Thursday, January 12, 2012

Pure & Simple Green Smoothies


Here are two delicious green super smoothies my hubby and I have been drinking for breakfast lately. The first recipe came from SUPERFOOD CUISINE - by Julie Morris.  The ingredients in this super smoothie are frozen mango chunks, banana, apple, lucuma powder, spinach leaves, chlorella, and water. The second smoothie was inspired by Julie's smoothie, only I use Just Barley (my favorite superfood) instead of the chlorella and pineapple chunks instead of the apple. These smoothies are an excellent way to ensure you are getting more vital nutrients in your day, as well as helping to keep your immune system healthy. The following is a breakdown of what you need for the smoothies and their health benefits. I  provided some links for the superfoods- lucuma powder, chlorella & Just Barley-all very inexpensive.  I hope you will give these superfoods and smoothies a try.

Pineapple is an excellent source of the trace mineral manganese, which is an essential co-factor in a
number of enzymes important in energy production and antioxidant defenses. For example, the key oxidative enzyme superoxide dismutase, which disarms free radicals produced within the mitochondria (the energy production factories within our cells), requires manganese. Just one cup of fresh pineapple supplies 128.0% of the DV for this very important trace mineral. In addition to manganese, pineapple is a good source of thiamin, a B vitamin that acts as a cofactor in enzymatic reactions central to energy production. It is also an excellent source of Vitamin C, and a good source of copper, B1 and folate. Data reported in a study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology indicates that eating 3 or more servings of fruit per day may lower your risk of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), the primary cause of vision loss in older adults, by 36%, compared to persons who consume less than 1.5 servings of fruit daily.

Mango is very rich in nutrients. The mango contains Vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B9, plenty of Vitamin C, beta carotene, and traces of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, and potassium.  This sweet fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C (an antioxidant) which helps build your body’s defense system and strengthens your immunity. This factor alone helps prevent free radicals from attacking your body. Free radicals are harmful agents that form one of two ways—either naturally through the metabolic phase or through pollutants found in the air. Either way, free radicals break down the body and make you vulnerable to contracting illnesses such as the common cold, cardiovascular disease and even some cancers. Mangos are soluble fiber which helps lower the bad cholesterol  (LDL levels) which clogs arteries that can result in heart attacks or strokes. In addition, mangoes have special digestive enzymes (esters and terpenes) that significantly aid in breaking down food and reduce stomach acid which help with digestion.  also packed with vitamin A—a nutrient commonly found in carrots and eggs—and can help maintain the health of your eyes. This can include anything from helping fight against blindness, alleviating dryness in the eye and softening of the cornea.

Apples help protect bone health, prevent asthma, heart disease, and cancers such as lung, breast, colon, and liver.  New research suggests that the phytonutrient called queretin may help to prevent Alzheimer's.  The pectin in apples can help to lower LDL cholesterol, is good for diabetes and weight management, is a good source of vitamin C and an excellent source of flavanooids and antioxidants. It is important to keep in mind that a lot of the goodness of apples is contained in the skin, so make sure  you don't peel them. Apples also have 4 grams of soluble and insoluble fiber.

Bananas are an exceptionally rich source of fructooligosaccharide, a compound called a prebiotic because it nourishes probiotic (friendly) bacteria in the colon. These beneficial bacteria produce vitamins and digestive enzymes that improve our ability to absorb nutrients, plus compounds that protect us against unfriendly microorganisms. When fructooligosaccharides are fermented by these friendly bacteria, not only do numbers of probiotic bacteria increase, but so does the body's ability to absorb calcium. In addition, gastrointestinal transit time is lessened, decreasing the risk of colon cancer. Bananas are one of our best sources of potassium, an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. Since the average banana contains a whopping 467 mg of potassium and only 1 mg of sodium, a banana a day may help to prevent high blood pressure and protect against atherosclerosis.

Spinach-Spinach is an excellent source of bone-healthy vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, and calcium; heart-healthy folate, potassium, and vitamin B6; energy-producing iron and vitamin B2; and free radical-scavenging vitamin A (through its concentration of beta-carotene), vitamin C, and vitamin E. It is a very good source of digestion-supportive dietary fiber; muscle-building protein; energy-producing phosphorus and vitamin B1; and the antioxidants copper, zinc, and E. In addition, it is a good source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, and heart-healthy niacin and selenium. While this mixture of conventional nutrients gives spinach a unique status in the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory department, it is the unusual mixture of phytonutrients in spinach that "seals the deal" in terms of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory components. In terms of flavonoids, spinach is a unique source of methylenedioxyflavonol glucuronides, and in terms of carotenoids, its difficult to find a more helpful source of lutein and zeaxanthin. The epoxyxanthophyll carotenoids neoxanthin and violaxanthin are also welcomed constituents of spinach leaves.

Lucuma is native to the highlands of Peru, Chile and Ecuador where it has been cultivated since ancient times. Navita Naturals sells 100% pure lucuma powder that is certified organic, kosher, vegan and raw. Lucuma is an alternative sweetener that is packed with minerals and vitamins. Among its nutritional attributes are carotenes and vitamin B3. The powder has a distinctively sweet taste that is a popular ice cream flavor among Europeans and South Americans. It is an excellent addition to desserts and smoothies.

Barley Grass-With 4 times the calcium of milk, 22 times the iron in spinach, and as much protein per ounce as a steak, barley juice is a true super food. Barley grass is loaded with every essential amino acid, over 12 minerals, and 13 different vitamins (including Vitamin K). It helps to support healthy immune function, combat fatique, increase energy, suppors natural detoxification, supports healthy digestion and naturally alkalizes & oxygenates the body.

Chlorella, one of the oldest 'whole foods' supplement, is a type of one-celled green algae known for   its nutritive and restorative properties. A special method of breaking the cell wall, at low temperature under low lighting, allows the nutrients (proteins, beta carotene, vitamin C, B vitamins, chlorophyll, and Chlorella Growth Factor) to remain intact and available for absorption. Taking Chlorella on a daily basis may improve overall health and wellness, boost energy and immunity, encourage detoxification, and aid in digestion.

Pure & Simple Green Smoothie
By Julie Morris (Superfood Cuisine)
Printable Recipe
Serves 2
1 cup frozen mango
1 apple (remove seeds)
1 ripe banana
2 cups baby spinach leaves
1 tbsp Lucuma powder
1/8 tsp. chlorella
2 cups water
Stevia (optional if needed for sweetness)

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

Super Barley Green Smoothie
 By The Health Seeker's Kitchen (inspired by Julie Norris)
Printable Recipe
Serves 2
1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
1 cup frozen mango chunks
1 banana
2 cups spinach
2 tsp. Just Barley
1 tbsp. Lucuma powder
2 cups water

Blend well and enjoy:)

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9 comments:

  1. I love a good green smoothie recipe, thank you! Evelyn and I have a green smoothie recipe book in fact. It's really a great way to start your day. I'm gonna try your recipe in a few minutes though I don't have mango so I'll substitute in some strawberry.

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  2. YUM! Green Smoothies are the BEST! :D

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  3. Do you use a VitaMix? I've never made a Green Smothie because I am concerned it would come out 'chewy' from the non-smoothed out Spinach.

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  4. So DELICIOUS!!! I have never tried spinach in a smoothie before, I have been skeptical, but I gave it a try and LOVED it! Thank you for two great recipes!

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  5. Please tell me where you got your information on each of the Super Foods. This post is very informative. Thanks!

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  6. Would you please tell us which brand of stevia you prefer?

    Thanks,
    Michelle

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    1. Hi Michelle, I am glad you found my blog:) With Stevia I use a few different ones. I use an Organic Stevia Powder made by Navitas Naturals for smoothies and things that you don't mind adding a green color to. Unprocessed Stevia is green. It is the ground stevia leaves. This is the best stevia because they dry the leaves and mill at low temperatures to protect the nutrients. Unfortunately, if you want to add stevia to, say my chia seed pudding, you would probably choose the stevia that is more processed since it won't change the color for your pudding. Processed stevia is white in color. What I do for Ice Cream, is add some stevia and some maple syrup. Between the two it works for a nicer flavor. I also use some liquid stevia (I have Sweetleaf brand and Organic Lifestyle). The liquid stevia is flavored with hazelnut, toffee, etc. I use these for non-dairy ice cream flavoring, or you can add drops to your water. Click on iHerb - my sidebar to find these items and save $5.00 off your first order. IHerb's prices are so much less than the health food store for all items. Good luck:)

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  7. Gorgeous photos! Looks so tasty. A banana is ALWAYS a must for my smoothies.

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  8. However, matcha is a green tea powder which once, whisked up mixes well with hot water consistently.
    health benefits of super greens powder

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