Beets get a bad rap. If not properly scrubbed, their earthy flavor can easily taste dirty, and the traditional cooking method—boiling—does little to help. Just chopping them can be challenging, and requires either kitchen gloves or a strong nail brush. Regardless of your methods, beets will undoubtedly make even the cleanest of kitchens look like a murder scene. Finally, beets can cause beeturia, which is the passing of red or pink urine after consumption, giving more than one person I know panic attacks about internal bleeding and kidney malfunction.
So why bother? First and foremost: beets are good for you. They have incredibly high levels of Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and C, and the choline beets contain is said to help detoxify the liver, making beet juice the ultimate hangover helper. Also, a 2008 UK study showed that consuming just one pint of beet juice can significantly reduce blood pressure over the following 24 hours. Secondly, beets taste good. When pushed through a juicer and removed of its outer layer, the resulting juice is sweet, fresh and packed with vitamins. Diluted with apple juice and brightened up with a spritz of orange, and it's an even better way to start the day.
When selecting beets at the market, be sure to feel the root. It should be firm and free of any cracks. Separated from their green tops, beets will last for weeks in the refrigerator but will quickly become soft after a few days if left attached. Like all fresh juices, this drink is best served immediately, as the vitamins will start to lose their potency after a day or two.
About the author: Christianne Winthrop is a freelance food writer, caterer and culinary instructor. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband Bob and their beta fish, Hercules.
- 2 beets, tops removed, scrubbed
- 3 apples
- 2 orange wedges (optional)
Cut the beets and apples into chunks that will fit into the juicer.
Alternating between the beets and the apples, push through the juicer and into a cup.
Divide the juice between two cups and serve with orange wedges.