Come holiday time, festive side dishes go over really well. Most fall into the vegetable or bread/stuffing category. Many people also enjoy the standard jellied cranberry sauce or the cranberry-orange relish with its beautiful colors of red and orange. But here I offer an alternative that’s just as delicious and just as brilliant in color that will surely add to the festivity at your holiday table.
To make my Cherry Beet Slaw you will need:
1 large apple – unpeeled
1 medium raw red beet
1 large carrot or 2 medium ones
1 lime – juiced
1-2 packets of stevia
1/3 cup dried pitted tart cherries
1/4 teaspoon ginger powder (optional)
Shred the apple, beet and carrots into a bowl.
Add the dried cherries. The ones I use are tart pitted Montmorency cherries.
Add the lime juice and stevia. Mix well.
I love using Stevia. It’s my go-to sweetener. You may only need one packet so please do test the sweetness level and adjust according to your taste. If you want to add a little spice, by all means add in the ginger powder and adjust that to your taste as well.
The beets will color the other ingredients but the bright orange from the carrots will pop through so this is a beautiful dish.
Warning: Beets stain! Be careful about splashing the juice on your clothing. As for your hands, you’ll probably need to wash several times to get the bright red stain off. Also, the bright red color of beets is from a compound called betanin. It’s not broken down in the body, and in higher concentrations, may temporarily cause urine and stool to look a bit red; fear not, it’s harmless and will dissipate once the food is out of your system.
Obviously this is the type of recipe that you can adjust based on amount needed and sweetness level. There is a lovely earthiness from the root veggies and the dish is a festive slaw that can easily be a side dish or a dessert, albeit not a traditional one.
Nutritionally speaking: Beets are a good source of Vitamin C, Iron and Magnesium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Folate, Potassium and Manganese. The bad news is that they are generally high in sugars as are carrots. Carrots are a good source of Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate and Manganese, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Potassium.
Lastly for those of you who just have to have your cranberries, of course you can substitute them for the cherries. I’ve even come across orange flavored cranberries so they would work well too. But try the cherries as they really add a nice flavor to the slaw. Happy holidays!