Beet Greens Nutrition and How To Use Them In Green Smoothie Recipes

If you’re ready to branch out from using spinach and romaine in your green smoothies, beet greens are a great next step. They are not as bitter as kale and dandelion, and they are easily hidden by just about any sweet fruit. Beet greens have a texture similar to Swiss chard, but with a milder flavor.

Beet greens are in the same plant family as chard and spinach. They make a great rotation for cruciferous greens like kale or bok choy.

Beet Greens Nutrition and Health Benefits

Two cups of chopped beet greens (our recommend “smoothie dose”) contains about 17 calories and almost two grams of protein. Two cups provide up to 160% RDA of vitamin A (as beta-carotene), 25% RDA of vitamin C, 253% RDA of vitamin K and 8% RDA of vitamin E. They also contain small amounts of all B-vitamins (except for B12).

When it comes to minerals, two cups of beet greens provide 89 milligrams of calcium (9% RDA), 2 milligrams of iron, 16% RDA of copper, 13% RDA each of magnesium and manganese, 12% RDA of potassium and 11% RDA of sodium.

Like most fruits and vegetables, beet greens contains all essential amino acids. They are particularly high in the essential amino acid, tryptophan, containing about 10% RDA. Tryptophan can be used by the body to produce the neurotransmitter, serotonin, which regulates mood and sleep cycles in humans. Getting adequate tryptophan in the diet might prevent mood imbalances and promote healthy sleep cycles.

How To Use Beet Greens In A Smoothie

Beet greens have a mild flavor that is easily masked with fruit in a green smoothie. It tastes somewhat like spinach and chard, although it is closer to spinach in flavor. I prefer it to chard. You can use it interchangeably with spinach in smoothie recipes.

The neat thing about beet greens is that you can use both the greens and the root (the beet) in your smoothies. Generally, I only use up to one half of a raw beet in a green smoothie. Making a smoothie with too much beet and beet greens might produce an “earthy” flavor.

How To Select And Store Beet Greens

Select beet greens that have a dark, green color and fresh-looking beet roots attached. Avoid any that are wilted or yellowing.

I keep all my leafy greens in clear plastic tubs in the refrigerator (or use your vegetable crisper drawer). Add a strip of paper towel or a dry cloth to absorb excess moisture and condensation. Beet greens are easily susceptible to wilting so eat them up within 3-5 days, depending the moisture level. Never leave leafy greens in plastic produce bags as they will go bad very quickly.

As with any leafy green, choose organic whenever possible. Beet greens are typically sold with the beets still attached.

Beet Greens Smoothie Recipes

Any recipe on Incredible Smoothies will taste great with beet greens instead of spinach.

Try these recipes:

Apple-Strawberry Beet Greens Smoothie
1 large apple, cored
1 medium banana, peeled
1 cup whole strawberries
2 cups beet greens, chopped
4-6 ounces of water

Calories: 263 | Fat: 1.2g (grams) | Protein: 4.4g | Carbs: 66.4g | Calcium: 13% | Iron: 3.1mg (milligrams) | Vitamin A: 167% | Vitamin C: 140%

1 cup papaya, cubed
1 orange (or two small tangerines)
1/2 cup pineapple, cubed
2 cups beet greens, chopped
1 stalk of celery
4-6 ounces of water

Calories: 188 | Fat: 0.7g (grams) | Protein: 4.5g | Carbs: 46.6g | Calcium: 21% | Iron: 2.6mg (milligrams) | Vitamin A: 230% | Vitamin C: 259%

Browse more green smoothie recipes.

Tracy Russell is the creator of RESET 28: A 28-Day Program For Energy, Weight Loss & A Healthy Glow, and founder of Incredible Smoothies. She has been helping people take control of their health and well being with green smoothies, a whole foods diet, and fitness since 2009.