This post may contain affiliate links meaning that at no cost to you I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase using my link. I thank you for your support! Please read my DISCLOSURE for more info.
If you are not into the powder protein shake, are trying to eat whole foods as much as you can, and are looking for a good post-workout salad, which has a perfect combination of macro-and micronutrients, then this beets and apple salad is what you need!
So, what’s so good about it?
Macronutrients (or macros) are protein, carbohydrates, and fat.
Your body needs protein to repair and build muscle. It needs carbs to replenish glycogen used during the exercise. And it needs just a small amount of [good] fats to stimulate muscle protein synthesis.
The veggies in this salad are a good source of the good carbs that your body will thank you for. Yes, your body needs carbs. They are also a good source of fiber that helps your digestive system.
Chickpeas, pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds are a great protein source that won’t cost you a fortune. Well, depending on where you live, hemp seeds can be relatively expensive, but a package will last for a few good months.
Pumpkin and hemp seeds are considered healthy fats. They are also high in fiber, in addition to the protein mentioned above 😉
Micronutrients (or micros)
Micros are vitamins and minerals. They are called micros, as they are only needed in small amounts.
Spinach is a great source of iron, calcium, vitamins A, C, K, and folic acid.
Apples – I bet you a penny you have heard a proverb “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Besides being rich in fiber and antioxidants, they contain vitamins C, B-complex, and are low in calories. A great fruit to add to your daily menu!
Dried berries and raisins – probably the best food source to boost your immune system! They also help in digestion and help lower bad cholesterol.
Cranberries and orange – well, you got it – vitamin C! They are also a great anti-aging component as they are rich in antioxidants as well.
I’ve mentioned the hemp and pumpkin seeds above, but let’s not forget about so many other benefits these small seeds hold! Zinc, iron, manganese, phosphorus, and vitamin K – these are just a few of many other micronutrients found in the pumpkin seeds.
And finally, beets are packed with vitamins and minerals, and are low in calories! Iron, folate (one of the B-vitamins) – are just a few to mention here, which are very important on a vegan diet.
Amino Acids and Antioxidants
Almost all of the ingredients in this salad contain antioxidants that protect your cells from free radicals. In simple words, they help your immune system fight disease and reduce inflammation.
Hemp seeds are a great source of both Omega-3 and Omega-6.
Moving on to the recipe
You can prepare all the products (except for the apples which you will want fresh ;)) in advance.
Yes, you can cook the beets and chickpeas on the weekend, and they will keep in the fridge for a few days.
Remember to pre-soak dried chickpeas for at least 4 hours (or overnight) and wash them before cooking. Cover them with enough water, bring to the boil and simmer on medium-low for about 45-60 minutes. Avoid overcooking so they are not too mushy, but make sure they are not too tender to avoid bloating.
You can also prepare the cranberry sauce and keep it in the fridge. We usually buy a 2 lbs (~900 g) fresh cranberries bag in Costco and make the sauce with all of it. We keep it in jars in the fridge. It can last for almost the whole winter like that.
Just blend the needed amount with fresh orange juice when you assemble the salad.
Post-workout Vegan Beets and Apples Salad
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- 1-2 medium-size beets baked or cooked with skin on
- 1 apple
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds we use raw
- 1/4 cup dried berries of choice cranberry, raisins, red currants
- 1 tbsp hemp hearts/seeds
- 1 cup fresh spinach
Cranberry Sauce with Orange Juice
- 1 cup cranberries
- 1 tbsp cane or coconut sugar
- 1 orange juiced
- Add cranberries and sugar to a small pan and bring them to a boil stirring occasionally. The cranberries may pop and burst - that is normal. Cook on medium-high heat for about 3-5 minutes. Let it cool. Add the sauce and orange juice to a blender and run the blender for 30-40 seconds.
- Roast the beets in the stove (in aluminum foil) for about 30-40 min. at 420F (215C) or cook them in a pan. The timing really depends on the beets size and sometimes freshness.Let the beet cool, so it is easier to slice it. Slice an apple and add it to the beets.
- In a bowl, mix apples, beets, chickpeas. Garnish with pumpkin and hemp seeds, and spinach. Pour the cranberries sauce on top and serve. Enjoy!
Why a post-workout salad?
Some of you might be wondering if it is easiest to just have a protein shake after a workout.
And it actually might be, for some. However, many others are trying to add more whole foods to their diet, rather than just powder blends.
As someone who likes and drinks protein shakes, I do get both approaches and don’t stress out too much when I’m short on time and can’t cook 🙂
But, those of you who know and agree that you don’t need to consume powder protein to be able to have enough protein on a plant-based diet, this recipe is for you.
Once again, for some, it might be a matter of convenience, as it is pretty easy to throw a banana into a shaker glass of plant milk and to add a spoon of the protein powder, turn the shaker on, and voila! You have a delicious treat in a matter of seconds.
This post-workout salad is an awesome option also, if you want a “real” healthy and delicious meal and are counting calories for a fat loss.
So, let me know in the comments if you enjoyed the recipe and what “camp” you are in. Is it a shake or a salad for you?
If you want to get more nutrition and fitness tips in an instant, click here to follow me in Instagram 🙂 I would also be thrilled if you sign up for my newsletters using the form below (don’t worry, I value your time as much as I do mine, so I won’t spam you), or join my new Facebook group to share your fitness journey with like-minded ladies.