Kid-friendly "Can't Beet It" Vanilla Shake Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: "Can't Beet It" Vanilla Shake

Recipe: "Can't Beet It" Vanilla Shake

"Can't Beet It" Vanilla Shake

by Dylan Sabuco
Photo by V. Matthiesen/
prep time
5 minutes
cook time
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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"Can't Beet It" Vanilla Shake

Defying convention, this nutritious shake combines the earthy richness of beets with the creamy sweetness of bananas. Perfect for a refreshing snack and well-loved by vegans and non-vegans alike!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • blend :

    to stir together two or more ingredients until just combined; blending is a gentler process than mixing.

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • pour :

    to cause liquid, granules, or powder to stream from one container into another.

Equipment Checklist

  • Blender (or pitcher + immersion blender)
  • Can opener
  • Measuring spoons
  • Liquid measuring cup


"Can't Beet It" Vanilla Shake

  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract + more to taste **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY use certified gluten-free pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla flavor—check label)**
  • 2 bananas + more to taste
  • 1/2 8-oz can sliced beets, drained (not pickled beets)
  • 1 C water
  • ice, optional

Food Allergen Substitutions

"Can't Beet It" Vanilla Shake

  • Gluten/Wheat: Use certified gluten-free pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla flavor.


"Can't Beet It" Vanilla Shake

measure + pour

Measure and pour 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 peeled bananas, 1/2 can drained beets, and 1 cup water into a blender (or pitcher for use with an immersion blender).

blend + serve

Blend until smooth. Taste for flavor and texture. If the shake needs more sweetness or flavor, you can add a pinch of sugar, more vanilla, or more banana. If the texture is not smooth enough, try adding a splash of water or a few ice cubes. Once the flavor and texture is perfect, pour into cups and serve!

Surprise Ingredient: Beets!

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Photo by Tatevosian Yana/

Hi! I’m Beet!

"Hi! I'm a bit 'red' with embarrassment—I don't know your name, but you know mine—Beet! I'm a root vegetable with a beautiful, red color (some of my cousins are yellow). You may have seen me served either whole, quartered, sliced, julienned, shredded, or mashed. You can grow me in your garden or buy me fresh or canned in the store. Did you know that my pretty green leaves (or greens), with red stems, can also be eaten, and you can drink my juice, too?" 


  • Around 800 BCE, an Assyrian text describes beets growing in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the wonders of the ancient world.
  • Modern beets are derived from their wild ancestors, sea beets, that grew along the coasts of Europe, southern Asia, and northern Africa. Beets from the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans were white and black rather than red! 
  • The Romans used the leaves of beets as an herb and medicine. They also considered beet juice to be a love potion.
  • People have used beet juice as a natural red dye since the 16th century, and Victorians in England in the 19th century used it to dye their hair. 
  • Sugar beets were first cultivated for their sugar in the middle of the 18th century in Germany and then in France in the early 19th century. The United States started growing sugar beets commercially in 1879 in California. Sugar beets have at least twice the amount of sugar as regular beets.
  • The world's heaviest beetroot weighed 52.88 pounds and was grown by a group of people in the United Kingdom in 2019. The longest beetroot was 28 feet, also produced in the UK, by Joe Atherton, in 2020.

Anatomy & Etymology

  • A beet, or beetroot, is the edible taproot of the beet plant. The taproot is the dominant, central root of a plant. Beet leaves are also good to eat. 
  • Beets are a member of the order of flowering plants called Caryophyllales, which includes bougainvillea, cacti, amaranth, carnations, spinach, chard, quinoa, and even Venus flytraps! 
  • Red beets get their color from betalain, a natural pigment. Betalain comes from the Latin name for beet, Beta vulgaris, and it's also responsible for the red color of bougainvillea flowers.
  • The word "beet" is from the Old English "bete," from the Latin "beta." 

How to Pick, Buy, & Eat

  • Beets are ready to be picked about seven to eight weeks after planting. The beet or root will be golf ball size or larger. To harvest, grab the plant's leaves or greens, down by the root, and pull. 
  • If you plan to cook the beet greens, cut them off from the root, wash them, and store them in a plastic bag in the fridge for one to two days. The beetroots will keep refrigerated for one to two weeks in a plastic bag.
  • Today there are several varieties of commercially-grown beets. The most common type in the United States is the Red Ace.
  • You can use beet juice to measure the PH level or acidity in a substance. When you add it to an acidic solution, it turns pink, but it turns yellow when you add it to an alkali.
  • To remove the inevitable pink stains from working with beets, rub your fingers with lemon juice and salt and wash with soap and water. There are several suggestions for removing fabric stains, but when rinsing, it's best to use lukewarm or cold water rather than hot to avoid making the stains permanent. 
  • You can boil, steam, roast, or pickle beets and add them to salads, soups, dips, sauces, sandwiches, and even desserts, like red velvet cake!
  • A soup made from beets, "borscht," originated in Ukraine in the late 17th or early 18th century and is considered a staple in Russian and Polish cuisine.
  • In Australia, they often put pickled beets on their hamburgers.


  • Beets are loaded with manganese, potassium, iron, magnesium, many other minerals, and vitamins, especially folate. Folate is a B vitamin vital for the growth and function of cells in our body and helps DNA and RNA production.
  • Beets are a good source of betaine, which is associated with proper liver function and cellular reproduction, and it helps the body metabolize homocysteine, an amino acid.
  • One cup of beets contains less than 60 calories.


Let's Learn About the United States!

Photo by JeniFoto/ (July 4th Picnic)
  • Most of the United States of America (USA) is in North America. It shares its northern border with Canada and its southern border with Mexico. It consists of 50 states, 1 federal district, 5 territories, 9 Minor Outlying Islands, and 326 Indian reservations. 
  • The country's total area is 3,796,742 square miles, globally the third largest after Russia and Canada. The US population is over 333 million, making it the third most populous country in the world, after China and India.
  • The United States of America declared itself an independent nation from Great Britain on July 4, 1776, by issuing the Declaration of Independence.
  • The Revolutionary War between the US and Great Britain was fought from 1775-1783. We only had 13 colonies at that time! On September 9, 1976, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and declared that the new nation would be called the United States. 
  • The 13 colonies became states after each ratified the constitution of the new United States, with Delaware being the first on December 7, 1787.  
  • The 13 stripes on the US flag represent those first 13 colonies, and the 50 stars represent our 50 states. The red color of the flag symbolizes hardiness and valor, white symbolizes innocence and purity, and blue symbolizes vigilance and justice.
  • Before settling in Washington DC, a federal district, the nation's capital resided in New York City and then Philadelphia for a short time. New York City is the largest city in the US and is considered its financial center. 
  • The US does not have a recognized official language! However, English is effectively the national language. 
  • The American dollar is the national currency. The nickname for a dollar, "buck," comes from colonial times when people traded goods for buckskins!
  • Because the United States is so large, there is a wide variety of climates and types of geography. The Mississippi/Missouri River, running primarily north to south, is the fourth-longest river system in the world. On the east side of the Mississippi are the Appalachian Mountains, the Adirondack Mountains, and the East Coast, next to the Atlantic Ocean. 
  • On the west side of the Mississippi are the flat Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains (or Rockies), and the West Coast, next to the Pacific Ocean, with several more mountain ranges in coastal states, such as the Sierras and the Cascades. Between the coasts and the north and south borders are several forests, lakes (including the Great Lakes), rivers, swamps, deserts, and volcanos. 
  • Several animals are unique to the US, such as the American bison (or American buffalo), the bald eagle, the California condor, the American black bear, the groundhog, the American alligator, and the pronghorn (or American antelope). 
  • The US has 63 national parks. The Great Smoky Mountains, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Zion, and the Grand Canyon, with the Colorado River flowing through it, are among the most well-known and visited.
  • Cuisine in the US was influenced early on by the indigenous people of North America who lived there before Europeans arrived. They introduced beans, corn, potatoes, squash, berries, fish, turkey, venison, dried meats, and more to the new settlers. Other influences include the widely varied foods and dishes of enslaved people from Africa and immigrants from Asia, Europe, Central and South America, and the Pacific Islands. 

What's It Like to Be a Kid in the United States?

  • Education is compulsory in the US, and kids may go to a public or private school or be home-schooled. Most schools do not require students to wear uniforms, but some private schools do. The school year runs from mid-August or the beginning of September to the end of May or the middle of June.
  • Kids generally start school at about five years old in kindergarten or earlier in preschool and continue through 12th grade in high school. After that, many go on to university, community college, or technical school. 
  • Spanish, French, and German are the most popular foreign languages kids learn in US schools. 
  • Kids may participate in many different school and after-school sports, including baseball, soccer, American football, basketball, volleyball, tennis, swimming, and track and field. In grade school, kids may join in playground games like hopscotch, four-square, kickball, tetherball, jump rope, or tag.
  • There are several fun activities that American kids enjoy doing with their friends and families, such as picnicking, hiking, going to the beach or swimming, or going to children's and natural history museums, zoos and wild animal parks, amusement parks, water parks, state parks, or national parks. Popular amusement parks include Disneyland, Disney World, Legoland, Six Flags, and Universal Studios.
  • On Independence Day or the 4th of July, kids enjoy a day off from school, picnicking, and watching fireworks with their families. 
  • Thanksgiving is celebrated on the last Thursday in November when students get 2 to 5 days off school. Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa are popular December holidays, and there are 2 or 3 weeks of winter vacation. Easter is celebrated in March, April, or May, and kids enjoy a week of spring recess around that time.  
  • Barbecued hot dogs or hamburgers, watermelon, apple pie, and ice cream are popular kid foods for 4th of July celebrations. Turkey, dressing, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie are traditional Thanksgiving foods. Birthday parties with cake and ice cream are very important celebrations for kids in the United States!

The Yolk's On You

What did the tired vegetable say? 

“I’m Beet.”

Lettuce Joke Around

What do you call a happy vegetable? 

Up Beet.

THYME for a Laugh

The date on my vanilla must have expired.

It just doesn't make any scents!

Lettuce Joke Around

Why did the veggie band sound horrible live? 

They were missing the Beet.

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