Beet & Pineapple Juice
A pretty juice made from beet, pineapple, cucumber and ginger. Makes for a nourishing and delicious beverage that will whisk you away to paradise! And a trick for making juice without a juicer. Vegan & Gluten Free. <jump to recipe>
Every few months or so, my kitchen and I get in a little tiff. It's like one of those arguments you had with your sibling growing up. Big sister (me) gets annoyed with little sister (kitchen) because she's messy, disorganized and too small to even understand what's wrong. And for a moment you throw your hands up in the air and want nothing to do with her.
That's me and the kitchen, sometimes. Because as much as I love our home – with its whitewashed floors, sunny patio and little nooks for our cats to curl up into – the kitchen leaves more to be desired. The counter space is minimal, the sink is often leaking, and heaven forbid if you want to squeeze another person in there. Yet despite these imperfections, the kitchen is still my favorite place to be. Almost always. The exception is said night. On those nights, when the dishes are literally overflowing from the sink and not an inch of counter space is free, I just can't stand to look at it.
Sometimes I'm embarrassing about it – like the time I threw my hands up like a child – but most times I'll try to do the more mature thing and just take a deep breath before picking up the phone (because any adult in this situation would obviously order pizza). In either scenario, Anguel, who can see straight through me, swoops in like my real-life superhero and makes it better. He tidies the whole kitchen up in record time. The cashews never end up in the right spot and usually a jar of spices gets misplaced, but he never fails to restore my faith in our kitchen. Because just like a sibling, cooking is in my blood – we're in it for life.
During one of these 'emergency' clean-up sessions, our juicer ended up in the garage. And there it sat for months. Almost six months to be exact! I was reminded of our juicer on one of our recent evening walks when Anguel proclaimed that he was going on a 'serious health kick' and would be drinking fresh juices for breakfasts. I knew of course that this was his sheepish way of asking me to make him juice – since we both know he couldn't assemble our juicer if his life depended on it (what's with guys refusing to read instructions?!). But given his faith-restoring cleanup skills, the least I could do was make him some.
This juice is one of our go-to combos. It started off in a modified smoothie form years ago - back when Anguel considered my Vitamix to be a ridiculously unnecessary kitchen appliance (he now apologizes for this profusely because he's grown to love that blender like a child). The combination is sweet and refreshing. And thanks to the pineapple, it feels like you're sipping it pool side (wouldn't that be nice?). But I'd be lying if I didn't admit one of my favorite things about this juice is its color. The gorgeous red from the beets is absolutely stunning! Don't ya think? It puts me in awe every time I make it. And then I proceed to guzzle it down in 30 seconds flat. Because it is SO good.
The recipe itself is so simple you almost don't need one. Four ingredients: Pineapple, beet, cucumber and ginger. Make sure you get your hands on a fresh, ripe pineapple if possible. It should smell exactly like you'd expect a pineapple to. And, if it's not quite ripe at the store, just let it ripen on the counter until it's fragrant. If you're feeling a bit lazy or don't want to wait for it to ripen, then the fresh cored pineapples in the refrigerated section of the produce aisle will do the trick. And, if you're still scratching your head about how to core a pineapple, this post covers some tips and tricks.
The rest of the ingredients are very straight forward. You'll need one beet, a cucumber and a knob of ginger. If you're using organic produce, feel free to chuck the whole thing in. Otherwise, it's probably a good idea to give them a quick peel. The cucumber might sound like the odd man out here. But I swear it totally works. It doesn't really change the taste– and it makes the drink even more refreshing. Since cucumber contains a lot of water, it'll increase the yield of your juice quite a bit. And given that pineapples and beets are both on the sweeter side, I like that the cucumber balances out some of the sweetness. The nutritional boost from the ginger adds a bit of a kick. And who knew ginger and pineapple made such a great pairing?
If you're reading this post, despite not having a juicer, I'm here with good news! You can usually make juices with a high-speed blender instead. Simply wiz everything up (you'll probably need to add some water), and then strain through a nut milk bag! Pretty cool, right? Since beets stain like nobody's business, make sure you're not wearing your favorite white t-shirt and be prepared to kiss your white nut milk bag goodbye. But after one sip, you'll be more than happy with your life decisions. Because nobody regrets fresh juice.
BEET & PINEAPPLE JUICE
SERVES 2 (VEGAN, GLUTEN FREE)
1 medium sized beet
1 1/2" knob of ginger
Cut away the skin and core the pineapple. Slice into large pieces. If your beet has the greens attached, remove the leaves and stem. Cut to fit into juicer chute, if required.
Run the pineapple, beet, cucumber and ginger through a juicer. Stir and enjoy.
Organic produce highly recommended; otherwise, if using conventional, give the produce a quick peel.
If you don't have a juicer, you could instead blend up the mixture in a high-speed blender. Add water as necessary. Use a nut milk bag to strain the pulp.