Beets are one of the most polarizing vegetables--you either love them or hate them, and I love them. They’re unfortunately not a regular part of the household diet because several family members fall into the other camp, but I never miss an opportunity to pick up a few beets from the farmer’s market and prepare them for myself.
Unlike other root vegetables, which have their peak season in the fall and winter months, beets are a summer vegetable. That means that September marks the end of prime juiciness and flavor for my favorite veggie, as well as the end of warm, sunny summer days.
I usually roast beetroots to snack on or use in salads, and sauté the greens, but in honor of the end of summer weather and summer vegetables, I wanted to try my hand at a late-summer beet treat. Enter the Perfectly Pink Beet Smoothie: sweet, cold, and super fun to enjoy while I soak in the last warm weather of the year.
The base of this smoothie is, of course, a raw and peeled red beet (the tough skin can add an unpleasant texture to the smoothie), banana, and pineapple. The yellow fruits add different, complementary sweetnesses to the beet’s, and they interact to create a delicious fullness of flavor. Note: to get the vivid pink color, use a red or purple beet.
I added Greek yogurt for its tang and protein, and açaí powder to introduce some antioxidant power and play up the beet’s color.
Besides being delicious, beetroots are also a nutritional powerhouse. High in fiber, folate, iron, vitamin C, and inorganic nitrates, beets are well-poised to assist good digestion, healthy aging, immunity, and improved cardiovascular health.
The recipe also includes the option of using the whole beet and tossing a few leaves in; I love to do this because the beet leaves are chock-full of vitamins and have a flavor similar to kale, but you may choose not to include them if you’re not looking for a “green” smoothie (“green” in quotations because the smoothie is still bright pink even with the leaves!). The leaves, though nutritious, will add a green, slightly bitter flavor to the smoothie.
I hope you still have a few days of summer left to enjoy this smoothie in! And consider using the fun, vibrant color of this smoothie to sneak veggies into the kids!
Perfectly Pink Beet Smoothie
1 Small, Red Beet, raw, peeled, and diced
2 Beet Leaves, raw and destemmed (optional)
1 Banana, sliced
1 c Frozen Pineapple
1 c Greek Yogurt
1/2 tsp Acai Powder
1 c Ice
Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse to pulverize the ice. If you prefer a thicker smoothie, use frozen banana instead of fresh. If the smoothie is too difficult to blend, add a bit of water or plant-based milk.
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