The smoothie is a versatile snack in a glass or a great on-the-go meal. This is also the most requested recipe in my practice. It is packed with probiotics, vitamins and minerals from whole foods to give you the nutrients necessary for your body to work properly.
I often add soaked nuts or seeds to my smoothies to boost the protein and fat content. This also adds fiber which keeps me full longer. Soaking nuts and seeds neutralizes enzyme inhibitors, which block the absorption of vitamins and minerals, making them easier to digest.
While most blenders will do a fine job, some may struggle to produce a creamy consistency with nuts or seeds. A high-powered blender is a great multi-purpose tool and good investment to make for your kitchen. Personally, I favor the Vita-mix and use it daily for smoothies, soups and sauces.
To soak your nuts and seeds for optimal nutrient availability, fill a glass jar half way with the seeds or nuts of your choice. Add 1-2 teaspoons of sea salt per quart jar used. Fill the remainder of the jar with filtered water and let sit at room temperature for 12-24 hours. Drain the water off and dehydrate until crisp in a dehydrator or in the oven at the lowest temperature setting. These nuts or seeds are now ready to be used in recipes or eaten as is. Store them in the refrigerator for up to one month.
Avoid canned fruit in your smoothies due to BPA (bisphenol A). This is a plastic that lines the inside of cans and is linked to reproductive abnormalities and a heightened risk of breast and prostate cancers, diabetes, and heart disease.
I make my own raw yogurt (you also can use regular store bought yogurt), straining off the whey to make Greek yogurt. Using liquid whey in your smoothie adds more probiotics and minerals and unlike the whey powders it is still a whole food.
To strain yogurt, line a colander with damp cheesecloth or muslin. Place the colander in a bowl, scoop the yogurt into the lined colander and put a clean plate on top of the yogurt to lightly press the whey out. Put the bowl and colander into the refrigerator for about 6 hours or overnight. When done pour the whey into a glass jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months and have the liquid whey to use for smoothies and culturing vegetables.
Spirulina is a blue-green algae and a complete protein. It is rich in iron, calcium, vitamin A, B-vitamins, vitamin C and is high in protein. Chlorella is also a blue-green algae which along with spirulina is an effective chelator of heavy metals and toxins helping to bind and remove them from the body.
This is my tropical smoothie recipe. It makes about a quart.
½ cup yogurt, full-fat
½ -1 cup kefir, milk or cream (not ultra-pasteurized), water kefir, kombucha, coconut milk (enough to blend smoothly)
1 cup pineapple
½ cup mango
½ -1 tsp spirulina or chlorella (or to taste)
Dash of unrefined sea salt
Blend ingredients with ½ cup of milk until smooth, adding more milk if needed.
Try variations with blueberries, cherries, raspberries, peaches, pears, apricots, strawberries or other seasonal fruits you like.
Add a touch of unsulfured molasses (my personal favorite) or raw honey if you need more sweetness.
Add half an avocado.
You can add ¼ – ½ cup soaked cashews, pumpkin or sunflower seeds to increase the protein if you desire. Another option is 1-2 tablespoons of nut or seed butter.
Add a handful of blanched spinach or kale for a green drink. This is a great option if you have a difficult time getting enough vegetables.
Use frozen fruit if you like it icy.
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