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Is it better to blend or juice beets?


Beets are a nutritional powerhouse packed with vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds that have many health benefits. While both blending and juicing beets provide these nutrients, there are some key differences between the two methods. This article examines the pros and cons of beet blending versus beet juicing to help you decide which is better for your needs.

Nutrient Differences

The main nutritional difference between blending and juicing beets lies in fiber content. Blending retains all of the beet’s fiber, while juicing removes most of the fiber and leaves only the liquid beet juice.

Nutrient Beet Blend (1 cup) Beet Juice (1 cup)
Fiber 4 grams 0.5 grams
Vitamin C 6 mg 4 mg
Folate 136 mcg 109 mcg
Potassium 441 mg 370 mg
Iron 1.4 mg 0.8 mg

As shown in the table, blending retains more fiber, vitamin C, folate, potassium, and iron compared to juicing. The fiber in beet blends also helps moderate blood sugar response.

Blending Benefits

Here are some of the top benefits of blending beets rather than juicing them:

  • Keeps insoluble and soluble fiber intact: Fiber has many health benefits including improved digestion and heart health.
  • Requires less produce for same nutrients: Blending uses the entire vegetable so you can get more nutrients from less produce.
  • Creates thicker texture: Blended beets have a smoothie-like texture compared to thin beet juice.
  • Satiates hunger: The fiber in blends helps you feel fuller compared to juice.
  • Convenient clean-up: Blends create minimal mess since no pulp separation is required.
  • Less oxidization: Blending may preserve more nutrients since there is less oxidation.

The main advantage of beet blending is retaining all the important nutrients, fiber, and texture from the entire vegetable. You can blend beets with other ingredients like fruits, greens, nut milks, or yogurt to create a nutritious and delicious smoothie-style drink.

Juicing Benefits

Here are some of juicing’s advantages over blending:

  • Extracts more nutrients: Juicing removes fiber to extract a higher concentration of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Easier to consume: Juice is thinner, smoother, quicker to drink than thick blends.
  • Higher nutrient absorption: The lack of fiber may allow the body to more fully absorb nutrients.
  • Less produce needed: You can get concentrated nutrients from less produce via juicing.
  • No need to chew: Juice can provide nutrients for those unable to chew well.
  • Enhances hydration: The liquid format helps the body rehydrate quickly.

The biggest benefit of juicing is removing fiber to concentrate the vegetable’s nutrients into an easy-to-drink liquid form. This makes juicing useful for increasing nutrient intake and hydration.

Downsides of Juicing

Despite its advantages, juicing beets also has some downsides:

  • Removes beneficial insoluble fiber: This can impair digestion and elimination.
  • Spikes blood sugar: The liquid and lack of fiber causes a quick blood sugar rise.
  • Potential nutrient degradation: Exposure to air/heat can degrade nutrients.
  • Less satiating: Juice is less filling than blended beets with fiber.
  • Oxidation: Juices oxidize and lose nutrients rapidly after making them.
  • Not a whole food: Isolating components removes the completeness of a whole vegetable.

The biggest disadvantage of juicing is it removes the pulp and insoluble fiber from the beet. This fiber aids digestion, balances blood sugar response, and provides bulk.

Uses for Beet Blends vs. Juice

Due to their different textures and nutrition profiles, beet blends and beet juice each shine in different applications:

Beet Blends

  • Smoothies
  • Thick drinks
  • Overnight oats
  • Bowls
  • Sauces
  • Soups
  • Baked goods

Beet Juice

  • Juice cleanses
  • Adding liquid to smoothies
  • Drinks
  • Sauces
  • Popsicles
  • Juice shots

Blends work better for thicker applications benefiting from fiber and texture, while juice integrates more seamlessly into liquid foods and beverages.

How to Blend and Juice Beets

Using a powerful blender is key for making beet smoothies. Blend on high speed for 1-3 minutes until fully smooth. Add liquid as needed to reach desired consistency. Ideal beet smoothie ratios are approximately:

– 1 cup beet chunks
– 1 cup fruit
– 1-2 cups liquid (nut milk, yogurt, juice)
– 1 tbsp healthy fat (nut butter, avocado, chia seeds)

For juicing beets, any centrifugal or masticating juicer will work. Run beets through juicer according to manufacturer’s instructions, typically cutting into 1-2 inch chunks. To make a full beet juice:

– 3 medium beets
– 1 apple
– 1 cucumber
– 1 lemon wedge
– 1 inch ginger (optional)

This creates a sweeter, more palatable juice. Consume juice immediately after making for maximum freshness and nutritional value.

The Bottom Line

While both provide important nutrients, beet blending retains more overall nutrition compared to juicing. Blending also comes with the benefits of fiber, which aids digestion and blood sugar control.

However, juicing makes the beet’s nutrients more rapidly bioavailable and is useful when you need concentrated nutrition quickly. It also works better for juice cleanses or adding to liquid foods and drinks.

In short, blending and juicing both have a place in a healthy lifestyle. Blend beets when you want to retain maximal nutrition from the whole vegetable. But juice beets if you want their isolated nutrients in liquid form. Aim to get beets in your diet regularly by both blending into smoothies and juicing a few times a week for a nutritional boost.


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