constipation. Black radish stimulates the bile production, liver detoxification and the cleaning of the gallbladder, maintaining a healthy digestive tract. It contains antibacterial properties that help to balance the digestive flora. It treats coughs and fortifies lungs; and also helps to balance fatty or oily food in the body.

Till next week!

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