The beets alone would have been enough to call this a detox drink, but they went and added a lot of other antioxidant-rich foods, including green tea. You’re also benefiting from the anti-aging and cancer-preventing properties of the carrot. The grapes also contain Vitamin C so you’ll be helping your immune system, making this a great drink for the cold winter months when everyone is getting the flu around you. They also contain resveratrol, an antioxidant that can help prevent heart disease.
f you’ve never tried beets in a smoothie, this vibrant Beet and Carrot Smoothie is a great first recipe to try.
This New Year, I am trying to incorporate more vegetables into the first meal of the day – breakfast. Vegetables make a rare appearance at breakfast on most tables, unless they are added to omelettes or frittatas. I’ve made omelettes chock full of vegetables and served sauteed kale on top of whole grain toast for breakfast, but I have to admit that I am a newbie to vegetables in my smoothies. Smoothies in our house are fruit-based for the most part. I did try making a green smoothie last year for my kids, but it did not go over well. There’s something about drinking something green first thing in the morning.
I’ve been working up the courage to start drinking green smoothies for breakfast. It’s definitely not something I have an appetite for at 6AM in the morning, but by 8AM, I think I could do it. To start off the New Year, as a warm-up to a green smoothie, I made this bright red Beet and Carrot Smoothie. Visually, it looks like a fruit smoothie, but it has all the health benefits of two super food vegetables – carrots and beets. Beets are on my list of super foods this year and I’ve been enjoying them in salads, soups and pasta, but not in a smoothie until now.
Each of the ingredients in this smoothie has unique and powerful antioxidants that help detoxify our bodies and destroy free radicals that wreak havoc on our systems.
- Carrots contain a rich supply of the antioxidant, beta-carotene, as well other antioxidants that help protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer (it’s colon cancer protective qualities have been researched the most). According to a report in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, boiling and steaming better preserves antioxidants, particularly carotenoid, which is found in carrots, zucchini and broccoli.
- Beets have a unique phytonutrient profile different from many other antioxidant-rich vegetables. They are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains, which have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxification properties, and help detoxify our bodies.
- Clementines contain antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and limonene (found in clementine rind) which help destroy free radicals that damage genes, proteins and cell membranes. Free radical damage has been linked to the development of cardiovascular disease and cancer, so consuming antioxidants that destroy free radicals is believed to lower the risk of developing disease.
- Green Tea contains powerful antioxidants (including catechins), about 8-10 times the polyphenols found in fruits and vegetables. Green tea is prepared from unfermented leaves, versus black tea which is fully fermented. The more the leaves are fermented, the lower the polyphenol content, so green tea has a higher polyphenol content than black tea. Clinical studies indicate that the antioxidant properties of green tea may help prevent atherosclerosis, particularly coronary artery disease, and protect against cancer.
- Red Grapes contain flavonoid antioxidants like resveratrol, catechins and quercetin. Resveratrol and Quercetina act as anti-inflammatory agents and help improve the flow of insulin in response to digested sugars, helping to protect against cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.
- Ginger contains very potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols.
As I slurped down this clean, antioxidant rich, detoxifying Beet and Carrot Smoothie, I thought about all those free radicals being shut down.
Funny thing…as I was writing this post, my husband stood over my shoulder and saw the title of this post. “Beet and Carrot Smoothie? Why are you putting vegetables in your smoothies now?” he asked. I pointed out that he actually drank this very smoothie the other day, to which he protested, “I did not!” A few seconds later, a puzzled look came over his face. “I thought it was a Strawberry Smoothie…but it didn’t taste like strawberry…no wonder.” Ha, maybe next time I will add a few strawberries.
- 1 carrot, peeled, sliced
- 1 beet, peeled, sliced
- ½ cup red grapes
- 1 clementine, peeled
- 1 slice of ginger, peeled, about the size of a quarter
- ½ cup green tea
- Steam carrot and beet until just tender, about 10-15 minutes, depending on how thick your slices are. Let cool.
- Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.