You guys know me and smoothies, I give them to the kids and try to have one myself at least once a day basically because they are the easiest and fastest way to eat something actually healthy, and if you make them at home they are an inexpensive way to make up for less than stellar eating habits.
For the kids I am still sticking to a basic one consisting usually of coconut or flax milk (usually the vanilla kind is more appetizing for them), some frozen fruit chunks (or whatever we have fresh I just throw in) and some of this powder (find it locally at Healthy Living Market, buy it on Thursdays for their weekly discount). Occasionally if I am feeling bold I will put in some avocado or some ground flax to see if they will tolerate it (or notice it’s in there), but with those basic ingredients I know they are getting at least some healthy food in for the day.
Coconut milk works for us because unlike other nuts, they provide fat that is mostly in the form of medium chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs) in particular, one called lauric acid. Lauric acid is converted in the body into a highly beneficial compound called monolaurin, an antiviral and antibacterial that destroys a wide variety of disease causing organisms. It is now thought that the consumption of coconut milk may help protect the body from infections and viruses, and it is tastes delicious. It’s also a great dairy alternative, and if you want to cut down on the sugar you can buy the plain version instead of vanilla.
Flax milk is my favorite choice because as a nursing mom I try to get more flax in my diet every day (when I make the smoothie for myself I use flax milk and ground flax sometimes). Unlike cow’s milk, flax milk contains no cholesterol or lactose, making it healthier for your heart and flax milk also contains omega-3 fatty acids from the cold-pressed flax oil, that has been shown to help prevent cancer, diabetes, heart disease and strokes. It is naturally lactose free and is completely void of cholesterol, and flax milks are fortified with minerals and vitamins, including vitamins A, B12 and D, as well as calcium, which equals the nutritional value of other milk alternatives. Flax milk is low in calories and while the original and vanilla varieties contain some sugars (from evaporated cane juice) they are still considerably less than other non-dairy milk alternatives. Flax milk contains no saturated or trans fat and is free from the top eight allergens (from ingredients) including gluten and has a really great creamy texture. Find all the varieties of both coconut and flax milk locally at Healthy Living Market and Cafe too. You can try out ground flax there too by buying some in bulk, that way you don’t have to commit to a full package of it if you don’t like it.
Turmeric is my new favorite, especially since my mom’s cancer diagnosis. One of the most comprehensive summaries of turmeric studies to date was published by the respected ethnobotanist James A. Duke, Phd. in 2007, where he reviewed some 700 studies and concluded that turmeric appears to outperform many pharmaceuticals in its effects against several chronic, debilitating diseases, and does so with virtually no adverse side effects including Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and arthritis. Just a little scoop has such a mild flavor in this smoothie but all of the benefits.
My green powder du jour is Amazing Grass Green Superfood Immunity Defense- Tangerine, since it is flu season and the kids are always coming home with the sniffles or a cough. I love all of the Amazing Grass powders, and this one has a premium mushroom blend, immune-boosting herbs, and 1,000 mg of Vitamin C in it as well (find it at smoothie superstore Healthy Living, also grab this on Thursdays for a discount). The tangerine flavor is so good, and really goes well with the vanilla milks.
My latest “fine I’ll give it a shot” ingredient is the liquid chlorophyll. I was skeptical, but according to “Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine,” liquid chlorophyll can increase the quality and quantity of your red blood cells because the compound has a chemical composition very similar to hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a molecule found in your red blood cells responsible for transporting oxygen. While hemoglobin has iron as its center atom, liquid chlorophyll has magnesium as its center atom. Increasing the number and quality of your red blood cells can result in better oxygen transportation. It also is a powerful antioxidant that can lower your risk for developing certain types of cancer and can reduce inflammation in your body. This action can benefit from medical disorders characterized by increased inflammation such as arthritis and amygdalitis. Your immune system also benefits from antioxidants because it helps protect the body from toxins and wastes. So, I’m giving it a go, it has almost no taste, probably just makes this green smoothie even greener (guess what, find this at Healthy Living as well).
So there you have it, this smoothie tastes SO good, is perfect in the morning or even at night for a treat (also if you feel like you’ve eaten not so great that day) and gives me energy to get through my hectic day. Throw in half an avocado, berries, whatever you like to this one but stick with the turmeric, flax and green powder for those health benefits.
12 oz. vanilla or coconut milk
1 scoop MegaFood Daily Turmeric Powder
1 scoop Amazing Grass Green Superfood Immunity Defense- Tangerine powder
a few mango chunks or pineapple chunks
1 tablespoon of ground flax
1 tablespoon of World Organic liquid chlorophyll