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Are beet leaves good to juice?

Juicing vegetables and fruits is becoming increasingly popular as more people seek out creative ways to incorporate healthy foods into their diets. While most juicing recipes call for the use of common fruits and veggies like carrots, apples, celery, kale, and spinach, some people also like to use beet leaves.

Beet leaves, also known as beet greens, are the leaves attached to the bulbous root of the beet plant. Some people enjoy eating beet leaves cooked or raw in salads, but can you juice beet greens? And are beet leaves good for juicing?

In this article, we’ll take a look at the nutritional benefits of beet leaves, discuss whether they make a good ingredient for juices, and provide some beet green juice recipe ideas.

Nutritional Profile of Beet Leaves

Like the beetroot itself, the leaves of the plant are highly nutritious. Beet leaves contain a wide array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Some of the key nutrients found in beet leaves include:

  • Vitamin A – Supports healthy vision and boosts immunity
  • Vitamin C – Important antioxidant that fights inflammation and boosts collagen production
  • Vitamin K – Essential for blood clotting and bone health
  • Potassium – Helps control blood pressure and prevent muscle cramps
  • Magnesium – Supports nerve function, energy levels, and heart health
  • Iron – Transports oxygen in the blood to give you energy
  • Calcium – Vital for strong bones and muscle function
  • Betaine – Helps reduce inflammation and protect cells from environmental stress

Beet leaves also contain various carotenoids like beta-carotene which have antioxidant effects to help fight disease. The leaves have significantly more nutritional value than the beetroot itself.

Benefits of Juicing Beet Leaves

Juicing beet leaves provides a concentrated dose of their many nutrients in an easy-to-digest form. Some of the top benefits of drinking beet green juice include:

  • High antioxidant content – The antioxidants in beet leaves can help reduce oxidative stress and cellular damage in the body.
  • Anti-inflammatory effects – Nutrients like vitamin C, betaine, and carotenoids exhibit natural anti-inflammatory activities.
  • Supports detoxification – Beet leaves contain compounds that enhance the liver’s natural detoxification processes.
  • Boosts circulation – Nitrates in beet leaves can help improve blood flow and oxygen delivery throughout the body.
  • Aids digestion – The nutrients in beet green juice promote gut health and improve digestion.
  • Strengthens immunity – The vitamin C and antioxidants in beet leaves boost the immune system.

Drinking beet leaf juice is an easy way to take advantage of their nutrition. Juicing also breaks down the tough cell walls in beet leaves to make absorption of the nutrients more bioavailable to the body.

Potential Downsides of Beet Leaf Juice

Beet leaves make a nutritious addition to juices, but there are some potential downsides to be aware of:

  • Beet leaves contain oxalic acid which can contribute to kidney stone development in some people prone to the condition.
  • The nitrates in beet leaves may cause temporary blood pressure drops in some individuals.
  • Beet greens contain vitamin K which can interact with blood thinning medication like warfarin.
  • Some people report gastrointestinal upset from drinking beet juice.

To help avoid problems, moderate your intake of beet green juice and avoid juicing the leaves if you have kidney issues or take blood thinners. Start with small amounts to see how your body tolerates it.

Taste and Texture

Beet leaves have an earthy, mineral-like flavor similar to the beetroot but greener and grassier. They lack the sweetness of many other juicing ingredients.

When juiced, beet leaves have a mild, vegetal taste. They are not overpowering but have a detectable earthy, beet-like presence.

The texture of beet green juice is quite thin and watery. The leaves produce a bright green colored juice.

Beet Leaf Juice Recipe Ideas

For the best flavor, use beet leaves in combination with sweeter and more vibrant ingredients. Good options include:

  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Ginger
  • Lemons
  • Oranges

Here are some tasty beet green juice recipes to try:

Green Morning Detox Juice

  • 1 cup beet greens
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 apple
  • 1-inch ginger
  • 1 lemon, peeled

Beet Carrot Orange Juice

  • 1 cup beet greens
  • 3 carrots, peeled
  • 1 orange, peeled

Tropical Beet Juice

  • 1 cup beet greens
  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1-inch ginger

How to Juice Beet Greens

Follow these simple steps for juicing beet leaves:

  1. Wash beet leaves thoroughly under running water.
  2. Chop beet leaves into smaller pieces to fit through juicer feed tube.
  3. Pass beet leaves through juicer along with your other ingredients.
  4. Stir or shake juice to blend all ingredients.
  5. Pour into a glass and enjoy immediately.

Tips:

  • Roll leaves tightly before inserting into juicer to process more efficiently.
  • Alternate beet leaves with harder ingredients like carrots or apples.
  • Save some beet leaves for adding back into the juice for fiber.
  • Drink beet juice right after making it to prevent oxidation and loss of nutrients.

Beet Leaf Juice Storage

Like most vegetables, beet leaf juice is perishable and best consumed immediately after juicing. If not drinking the juice right away:

  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Drink within 24 hours for best quality and to retain nutrients.
  • Minimize exposure to air, light, and heat to prevent oxidation.
  • Consider freezing beet juice in ice cube trays for use within a few months.

Conclusion

Beet greens make an excellent addition to fresh vegetable and fruit juices. Packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, beet leaves deliver a strong nutritional punch. Juicing is a great way to utilize these under-used leafy greens.

Choose sweeter, milder produce to balance out the earthy flavor of beet leaves. While beet juice offers many benefits, moderate your intake if you have kidney issues or take certain medications. Drink beet green juices promptly to enjoy their full nutritional value.

Incorporating the vibrant greens of beets into your juicing recipes can add variety and boost nutrition. So don’t discard those leafy beet tops – juice them instead for a healthy, greens-filled drink without the grit of kale or spinach.