I love vegetables, and there are few that I simply don’t like. Brussels sprouts aren’t amongst my favorites, but if they are cooked the right way, I will eat and even enjoy them. (Hint: not steamed to a mushy, sulfury mess!) I’ve tried to figure out how to make beets taste good so many times!
But they are one that I can’t seem to enjoy no matter how they are prepared. After belonging to a CSA and getting tons of beets, I’ve tried to cook them in every way possible: steaming (belch!), roasting (better, but still, no thanks), pureeing into soup (gross!), eating on salads, and everything in between. I tried juicing them, but no matter what I added, it always tasted like dirt juice to me. Lovely, bright pink, dirt juice, but dirt juice nonetheless. Same with smoothies. I scrubbed, peeled, and scrubbed again, and still I couldn’t get past what others called “earthy.” To me, this means it will taste like I just ate a spoonful of dirt. Add this to the fact that they stain everything they touch bright pinkish red, and I can’t quite see the point.
Recently, though, I’ve learned to somewhat enjoy beets in a smoothie. Truth.
A while back I was in Whole Foods and in the front of the store was a guy doing a demonstration on a Vitamix. Since I already own one of these awesome machines, I was going to walk on by when I saw that he had an entire lemon in the blender with some spinach and an avocado. Not peeled, not sliced, just a whole lemon. Naturally I stopped and tasted a sample of what he made, which was a bright green, ice cream like concoction. It tasted delicious. Lemony, sweet, and creamy.
I immediately bought some lemons and went home and tried it myself, and lo and behold, it was just as amazing as it was in the store. I’ve adapted the recipe to make a smoothie, but the basics are you throw a whole lemon, half an avocado, a big handful of spinach in the blender with a frozen banana and some honey. Add some water and blend well, pushing everything down with the tamper to make sure the lemon gets blended. Pour and drink.
I’ve used this basic recipe for many smoothies, sometimes adding some frozen berries, and I’ve even used a lime. It’s always delicious, although the citrus is definitely the dominant flavor.
It just recently occurred to me that I could try this same thing with beets. If the lemon overpowered everything else, why not this vegetable that I loathe?
So I experimented and came up with this recipe, which does not taste like beets at all. Of course, if you don’t like beets or lemons, you’ll have to keep experimenting, but if you love lemons, this is an easy way to get rid of all those beets you may have on hand (okay, not all of them, because I still only use half a beet, but still.)
Note: I make this with either a frozen banana or half an avocado, and I don’t add any sweetener, so it’s on the tart side, especially with the avocado. Feel free to add some honey or other sweetener to taste. Also, I have only done this in my Vitamix, and don’t think a regular blender would blend the whole lemon as smooth, but feel free to try.
Magical Beet Smoothie
- 1/2 beet scrubbed, not peeled
- 2 celery sticks
- 1 apple I use Honeycrisp
- 1 lemon whole or cut in half
- 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
- 1/2 avocado OR 1 banana
- Put all of the ingredients in a high powered blender and add about a cup of cold water. Blend, using the tamper to push down all the ingredients. Add more water if necessary to reach the desired consistency. I usually add a lot of water to make it more of a juice like consistency, but that’s up to you 🙂