Beetroot Juice: he beetroot is a plant grown for their edible taproots and their leaves (called beet greens). Other than as a food, beets have used as a food colouring and as a medicinal plant.
Is beetroot juice safe for my baby? That’s the first question that easily comes to every mother’s mind. The answer is yes. Beetroot juice is rich in Vitamin A, Potassium, Phosphorus and Chlorine. Its regular consumption increases hemoglobin level in blood, boosts the immune system and normalizes heart function. Beetroot can replace a whole set of medicines for your child. So, it’s good you learn how to prepare beetroot juice for your baby.
A simple recipe for making beetroot juice
Before you learn how to prepare beetroot juice at home, you need to choose a small-sized root crop without pink veins of dark color with intact skin. Green leaves on top is a sign of freshness.
You will need:
- 4 small beets or 2 large beets
- 1/4 Cup (60 ml) water (optional)
There are several steps involved in the preparation of beetroot juice:
1) Take a sharp knife and cut off the top of the beet as well as the tail. Cut about 6 mm from each end of the root. Generally speaking, the juice can be made with beet tops, but usually, the juice is made only from a root. If you want to add the tops, then rinse it well under running water and cut into pieces of 5cm or less. Use the tops for juice together with the vegetable.
2) Wash the beets. Rinse beets under cool running water. Take a brush or a hard sponge to remove dirt from the root crop that cannot be removed with your fingers. The beet skin contains a lot of useful substances, so if it is thin enough (if it is a young beet), it is better to leave the skin in the preparation of juice. If the skin is too dirty or hard, it is better to clean the beets with a peeler or a knife.
Some babies refuse to drink raw beetroot juice. In this case, it’s possible to offer juice of boiled/backed beet. Despite the fact that the heat treatment partially destroyed vitamins and minerals, it also reduces the number of harmful substances such as nitrates. Do not peel before boiling the beetroot.
3) You need to bake the beets now. Some moms prefer to boil it. It depends on your personal preferences. You can check the readiness of the beetroot in a very simple way, all you need is to check the softness of the vegetable by a knife. If it is soft, you will feel it.
4) Cut the beet into four parts. Cut the beets in half, and then each of the halves in half again. If the pieces are too big for your blender or juicer, you risk burning the motor near the appliance. Most juicers, blenders or food processors can handle quarters of beet, but if you have a low-power device, it is better to cut beet into even smaller pieces. So, you can prepare beetroot juice in two different ways according to your abilities: make beetroot juice with a juicer; make it with a blender or food processor.
How to prepare beetroot juice with a Juicer
- Set up and prepare the juicer. Under the nose of the juicer, place a jug or a special glass. If your juicer does not have a special Cup to collect juice, then substitute under the spout any ordinary glass of sufficient size.
- Throw the beet pieces into the juicer. Turn on the juicer and start to lay the slices of beets through the hole and boot tray. Using the pestle (product pusher) lightly push the pieces of beet so they grind. Proceed slowly and gradually. Watch the process carefully and do not apply too much force, do not press on the pieces very much and do not throw a lot in at once. This can burn the motor of the device. When you chop one piece of beet, take the next. Continue until you use all the pieces of beet.
- One teaspoon is enough for a baby, but do not give pure juice. You can mix it with other fruit and vegetable juices (apple, carrot, pumpkin), water or broth of rose hips. You can also offer crumbs to taste a mixture of beet juice and fermented milk products (yogurt, kefir). It will taste good and is healthy.
How to make beet juice with a blender or food processor
- Put the beetroot pieces in a bowl of a blender or food processor and pour water. By adding a little water, you will help the device in grinding beet.
- Blend the beets into a puree at high speed. Continue until there are no large pieces of beet remaining in the mixture. Even if the mixture will seem homogeneous, it should still be pre-filtered.
- Put some gauze in the bowl. Cut two pieces of gauze about 60 cm in size and place them on top of each other, and then roll in half so that four layers of gauze are obtained. Put this gauze in a large enough bowl. If you do not have gauze, you can take a mesh bag, which is used for the preparation of jelly. In an extreme case, you can use a small colander or a sieve. Just place the colander over the bowl so that it does not fall.
- Drain the puree. Pour the contents of the blender into cheesecloth. Collect the ends of the gauze, screw them to close the hole, and press to let all the juice stack into the bowl. Proceed in the same way if you use a jelly bag. If you use a colander, take a rubber or silicone spatula and press the pulp so as to squeeze out as much juice. We recommend you to wear gloves when working with beets, otherwise, your hands will turn red.
If you have decided to prepare a juice from fresh beets, before consumption, freshly squeezed juice should be allowed to stand for at least a couple of hours. Harmful substances in contact with air will partially evaporate.
Only a few drops of beetroot juice is enough for a baby to check body’s response to the new product (signs of an allergic reaction like a change in stool). If the tolerability is normal you can include beets in the ration of your child. One or two times a week is enough. It is also recommended to consult a doctor before adding beetroot juice to your child’s diet.