Do You Need to Peel Beets Before Juicing?
It’s no secret; beets have a polarizing taste. Some people don’t like the intense earthy flavor and go as far as to call beets “dirt-favored.” While we think that might be a bit on the extreme side, there’s no that beets have a strong earthy taste, which gets accentuated when you juice them.
One way to mitigate this taste and remove some of the less appealing tastes is to peel beets before juicing. There are no nutritional differences between peeled and unpeeled beets. So to answer the question, do you need to peel beets before juicing – it’s up to you. In this article, we’ll discuss juicing beets in detail and cover why you should peel them, and some helpful tips for preparing them.
To peel or not to peel
Beets are root vegetables, which means they’re grown in the ground and, unsurprisingly, have an earthy taste. Unlike other root vegetables like potatoes or carrots, beets seem to retain more of this earthy flavor, and some people find them unappealing for this reason. When you juice unpeeled beets, you get even more of this taste, making them difficult to use in conjunction with other fruits and vegetables since their flavor easily overpowers others.
We recommend peeling beets to avoid the strong dirt-like flavor and allow beets to play more nicely with the other ingredients in your juice. The good news is peeling beets doesn’t remove any of their nutritional benefits and may help avoid any nasty pesticides that might be lingering on the peel. There isn’t any significant evidence that beets retain harmful chemicals, but since peeling them improves the taste significantly, it’s the way to go.
Preparing beets for juicing
Before you toss your beets into your juicer and fire it up, there are a few things you should do first.
Washing beets before you peel them is an important first step. We recommend soaking beets in room temperature water for about 10 minutes before scrubbing them with a hard-bristled vegetable brush to remove any harmful chemicals and residual dirt. Even though you’re going to peel them, washing them is still important to be on the safe side.
Some people wash their beets in a 25% vinegar solution. We’ve never found this necessary, and it does impart a slight vinegar taste, but if you’re concerned about getting your beets as clean as possible, it’s worth trying. You can make a 25% vinegar solution by combining three parts water with one part vinegar and soaking for 10-15 minutes.
You’re almost ready to start juicing. The last step is to remove the leaves and stems. We find it is usually better to juice the leaves separately if you want to include them.
There are a few tricks that can help you avoid some problems people commonly run into when juicing beets.
Beet juice stains very easily, and almost no surface is immune. The easiest way to deal with beet stains is to work as quickly as possible. Wooden cutting boards are especially prone to staining, so you should rinse them quickly after chopping or slicing beets if you don’t want them to get stained. We prefer to use a plastic cutting board specifically for things like beets that stain easily. It’s not the best option, but it is a foolproof way to avoid stains altogether.
Another helpful tip is to chop your beets before you put them through the juicer. Beets are fairly firm, and if you leave them in large chunks, your juicer might get clogged. Use your judgment and knowledge of your juice to choose an appropriate size. We tend to chop our beets into small pieces since we’ve clogged a juicer with beets before. Depending on what kind of juicer you have, this might not be a concern for you.
Beets are full of essential vitamins and nutrients, and juicing them is a great way to unlock all of their health benefits. Before you break out the juicer, make sure you wash and peel them to remove any lingering harmful chemicals and considerably improve the taste. Unpeeled beet juice has a strong flavor that most people find unappealing. Thankfully, peeling beets before juicing removes a lot of this unpleasant flavor without reducing the healthfulness.
- Related Read: 10 Best Juicers for Beets in 2021
Featured image credit: congerdesign, Pixabay
Sean started juicing because he was looking to stay healthy in a world that doesn’t leave much time for making balanced, nutritious meals. His initial interest blossomed into an obsession as he discovered all the fun and delicious recipes posted by fellow juice enthusiasts. Today, Sean enjoys writing about juicing to help spread the word and inspire people to live healthier lives.