Berries are high in antioxidants and incorporating them into a smoothie is a terrific way to begin your day, while providing your body with the tools to fight free radicals. The smoothie recipe below incorporates ingredients that have antioxidant power.
The prime sources of antioxidants are green, leafy vegetables. If you are new to eating healthy, it’s common to not be excited about consuming these beneficial plants (as I know from personal experience). However, a smoothie is a great way to start because the sweetness from the fruits will help to mask the “green” taste.
Compared to other fruits, berries are lower in sugar as well, so it can be an option, even if you are monitoring your sugar intake. Because berries are not overly sweet, this particular recipe will have more of an earthy taste. If you haven’t yet built your palate to enjoy leafy vegetables, you can modify the ratio to be more berry-forward and less green.
Your best bet for a beneficial smoothie is to blend it with water only. Avoid dairy, such as cream or yogurt. If you are looking to make your smoothie creamier, adding an avocado is a delicious alternative, and another item that is rich in antioxidants.
Without further ado, here is a powerful recipe to incorporate into your health regime:
1 cup of water
1 Tablespoon each of flaxseed and chia seeds
(optimal for creaminess) 1/2 avocado
2 cups each of kale and spinach (loosely, no need to compact, and this will break down significantly)
1/2 cup each of strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries
top with a cup of ice
^ Build in this order, because the liquid and softer items at the bottom of the blender will help the blades to spin (on classic-style blenders whose blades are at the bottom).
If using frozen fruits, give them a quick rinse to soften them and remove any frosty build-up. You may need to add at least a 1/2 cup more water during the blending and omit the ice in the last step. Judge the amount of water as the machine is doing its work. If the blades seem like they cannot power through, add a little water at a time, until it has an uninterrupted blend.
This will produce about 2 cups worth of smoothie. If this is too much for a serving preference, divide it, and refrigerate the unused smoothie in a tightly-sealed container. It may be stored until the next day and will probably need a quick spin in the blender to freshen up the mixture. It is not recommended to store this smoothie for more than a day, as the nutrition and freshness deteriorates as time goes on. This being said, I have put left overs in the freezer before and it seemed to work out. The one caveat is that the consistency may be a little lumpy as it starts to thaw. If this happens, you can either stir it well or throw it back in the blender until desired mixture is attained.
While this is a basic recipe that I often use, I did some searching and found a great if you want to up your smoothie game. This one is fun and has a wide variety of creative recipes. It also allows you to sift through recipes based on benefits, so you can get familiar with various foods and learn their nutritional value. https://greenblender.com/smoothies/recipes
Happy blending and remember to jot down your experience in your foods and moods journal!
By: Kathryn Chambers
Olive Branch Counseling Associates, Inc.