Being healthy starts from the inside out, and during these cold winter months, we often find ourselves feeling a bit sluggish or worn down. It's easy to load up on warm comfort foods during the snow season, but out of proportion, these carb and starch heavy meals don't always provide the balanced diet we need to keep our immune systems strong, and bodies in tune. For this week's blog post, I want to share with you a smoothie recipe, handed down to me from my friend Nora, that's power packed with kale, cacao, brazil nuts a hint of cayenne and more. This blended smoothie is a sure fire way to keep your body healthy, and your taste buds happy all winter long.
First, take a look at the recipe to get an idea of the plethora of delicious delicacies that go into the mix.
1/4 cup coconut water
1/4 cup orange juice
1 cup organic cinnamon yogurt
1 Tbs probiotic kefir
Fruits & Vegetables:
1/2 a meyer lemon
1/4 cup organic frozen blue berries
4-5 pieces of kale
1 sweet carrot
Nuts and Spice:
1/4 cup brazil nuts
1/4 cup almonds
1 large Tbs raw cacao nibs
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp bee pollen
Blend for about 1 minute or until smooth but thick.
Now, let me break it down for you further. You've probably heard about the benefit of some of these ingredients, so I'll touch on some of the key players in the mix, and let you know which items are worth the splurge by the Environmental Working Group (EWG's) standards to buy organic in order to best avoid harmful pesticides as noted in their "dirty dozen and clean fifteen" chart. This chart was designed to help consumers lower our pesticide intake substantially by purchasing the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables organically, and eating the 15 least contaminated produce.
Kale: (buy organic) It's high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and reasonably rich in calcium. This dark leafy green is power packed with so many essential vitamins our bodies crave, and is one of the best greens to put in your body, however it is however one of the dirty dozen so buy organic.
Blueberries: (buy organic) For such a tiny fruit, blueberries have a seriously large benefit to our bodies. They have the highest antioxidant capacity of all fresh fruit and neutralize free radicals which can affect disease and aging in the body. Also part of the dirty dozen.
Brazil Nuts: High in calories, these nuts will give you the energy your body needs to keep you going on a cold winter day. Their high caloric content comes from their fats like mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), which help to lower LDL or "bad cholesterol" and increase HDL or "good cholesterol". They're also full of essential vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants.
Raw Cacao Nibs: (buy organic) Listed as a super-food, cacao has more antioxidant flavonoids than any food tested in the world. To give you an idea of just how serious this chocolatey tasting bite can be, it's packing four-times the antioxidant level of green tea per serving.
Coconut Water: Beating out sugary sports drinks, this is the natural healthy way to hydrate your body.
Cayenne Pepper: This may be the most curious addition to the smoothie, but I have to say, it gives it the extra oomph, that keeps me blending morning after morning. The hint of cayenne is enough to warm you up not to mention the endless health benefits of this powerful pepper including: anti-allergin properties, digestive aid, circulation stimulant, breaks up congestion and supports weight-loss.
Remember, one of the beautiful things about a smoothie is the creative freedom to add and subtract ingredients to fit your needs and taste, so cheers to your health. I Hope you enjoy!