(Natural News) Beets have a bitter, earthy taste that won’t appeal to everyone, but these root vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals. If you want to enjoy the health benefits of beets minus the off-putting taste, try some of the refreshing smoothie recipes below.
The nutrient profile of beets
Beets are rich in nitrates that help lower blood pressure and boost blood flow to the brain. One cup of beets has about 3.4 g of fiber, making the vegetable a good source of fiber.
Beets can also help promote weight loss because they are a low-calorie food with high water content. (Related: One of nature’s best multivitamins, beets are full of nutrients.)
A 3.5-ounce serving of cooked beets offers the following vitamins and minerals:
- 44 calories
- 1.7 g protein
- 0.2 g fat
- 2 g fiber
- Folate (20 percent of the Recommended Daily Intake [RDI])
- Manganese (16 percent of the RDI)
- Potassium (9 percent of the RDI)
- Magnesium (6 percent of the RDI)
- Vitamin C (6 percent of the RDI)
- Iron (4 percent of the RDI)
- Phosphorous (4 percent of the RDI)
- Vitamin B6 (3 percent of the RDI)
Beets also offer these three beneficial compounds:
- Betalains give beets their distinct deep red color. These pigments possess beneficial anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antitoxic properties.
- Nitrates are a group of organic compounds that boost blood flow and promote heart health.
- Phytochemicals give plants their unique color and flavor. These compounds help stimulate the immune system, reduce inflammation, and minimize oxidative stress.
You can eat roasted beets on their own, but they can also be added to salads or soups. Alternatively, you can drink nutritious, fresh beet juice. Avoid store-bought juices, which may contain added sugars or have a low beet content.
Another option is to drink smoothies made with beets and other fresh ingredients like greens or fruits and veggies.
Blueberry beet smoothie
Blueberry beet smoothies have a fruity taste, with only a hint of the vegetable’s earthy flavor.
- 1 small beet (about 8 oz. peeled and diced)
- 1 cup mixed frozen blueberries or mixed berries
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
- 1/4 cup frozen pineapple
- 1/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt (to make a vegan smoothie, use non-dairy yogurt)
- 1-2 tsp honey, add more to taste (optional sweetener, use agave for a vegan smoothie)
- Chia seeds, hempseed, or ground flaxseed (optional mix-ins)
- 2 tbsp oatmeal (optional, this will make the smoothie even more filling)
- Place the almond milk, beets, blueberries, Greek yogurt, and pineapple in a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth. If you don’t have a high-speed blender, roast or lightly steam the beets before using them. This will soften the beets, which will make them puree more smoothly.
- Taste the final product. If you want a sweeter smoothie, add a bit of honey and blend again.
- Serve after blending. The smoothie can be refrigerated for at least one day.
This smoothie doesn’t have a pronounced beet flavor, but if you don’t want to taste the beets, use less of the vegetable. You can also add more blueberries or a tangy mix of blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries. Add two tablespoons of oatmeal to mellow out the beet flavor of the smoothie.
Red beet smoothie
This recipe makes a smoothie that’s perfect for detoxing.
- 1 small red beet (trimmed and peeled)
- 1 large apple (cored)
- 1 celery stalk
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 cup carrot juice
- 2/3 cup frozen sliced peaches
- 1-inch piece of ginger (peeled and sliced)
- Roughly chop the beet, celery, and apple.
- Add all ingredients in a blender, then mix until smooth.
- Taste the smoothie. For a sweeter smoothie, add a bit more fruit.
- Serve immediately. The smoothie can be stored in a jar for at least two days.
Follow a nutritious diet, eat more beets, and drink beet smoothies to boost your immune system and improve heart health.