For those who follow this blog regularly, I apologize that I have been lax in posting recipes over the last couple weeks. My normal diet includes a lot of raw food. I was preparing healthy meals for my family during my visit, but many of them were cooked meals to make them more comforting and satisfying to them. After I returned home, I was just feeling that my body needed a rest.
As we are almost 5 months into the year and I have not done any kind of fasting since the first of the year (I did a 4 day water fast), I decided now would be a good time to give my body that rest. I have been making a lot of green juices and smoothies. I find that getting the extra nutrients from juicing and giving my digestive tract a rest while not stressing about what I’m going to make for dinner really helps me to clear my head and improves my energy levels. I like to do it 3-4 times a year.
This next series of posts will contain some of the smoothie and juice recipes that I have been making for myself. This is one that I made for breakfast the other day – a blueberry banana green smoothie. I keep my bananas in the freezer (so I never have to worry about them getting past the perfect point of ripeness for my smoothies), and because it is so hard to find organic blueberries fresh in my area, I also purchase frozen organic wild blueberries. Frozen fruit gives the smoothie a really nice texture, and you can pretend it’s dessert for breakfast! =D
Here are some of the benefits of the ingredients that are blended into this smoothie (which will feed two people or one person who will have two servings during the day – me!):
- Bananas are a great source of potassium and inulin fiber, which feeds your gut flora. I’m a big fan of anything that encourages healthy gut flora, as healing mine has done so many wonders for my health. I have not been sick in a very long time, my digestion is better, and even some of my feed allergies have improved!
- Bananas are also a natural source of tryptophan, which your body converts into serotonin. It makes you happy and helps you sleep better.
- Bananas are a good source of B6, which helps your body to create white blood cells. They are good for your immune system!
- Bananas help to stabilize blood sugar.
- Bananas are high in potassium and low in sodium, so they help to reduce blood pressure (if yours is high, but if yours is low, you will want to focus more on sodium rich foods like celery instead).
- Blueberries have one of the highest antioxidant levels of any fruit. They help to prevent cancer and protect the eyes. They are especially good for the nervous system and the brain.
- Blueberries are low on the glycemic index, though with a whole foods plant based diet, I don’t really worry about the glycemic index anymore.
- Blueberries contain resveratrol, the same polyphenol that red wine is touted for having. Guess what? You can get plenty from blueberries, so put down that booze!
- Like all leafy greens, spinach is an excellent source of plant protein.
- Spinach is also a great source of potassium – providing more than bananas (per cup of each food)!
- Spinach is one of the best dietary sources of magnesium, which helps to relax you – both your muscles and your nervous system. If you have asthma, it helps to relax the bronchial muscles, too.
- Spinach is rich in iron. Goodbye, anemia!
- Spinach is also high in potassium, and helps to reduce blood pressure.
- I tossed in a few bonus add-ins also: hemp seed, chia seed, and flax seed oil. The hemp seed is a complete plant protein with all of the essential amino acids, but it is still higher in omega-6 than omega-3, so I added some chia seed and flax seed oil, both of which are higher in omega-3 to help offset it.
- 2-3 cups of water
- 3 large handfuls of spinach
- 2 frozen bananas
- 1 cup frozen organic wild blueberries (they have the most flavor, in my opinion!)
- 2 TB hemp seed (optional)
- 2 TB chia seed (optional)
- 2 TB flaxseed oil (optional)
- Add all ingredients to blender until well combined. Water content can vary based on how thick or thin you would like the texture of the smoothie to be.