Please, please don’t run away. I know the first word I saw was “beet,” but I promise you, this juice makes healthy taste good. Just look at that amazing pink color. How can something so luscious be bad?
B and I received a juicer as a gift about a month ago, and we have been having lots of fun making the usual citrus juices. We throw in a little kale here and there, and occasionally some apples or carrots. But this week I had the pleasure of stopping by Glut Food Co-Op in Mount Rainier, a Maryland neighborhood just outside D.C. It’s one of those nonprofit groceries with creaky floors, tons of bulk spices and grains, and only the fruits and vegetables that are good for you (i.e. those in season and those that haven’t traveled continents to get to your plate). The prices are reasonable and the clientele so friendly. We took baby S along for the ride, and he was such a hit. One of the customers even gave him a nickname: Soup. I guess he’s just that yummy.
We came home with a pile of vegetables, including beets that I planned to roast. Last week, I had amazing roasted beets at The Atlas Room, a neighborhood restaurant, and the waiter let me in on how to make them. But the beets never made it to the oven. I decided to try them in a juice one morning, and I am hooked. This has to be my favorite way to eat beets, and it happens to be the healthiest. Making beets edible usually requires a long cooking process, which diminishes some of its nutrients . By eating them raw, you are getting concentrated doses of good-for-you vitamins. Just be careful not to overdo it.
The best part of this beet juice is that while juicing can get expensive (a whole bag of kale can yield just 1/2 a cup of juice), beets are one vegetable that produce tons of juice. This recipe below was enough for two 8 oz. servings that gave both B and I the morning buzz we needed to get through the work day.
The trick to making it taste good is balancing the beets with the sugar in oranges and adding a zing of flavor with ginger. Juicing is all about balancing flavors. Can you believe such a sweet treat came out of these vegetables?
Recipe after the jump. But first, a quick note on the pros and cons of juicing.
Pros: Juicing is a great way to get in more veggies than you could literally chew into a compact drink. It’s a great energy drink for runners, or a good caffeine substitute in the morning. It’s also way better for you than buying juice, which almost always has too much sugar and empty calories from preservatives. Plus, it tastes amazing.
Cons: Fresh juicing can also contain too much sugar. A glass of orange or apple juice contains way more of those fruits than you would actually eat in a sitting. That means you’re getting multiple servings in a glass, and can easily lead to overconsumption of sugar and calories. So, if you juice, you have to limit yourself to about 8 oz. a day, and you really should be primarily juicing vegetables. Use the sweet stuff like apples and oranges as a sweetener. One way to look at it is to take note of all the fruits and vegetables you are putting into the juicer and ask yourself if they are reasonable amounts to put into a single-serving salad.
Beet orange juice
In a juicer, combine: 1 medium-sized red beet, scrubbed but not peeled; 1 packed cup of kale, washed; 2 oranges, about 10 cilantro stems, leaves intact; and a 1/2″ knob of ginger.
Serve immediately; Fresh juices loses nutrients and flavor quickly.