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beetroot zinger juice in glass

Juicing is a subject close to my heart. Many of the people I advise and teach at the Maggies Cancer Caring Centre are going through chemotherapy when they come to the Centre. Most want to do everything they can to eat well through treatment. Evidence shows that those who are well-nourished tolerate treatment better and reduce their risk of infection. But sometimes this is very difficult to do. Because almost all chemotherapy drugs  affect taste, appetite and digestion at least somewhat, doctors and dietitians advise those affected to eat what they feel like eating and what they can taste and digest well. This is also what we advise. But I always encourage those who cannot tolerate raw fruits and vegetables to juice them. That way they can get the nutritional benefit without filling up on bulky lower calorie foods or deal with the effects raw produce can have on a weakened digestive system.

So why not just buy fresh juice from the supermarket? Well, supermarket juices – even ones labelled as fresh and in the chiller cabinet –  are always pasteurised, usually twice. This can lessen and even destroy some of the very compounds that we want from fresh juice. Sure, I drink store-bought juice occasionally but I don’t expect it to do much for me, other than be convenient and taste nice. Tomato juice is the only juice whose main nutrients are enhanced with processing.

In my opinion, homemade, freshly pressed juices are like liquid supplements, but without any of the downsides associated with supplementing while on cancer treatment (many immune-boosting supplements have potential to interfere with treatment effectiveness). People who juice during treatment may find that it helps a bit with energy, and they feel that even if their diet isn’t as they would like at the moment,  juicing helps to cover the nutritional bases.  Once the symptoms subside whole foods are once again on the menu.

During nutrition sessions I offer this juice and it always elicits oohs and ahhs because of the colour, which is a deep garnet and quite creamy looking. When asked what they think is in the juice only occasionally does beetroot get a mention. I don’t know whether that’s a good or bad thing. Suppose it depends on what you think of beetroot. Happily, participants always ask for the recipe. Although I use it in my cancer nutrition classes it is a juice for anyone, ill or well. It’s my family’s favourite juice and mine too, despite the pink-stained fingers. We drink it because we like it. A friend of mine even swears by this juice as a homework stimulant for her boys. Drink it at the first sign of a cold or if you know that something’s going around. Seems to work for us. I could go on and on about juicing (yes, even more than I already have) but I’ll let you see for yourself. Now, get that dust-covered juicer out of the garage, or from under the spare bed, and get juicing.

Science Bit: Known for its blood-purifying properties, beetroot also has a fantastic disease-fighting profile at its most basic level: it enhances the manufacture of white blood cells, stimulates red blood cell production and improves supply of oxygen to cells. This last point is very interesting because a small but well-conducted 2009 UK study demonstrated beetroot’s capacity to boost muscle stamina, probably because of the abundance of naturally occurring nitrates. This may have implications for athletes as well as ordinary folk going about their daily business. I wouldn’t advise consuming the half-litre a day amount achieved in the study (potential side effects include hives – unpleasant) beat) as we can benefit from drinking much smaller amounts, including lowered blood pressure. And don’t be alarmed if your urine or stool is pinkish or red. Many people are sensitive to the betalain and oxalic acid in beets and will experience ‘beetruria’, which looks scary but is completely harmless.

From a cancer perspective beetroot may be useful as it contains a high amount of manganese, which is needed for the formation of the potent anti-cancer cell protein, interferon. The deep red colour is due to another nutrient powerhouse – betanin, thought to help prevent both cancer and heart disease. And if that hasn’t convinced you to try this juice, it tastes darn nice too. Very refreshing, yet invigorating.

beetroot juice ingredientsBeetroot Zinger Juice

This is my recipe for beetroot juice but make it your own by mixing up the ingredients, so to speak: ditch the raspberries, or add celery, or orange. Whatever you have to hand that’s fresh and juiceable is fair game with juicing. The only real caveat is that beetroot shouldn’t make up more than one-quarter of your juice as it is so strong.

1 small or 1/2 medium raw beetroot, scrubbed and trimmed (the smaller the tastier)

2-3 large carrots, scrubbed and trimmed

1 apple and 1 pear – or two of either, scrubbed and cored

1/2 lime, peel removed (the oils in the peel make the juice bitter)

knob of fresh gingerroot – about the size of end-of-your-thumb

handful of frozen raspberries -use fresh if in season but the frozen ones make the juice creamy and luscious

What You Need: juicer (not a smoothie maker or blender); cutting board, sharp knife

Do as your juicer booklet says regarding any preparation of the fruit to fit your juicer’s ‘feed tube’. Once you have made the juice, blend the raspberries in with a hand blender, but if you don’t want the seeds or fibre push them through the juicer between the harder fruits/veg. Drink your juice as soon as possible but it will still be good – and good for you – up to 24 hours’ later if refrigerated and covered.        Serves 2

Extra Tidbit: If you can get beetroots with super-fresh leafy tops juice the tops as well – they are crammed full of a variety of free-radical scavenging carotenoids and other goodies. The tops are also tasty in a stir fry. Because the leaves also contain oxalic acid anyone prone to kidney stones or who has rheumatoid arthritis or gout should avoid eating the tops. If you want to know more about this fantastic but much maligned vegetable click here. If you want more juice ideas, click here.

28 thoughts on “Beetroot Zinger Juice

  1. ChileQueen says:

    Definitely going to try this today after I go get the ingredients. I need it. 🙂

    1. I hope it gives you the boost you need!

  2. Angela Martinez says:

    It’s a fantastic juice – a lovely way to include beetroot in one’s diet – especially as it’s so good for the liver. The lime really brings out the ginger taste!

    1. Thanks Angela! Juices are great ways to include vegetables that we know are great for us but don’t always manage to include regularly in our diet. I find that lime goes well with almost every juice. Wish we could grow them in Scotland, or that I had shares in them!

  3. ChileQueen says:

    thanks Kellie, have just tried it this morning and it’s by far, the best juice recipe I have ever tasted – and I do a lot of Juicing. I did it a lot 2 weeks before an operation in 2007 and it certainly helped give me make a quicker recovery.

    1. I’m so glad you like it – and it sounds like you are somewhat of an aficionado, so I am well-chuffed! Thanks also for letting me know that it helped in your recovery: I am convinced that people do better post-operatively when they juice. If only to make up for the rubbish hospital food…

  4. ChileQueen says:

    Had 2nd glass of the Beetroot Zinger this morning…….. WOW Kellie AM-a-zing!
    I’ve been ill with something on and off since October that shows itself through Fatigue and quite severe loss of voice. This morning my voice, although not normal yet, has improved.
    Thank you Kellie

    1. I’m so glad it seems to have helped. It may be coincidence but I am convinced this combination really can help with ‘incoming’ viruses as well as lingering ones. I really recommend juicing two or three times a week as a preventative.

  5. ChileQueen says:

    Had to leave yet another comment here as last night to celebrate my friend’s birthday I made her this but we just HAD to top it up with Champagne! Absolutely (hic) delicious and the flavours merged so well.

  6. Jackie Armstrong says:

    Hi Kellie,thank you for the email you sent with the juices, I tryed the beetroot zinger,so different to what I have been having ,thought i would try it before i went to band practice as i go there normally feeling tierd and hey i felt more full of life,will be having lots more of this

    1. It’s pretty amazing stuff alright. Everyone who drinks it seems to react very positively to it. I think beetroot in any juice would be good, so experiment with other combinations. Thanks for commenting.

  7. ChileQueen says:

    Wish I could have the beetroot juice here now -really need it after severe Spanish tummy problems for the last 2 days. However better now and going to Azrua today and cycle last leg from there to Santiago tomorrow.
    Can´t wait to make the zinger juice again. Think I should have it in small doses when I get back on monday. What do you think Kellie?

    1. Hey girl! Sorry to hear about your bug. Mr A tried emailing you but they’ve all bounced so will try with your ‘normal’ address (don’t know what he used). Truly heroic effort btw. Take a pic of yourself at Santiago. About juice: it should be fine as long as no fibre. Maybe get something called ‘Optibac’ that is a probiotic specifically for traveller’s tummy. It’s great stuff and will help calm and restore gut. Good luck for next few days. :}

  8. chilequeen says:

    Thanks Kellie for the tip. will try it. Just arrived Stanstead and will be in Edi @6 with dusty bike 🙁 . in Maggies tommorrow afternoon

  9. Niki Fulton says:

    This recipe has become a real family fav and I always make it if any of us are showing a sign of a cold or a sniffle. Well, son number two has a slight sniffle so out comes the zinger. However, I didn’t have any oranges so I used a pink grapefruit instead and I am delighted to report its a yummy sub. Thanks Kellie for helping us ward off the winter bugs. 🙂

    1. Aw, wee lamb. Pink grapefruit sounds a great citrussy sub – love pink grapefruit. Hope it does the trick and that it wards off a household epidemic 😀

  10. Oh yum, I’m going to pull up some baby beets and baby carrots this morning. Perhaps it will help me get over my recent bout of tonsillitis. Lovely post, as always!

    1. I hope you do try it – it really seems to help, and it gives a lot of buzzy energy. Beetroot is great for stamina. Hope you don’t get too wet in the garden picking the veg. Sounds proper miserable down there.

  11. Dear Kellie

    I have heard of the nutritional aspects of beetroot too. Thanks for such an informative post. I read the small leaves of the beetroot are fine for salads but didn’t know that it might contribute to kidney stones and not good for those suffering from gout. I do prefer eating fresh fruits although I have been juicing before. I find the fibre from fresh fruits aids my digestive system better than just the juice.

    1. Hi there. I too think eating fresh, intact fruit & veg is best, but sometimes too much fibre causes people abdominal pain, especially those who are undergoing cancer treatment. And juices are great to squeeze in (excuse the pun) another serving without filling you up & ruining appetite for things with tissue-building protein. I advise only one 250ml juice per day unless one is ill & not eating well. And you’re right to be cautious about too many leaves – gout &/or kidney stone trigger for some. But I love them stirfried w/ garlic, anchovy & lemon zest for a funky pasta add-in, mixed with fresh grana padano cheese. Mmm. Thanks for commenting. You live in a gorgeous part of the world.

  12. jackie armstrong says:

    can you have as much of the beetroot juice as you like, or should you olny have like once twice a week

    1. Hi Jackie, a small glass (200 ml) once a day is no problem unless you feel it makes you too wired (I am highly sensitive to it and get all hyperactive!). I have it daily if colds are doing the rounds but I think it is a good idea to chop and change the juices for a good spread of nutrients and to make sure you don’t get fed up with it. Have you seen my ‘drink of the week’ in the right sidebar?

  13. jackie armstrong says:

    hi there kellie, hope your enjoying the lovely weather. the beetroot juice is so lush chilled on a day like this. will give the drink of the week a try thank you

    1. I really should get a little index for them as they ‘disappear’ when I post a new one. Glad the beetroot zinger is going down well. Might need to have it hot come Sunday. Brrr

  14. jackiearmstrong says:

    mmmmmm kellie`s home made beetroot juice is defo a winner, on a hot sunny day chilled recommended to you all

    1. Hey Jackie!! How are you? Thanks for the big up sweetie 😉

  15. Mary Lee says:

    what type of juicer do you recommend?

    1. Hi Mary. I recommend my slow juicer from Froothie. It’s an auger type of juicer that presses the juice from the produce rather than shreds it, getting more clear juice and more vitamins as there is no heat generated. In general slow juicers/auger types are superior to masticating/centrifugal juicers but they are more expensive. I am an ambassador for Froothie so if you decide to get one use the ad on the sidebar to the right and pop in my ambassador number (1611) and “free shipping” on the online form. Their website shows comparisons with similar machines. My ad is only good for UK buyers but Froothie products are worldwide. I’m on holiday in the US right now and I really miss my daily juice!

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