I am thrilled to share with you all my first smoothie post ever! For those who know me personally and if you have been reading my blog, you know that I am obsessed with my incredible Blendtec blender, which has the ability to pulverize literally any fruit of vegetable (or nut or seed) and I have enjoyed the better part of 2013 experimenting with all it has to offer, including having an alkalizing green smoothie almost every day. Smoothies can be a tricky drink to make, and I have been asked for recipes on more than one occasion. To be honest, I never know what to recommend to people because everyone’s tastebuds are different and my smoothies sometimes are extremely delicious and sometimes not at all.
This smoothie changes everything. The main component is beet greens which I graciously accepted for free from a farmer at the Trinity Bellwoods Farmers Market here in Toronto. Most people do not know what to do with beet greens (aka the leaves on the beets) so they ask for them to be removed after their beet purchase. As a result there is an abundance of greens left over. To be fair, when you go to a grocery store, it is more likely you will find beets that have no tops and so it makes sense that most people do not know what to do with them. I usually sauté the greens in some coconut oil and garlic to enjoy as a side dish to my meal. But throwing it in a smoothie or juicing the leaves are also a great option (and a way to get a boost of super food nutrients). This can be applied to other tops of vegetables as well like carrot or parsnip greens, and radish tops.
The beetroot itself is your liver’s best friend in vegetable form. Yes, you read correctly, your liver’s best friend! Your liver detoxifies every single toxin that is inside your body, meaning that it breaks down toxins and then ensures they are eliminated through the bowel. Due to lifestyle habits and dietary regimes, sometimes the liver can become overburdened and not work to the best of its ability. Beets have a high antioxidant level that comes from the chemical called betalain, which is also known to have anti-inflammatory properties as well. If you’ve had an indulgent weekend (or two) and want to give your liver some love, include a beet or two in your diet each day and you’ll start to feel and notice a positive difference in your life.
Beet Green Low Down
Beet greens, as I previously mentioned, are the leafy tops of the beets that are often disregarded. These greens have a high concentration of the carotenoid lutein, which plays an important role in eye health. As it is a leafy green, it also contains a decent amount of fibre as well which also aids in the all important elimination.
Vanilla Beet Greens Smoothie
This smoothie plays on the sweetness of the beet and berries, hiding the bitterness of the greens and the texture is creamy from the hemp milk. It’s almost like a sweet beet milkshake without all the dairy and refined sugar! Together it creates a sweet smoothie that is high in antioxidants, fibre and perhaps most importantly, is simply delicious!
3 tbsp hemp hearts
1 cup of filtered water
1 cup of beet greens (If your beets came with the greens, just use those greens in your smoothie!)
1 small beet (~1 inch diameter), quartered
1/4 cup of a frozen berry blend (I used an organic blend of cherries, blueberries and blackberries to keep the bright red colour)
1/2 frozen banana
1/4 scant tsp vanilla powder
- Make Hemp Milk: Combine water and hemp milk together in your blender and blend until the hemp seeds have been liquified
- Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until liquified.
I invite you all to experiment using your beet greens and see what kind of creations you can come up with. If you are already familiar with beet greens, what’s your favourite way to eat them?