This beet, strawberry and banana fruit salad recipe includes lemon juice, oats and makes an ideal fruit salad for breakfast, for athletes and everyone.
Using beet as a fruit salad: why not? In fact, it made natural sense given what I had in the fridge and today’s schedule. We are Sunday, and I was gearing up for a long bike ride with my friend Alain. He is in amazing shape, being a few years senior to me, and many times, faster than I am. Four months into the year we hold one of the Strava records (fastest times) on one of the nearby climbs.
Beets as food for athletes and for everyone
I am reading more articles nowadays about the potential for beets to be a food for athletes, as it may help the cardio system to perform well. Beets contain plant nitrates, which are converted into nitric oxide during the digestive process. Dr Esselstyn, a renowned cardiologist, has long explained that blood vessels expand by releasing nitric oxide, for example during physical exercise. So with a good blood flow, I thought this would set the stage for a good bike ride with Alain, perhaps keeping up with him.
It turned out that not only I kept up with my fast friend, I also did a few personal best times on segments where I went all out several times prior. These improvements are not massive, but in the order of 3-5%. Qualitatively, it felt that I had more resistance. So it is becoming entertaining to try a few more rides in the future, eating beets perhaps 2 or 3 meals before the workout, to see if the improvement margin can increase, or become clearly measurable against a baseline. Beet as a food for athletes: it looks promising.
Beets in fruit salad
Back to the recipe. Beets paired quite well with fruits: strawberries, banana, with the juice of one lemon squeezed on top, as well as a few drops of maple syrup and a sprinkle of dry steel-cut oats. The acidic freshness of lemon really made the fruit salad enjoyable, in my opinion. I was literally dipping each chunk of beet and fruits in the juice at the bottom of the bowl, as it gave each bite more taste. It was also very easy to digest and filling for the 2.5 hour ride that we did.
Whether you are an athlete or not, I think fruit salads turn each and everyone of us a little bit into one. Check my other recipes with beets for additional ideas.
Beet, strawberry and banana fruit salad
- 1 lb beets
- 4 oz banana
- 4 oz strawberries
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp steel cut oats
- 1 lemon
- Cook the beets, ideally in advance, and store them in your fridge. On the same day, strain the cooked beets and place them in cold water for 2-3 minutes to cool down.
- Rinse and slice the berries, slice the banana, squeeze the lemon.
- Place beets, berries and banana in a large bowl, add the lemon juice, maple syrup and sprinkle with dry oats on top.