After years of resistance, I’ve finally jumped on board the smoothie trend. In my ongoing attempt to eat healthier, I’ve found that smoothies are a sneaky way to have vegetables for breakfast and love them. Skeptical? So was I, but when you blend them with fruit or other flavorings, you really can barely taste the vegetables. (Notice I said “barely.” If you don’t want to taste them at all, you’re going to have to use added sweeteners, which I’m not down with, so “barely” is a good enough compromise for me.)
This beet-berry smoothie is an absolutely gorgeous color, thanks to the anthocyanins that lend both hue and health (preventing inflammation, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes). Beets also contain nitrate, which not only helps with heart disease but has been found to improve running performance. Veggies that make me a faster runner? Yes, please!
The recipe below makes two servings, which I usually prepare the night before. I don’t add the chia or flax seeds until I’m ready to drink the smoothie; I’ve tried including them the night before when blending, but the next morning I woke up to chia pudding. It was still delicious, don’t get me wrong, but I had to use a spoon instead of a straw.
1 cup cubed cooked red beets
2 cups fresh or frozen mixed berries, partially thawed if frozen (any combination of blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries you have on hand; I’ve even used a few fresh cranberries during the holidays)
1 cup milk of choice (cow, soy, almond, etc.), plus more if needed
1 scoop unsweetened protein powder or ¼ cup old-fashioned oats (to thicken)
Sweetener of choice, if desired (honey, agave, maple syrup, rice syrup)
2 TBSP chia or flax seeds
Place beets, berries, milk, and protein powder or oats (if using) in a blender. Process until desired consistency, adding more milk as needed. Taste and add sweetener if desired. If making ahead of time, stir in chia or flax seeds (if using) right before serving and add more milk if needed to get to a drinkable consistency.
*I’ve always made this with protein powder and chia seeds—they’re not even optional for me. The alternatives listed here should be viable based on what I’ve read on other food blogs, but I haven’t tried them myself yet.