After my excitement about indulging in “green” smoothies, my friend Kimberley says, “This looks good. Now all you need to add is flax seeds–and beets.” The hubby spends much of his day in some type of travel mode, so I immediately dismissed the idea of the flax. Makes a great curl definer, though!
Beets. A couple of tastes of them as a child and I thought for sure that their mere existence proved that my mother was evil and satan is real. Yet, as an adult whose goal is health and wholeness, I kept hearing Kimberley’s comment in my head: “They give you so much energy.” When I consider how I felt for much of the last portion of 2011, and what I want my life to be this year, I do need energy. I continued, however, to hold out until another friend, Marcy, echoed Kimberley’s sentiments, even detailing for me how to prepare the beet. No rocket science there, but as a person who stayed as far away from this veggie as east is to west, I definitely needed a “Beet 101” lesson.
If it’s any sign of its unpopularity, it took me two grocery stores to find these babies. I was almost ready to give in, so I needed more prompting. This bit of research came from Nutrition-and-you.com:
Certain unique pigment antioxidants present in root as well as top greens have found to offer protection against coronary artery disease and stroke, lower cholesterol levels in the body and have anti-aging effects…[Beets contain] significant amounts of vitamin-C, one of the powerful natural antioxidant, which helps body scavenge deleterious free radicals one of the reasons for cancers development…In addition, the root indeed has very good levels of potassium. 100 g fresh root has 325 mg of potassium or 7% of daily requirements. Potassium lowers heart rate and regulates metabolism inside the cells by countering detrimental effects of sodium.’ (http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/beets.html)
Okay, here goes. This morning, I mixed my fruit, ice, milk, a little honey, and timidly added 1/2 of a beet root. Even before I tasted it, I had to admit it sure was pretty.
As much as I wanted to hate it when the faint, but familiar smell of a beet crossed my nostrils, I have to admit that it was good. The beets aren’t as undetectable as kale, but with enough fruit and honey, the taste is very subtle. Our son thought so, too, until he realized what he was drinking. (Originally, he thought the pink was an overabundance of strawberries, and he, too, commented on the attractiveness of the color). Then, he tried to fake a distaste for it. Later, he began to ask questions about beets and which parts (root vs. greens) offer what taste and what value. In considering his cycle of emotions, I suppose fruit doesn’t fall that far from the tree.
I’m not sure I could handle even a subtle taste of beets in our smoothies every day. I will probably alternate them with kale, another power-packed green, to give us our “green” component.
In the meantime, my husband, who loves beets, is doing a happy dance. He already has in his recipe requests, Kimberley has a “can’t be beet” (get it?) burger recipe she wants to share, and my dear mother is looking down from heaven and smiling.