Cherry Beet Detox Smoothie

Ali Segersten Jan 19, 2011 33 comments
Cherry Beet Detox Smoothie

What? Beets in a smoothie? I know that may sound interesting, but it is truly delicious as long as you use a smaller sized beet. Too many beets in a smoothie causes it to become inedible, at least for my taste buds. The beautiful purple hue coming from the cherries and beets is very appetizing. At first sip, you'll be hooked. This recipe is perfect to use during Phase 1 of The Elimination Diet. It is also excellent to make regularly during a Detox Diet, or after having a baby to help support the body in clearing excess hormones.

Why is this a detox smoothie?

Pears are an excellent source of soluble fibers. These fibers act as a sponge to mop up toxins that are released from the liver via the bile and excreted into the intestinal tract. Once they are mopped up, they can be easily excreted out of the body. If there is no soluble fiber around, some toxins are more likely to be reabsorbed in the intestines and cause more havoc on your body.

Beets have unique detoxification support chemicals, call betalains, that help the liver process toxins while keeping antioxidants levels high. These magical compounds are best preserved when beets are raw or cooked lightly. Speaking of antioxidants, beets are a surprisingly good source of the potent carotenoid antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin.

Cabbage has long been known as a fantastic food for the reduction of cancer risk, and for the healing of the intestinal tract. It turns out that there are numerous factors that play into those abilities. These include the beneficial fibers in cabbage, the content of glutamine (an amino acid-like substance used by intestinal cells for healing), and a high content of miraculous compounds called glucosinolates. Glucosinolates are sulfur containing molecules that have glucose attached to them. When you break open the cell walls of cabbage, an enzyme is released called myrosinase that removes the glucose from the sulfur compounds commonly called isothiocyanates. One of these isothiocyanates, sulforaphane, has an amazing capacity to turn on a part of our genes called the Antioxidant Response Element. When it does this, we start producing more antioxidant proteins, and detoxification proteins (enzymes actually) that provide us 72 hours of protection from environmentally and internally produced toxins. Some doctors from John's Hopkins are saying that sulforphane may be one of the best known cancer protective substances on the planet.

Another super star loaded with beneficial detox promoting fibers, cherries have their own stockpile of antioxidant chemicals. The beautiful maroon-colored anthocyanins packed in the skins and flesh of cherries not only quench free radicals, but also have a dampening effect on COX2, a potent pro-inflammatory enzyme. Instead of aspirin, perhaps we should be eating cherries?


About the Author

Ali Segersten

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University and a Master’s of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine from the University of Western States. She is a Functional Nutritionist, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Alissa is the founder and owner of Nourishing Meals®.

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I know this an old post but I have some the beet cooked first? and then are you using red cabbage or green cabbage? Thanks!

I live beet smoothies. I parboiled the beets and use the beet water and add whatever fruits and veggies I have on hand. Yum

This was delicious. Made for breakfast day 1 of our elimination. I didn't tell my husband what the secret ingredient(s) were. He thought it was tasty. Blending just the cabbage and water for a while first made for a smooth texture.
Unfortunately, he had an immediate allergic reaction. Ugh.
Maybe to the cherries. He is allergic to raw apples and peaches. I will have to try cooking them first.

This doesn't bode well for this experiment for us. Raw foods are a challenge with allergies. :-(

Can you recommend a good source for cherries in Whatcom County? I'm trying to get my resources lined up for fruit season this year and want to do a lot of freezing for year round fruit enjoyment!

Yes, the beet goes in raw. Enjoy! :)

mommykinz, I had the same question...I'll look back for a response!!

I hope this isn't a dumb question but here goes - I want to make the cherry/beet smoothie. Do I cook the beet or put it in raw?

I saw this smoothie recipe and was very excited to try it and it was delicious! Thank you for all of your wonderful recipes! I just purchased your book to help my husband out on the elimination diet and even though I'm not doing the elimination diet like he is I am really enjoying all of the wonderful fresh foods! Thank you!

I just used up the case of organic cherries I pitted... Next year I will have to try 60 lbs like you :)

Confirming - the addition of chocolate is yummy! I added a few spoonfuls of cocoa powder and some chocolate-flavored stevia drops. Delish! Like drinking a healthy red velvet smoothie :) I may post that one on my blog...

What a wonderful smoothie, both my boys loved it too. That is amazing b/c they are both didn't l currently balking on most veggies.. Thanks for a healthful snack for all of us!

Finally made this smoothie this morning after a long run. So good! And I am feeling wonderful. I love the bright red color, especially since I had only red cabbage on hand. Next time, i'm going to add a few scoops of raw cocoa powder and give that a try...

i always have such a hard time with beet because of the fact that it is so cleansing...especially for the liver. every time i make a juice with beet in it, i get terribly sick and nauseous! Beet's definitely have POWER haha. this looks great nonetheless <3

Tried a variation of this yesterday morning, and beet in smoothie was surprisingly good!

Didn't have cabbage or cherries, so I used an apple and some cranberries and raspberries instead... Delicious!

This smoothies looks amazing. I'm wondering if I can use apple in place of pear for similar results as I can't have pears. Any recommendation would be great.
Thanks for keeping your recipes so nutritious. I make them for my 2 1/2 year old grandson who has autism and he loves the breads, cookies and scones. I love that they are good for him.

Hello! I am on Day 1 of Phase 1 of the elimination diet and I am wondering if rice milk is ok. The questionable ingredient in most rice milks is the canola oil. Does anyone know if this fits within the restrictions of Phase 1?


This is awesome. The cherry flavor just screams! Love it!! Is it possible to drink too much of this smoothie?! I used kale instead of cabbage and that worked, too. Thank you (and Tom) so much!

Thanks for this recipe! I've been doing pretty much the same green drink smoothie in my Vitamix for over a year now & needed a new but simple change.
I couldn't find frozen cherries but found a frozen cherry mix with raspberries, blueberries & blackberries too & it worked well although was I'm sure less Cherry-like than your version!
Thanks also for the interesting info about cabbage, while I knew a lot of good reasons to eat it, I was unaware of what you wrote about.
Blessings ~ Christy

Evaline - yes I am working on a second cookbook! I'll let everyone here on the blog know as soon as it is available for pre-order. We are looking at a late spring release date. Possibly early summer at the rate I'm going now! :)

What a great way to pack in some veggies! With a smoothie that color, you can fool all the kids too :)

I absolutely love beets with bananas in smoothies a perfect match, but for some reason beets (raw or cooked) tend to give me a stomachache.

Looks like a fantastic way to use up my half beet from super green salad!

Ali, I have a reeeeeeally important question for you. Are you really doing a second cookbook? Because I have recommended your first to everyone I know, and I would happily pre-order one if it's in the works. Just curious!

Looks great--I love to add beets to my berry-based smoothies, but must admit I've never done cabbage! I'm going to give this one a try. I am in need of a good detox smoothie about now! :)

Nicola is right! You need to create an iPhone app with that kind of information! I'm not sure I could do beets in a smoothie, but I will give it a shot!

Thanks everyone for the lovely comments. By the way, it was Tom who added the detailed nutritional info, so please thank him! :)

I love it when you hit me with all the nutritional/health benefits of ingredients and recipes made from them, Ali! Maybe this will be the recipe that gets me to stop being afraid of beets. I'll definitely heed your warning and stick to one small one. Your smoothie looks divine! Oh, and can't believe the kiddos went through all those cherries already--wow, and cool!


That sounds and looks just delicious. We will add this one to our recipe collection, thank you!!
We just guzzled down a dandalion cherry smoothie which I just finished posting about in fact!
Peace & Raw Health,

We're on the same wavelength. Just returned from early morning yoga and am now sipping a golden beet, cherry, blueberry, pear and romaine lettuce smoothie (with a handful of walnuts, some cinnamon and coconut water). It's such a good way to load your cells up with vital energy and as you mention, detox your body. I'm a total beet lover, have been since I was a baby (my mom has stories about me insisting on beets and spinach), so it's hard for me to imagine a "too many beets" scenario. =) I put them in everything.
Great post with lots of good information!
P.S. Thanks for the linkup-love. xo

This looks awesome... I love beets!

Thank you for sharing, I'm just going through a detox now and need all the encouragement I can get!

Thank you for such a wonderfully informational post! Am wishing that I could have that type of nutritional information to hand for every single fruit and vegetable. I see an iPhone app in there... ;-). Thanks for the link to D-tox January!

I have to say that this unusual combination of ingredients looks and sounds delicious! I love your explanation of the nutritional benefits - it always is a good reminder of why we should be eating this way. And it's SO gluten free!

So gorgeous! I love beets, so I'm not sure I wouldn't love the flavor of more than a small beet in here. But I love cherries even more - so it's a match made in smoothie heaven. :)

yum.. this looks so good. Thanks. I'm always looking for ways to use cabbage. I picked cherries too in the summer and froze them so this will be a great drink to make.

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