Sunday, September 16, 2012

beet and berry smoothie

today i am reintroducing beets, but in a very different type of recipe. if you missed the beet and arugula salad, check it out while arugula is still at the markets. this new recipe today is for a smoothie with beets, using their earthy flavor to tone down the sweetness and make for a refreshing drink. the beets don't take a dominating role here, it just enhances the taste of the berries. if you really like beets you can certainly amp the amount up to your liking.

for this recipe, i steamed the beets instead of boiling them. either method is good, but i found steaming them makes the process a little less messy.

start by scrubbing the beets well and trimming off the ends, so they no longer have a dirty exterior. cut them in half (or more pieces if you have large beets) and place them in your steamer tray. let them steam for 20 minutes or until you can pierce them easily with a fork.

a good tip for making smoothies is to overbuy berries when they are at their peak, and thus cheapest at the market. i lay them out on a baking sheet and freeze them for maybe 15-30 minutes. once they are cold and getting hard, you can dump them all in a tupperware for easier storage. pre-freezing them on a sheet means when you go to use them, they won't stick together into one big frozen clump as they would if you just put them in the tupperware first thing.

you'll start with just a 1/4 cup of chopped beets. add it to the blender with the apple juice and frozen mixed berries. add in about a handful of ice (about 4 cubes for me) and you are ready to blend!

Blend for a few minutes, pausing occasionally to stir with a long spoon (with blender off) if necessary to get your blender going.

heres the before and after:

Pour it into a glass and you are ready to serve!

If you are in the mood for a creamier smoothie, you can add a tablespoon or two of plain greek yogurt. It makes for a slightly lighter color (on the left in the picture below).

beet and berry smoothie
makes about 2 cups

1/4 cup chopped, steamed beets
1 cup frozen strawberries
3/4 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup frozen raspberries
1 cup apple juice or apple cider (i used a fresh one from the farmers market)
handful of ice (about 4 cubes)
1-2 tbsp plain greek yogurt (optional)


1.   to steam the beets, scrub thoroughly until clean and cut into halves, or quarters if you are using large beets. place in a steamer tray in a large pot with about an inch of simmering water and let steam for 20-25 minutes, until beets are tender. remove from pot and let cool.

2.   combine 1/4 cup beets with the rest of the ingredients in a blender, and blend until no lumps or chunks of frozen fruit remain. pour into a glass to serve.

notes: i recommend using a cold pressed apple juice or apple cider, the kind you would find either at a farmer's market, or in the supermarket with a label from a nearby orchard. if you aren't in an area with local apple juice, 100% apple juice


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