Look out, y’all, because March is about to come in like a lion. If the promise of spring hasn’t quite reached you yet, and you’re still slogging through slush and sniffling through a final winter cold, use the last of your root vegetables to blend up a delicious, antioxidant-heavy, super-detoxifying smoothie to keep you healthy and energized until you can actually go outside for and soak up some vitamin D.
Beets—especially raw beets—might not be the most popular veggie in the crisper, but they’re incredibly purifying. They’re a unique source of betalains, a type of phytonutrient that’s antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and, of course, detoxifying.
Beets are also great for your eyes, keeping ‘em bright and shiny. They’re wonderful sources of folate, manganese, fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. Plus, they’ll give your smoothie an amazing ruby-red hue.
More root veggies to make you smile
Carrots, the sweeter sister of beets, protect against cardiovascular disease—in fact, they do more to prevent CVD than any other vegetable. The carotenoids in carrots are full of antioxidant power, and the veggie is also a source of phytonutrients, like beets. We probably don’t even need to tell you that they’re a legendary source of vitamin A (over 400% of your daily requirement in one cup!), but they’re also full of vitamin K, fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. And they look pretty.
Ginger is obviously not a root vegetable, but it’s more of a root than a veggie, and the spicy-warm flavor of fresh ginger makes any smoothie so much better. Plus, it’s great for your stomach, quells nausea, boosts the immune system, and reduces swelling. So since we’re going for an end-of-winter health boost, how could we leave it out?
Think of this ingredient list as a list of suggestions—a mix-and-match smoothie, if you will. Select what you like, ignore what you don’t. Missing an ingredient? Don’t stress! Have some wilted kale in the back of your fridge? Toss it in!
The Stars: Root Vegetables
- 1 carrot, peeled and sliced or grated
- 1 beet, peeled and sliced or grated
- A peeled slice of ginger
- 1 cup frozen pitted cherries (antioxidants, heart health)
- 1 ripe banana (cardiovascular benefits, potassium source)
- 1 cored pear (great source of fiber)
- 2 tablespoons flaxseed (omega-3s)
- Cinnamon to taste (can lower cholesterol)
- 1 cup coconut water (potassium)
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds (omega-3s)
Blend the ingredients of your choice until everything is smooth, and enjoy!
Photo attribute: beantownbaker.com