Golden Beet Carpaccio With Oregano Vinaigrette
Golden beet carpaccio has been a favorite dish of mine this summer. To be honest, I’ve always been fond of beets and this dish merely reflects my love of this simple, yet incredibly flavorful, vegetable. Beetroot is the taproot portion of a beet plant. In Canada and the USA, they are referred to simply as “beets” or at times more specifically as; table beet, garden beet, red beet, dinner beet, or golden beet.
Nutritionally, the golden beet is very similar to the red beet. They have similar carbohydrate, fat, and protein content and both are equally packed with potassium, a blood pressure-lowering mineral. But there are also some differences of note. For starters, golden beets are sweeter, and less earthy in taste. If you think you are not a beet fan, there’s a good chance you may like golden beets. The main nutritional difference between red beets and golden beets is in the pigments.
The pigments that give beets their rich colors is a type of antioxidant called betalains. There are two basic types of betalains: (1) betacyanins and (2) betaxanthins. The red beet contains betacyanins pigments; the golden beets contain betaxanthins. In general terms, dark-colored beets contain mostly betacyanins and yellow beets contain mostly betaxanthins. Despite a difference in structure, both betalains function as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents.
Red beets have also been credited for their high level of nitrates. It has long been believed that beet nitrates can act to enhance sports performance as well as lower blood pressure. What most don’t know is that despite the color difference, golden beets contain a similar level of nitrates and therefor the same amount of health benefits.
What’s most amazing about golden beets is that they contain many other nutrients commonly found in other yellow and orange vegetables. Golden beets have notable amounts of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, beta-carotene, flavonoid and zeaxanthin placing them close to superfood status if you ask me.
Beet carpaccio is an effortless way to serve beets at home. This simple earthy dish can be served cold or warm and thus works well for almost any meal. Prep ahead, bring on a picnic, anything works with this simple, rustic dish that you almost feel healthier just looking at.