The saturation of smoothies and smoothie bowl images on my Instagram feed has had me sometimes feeling a little jaded about that delicious but redundant fruit and veggie blends. But after several weeks of frequent poor eating and too much overindulgence, my body was ready for a healthy infusion. There is a reason that smoothies are so popular – it’s a solid, relatively fast and easy way of making a customizable, nutrient-rich meal that is still fulfilling.
As we here in Canada are still stuck in that strange transitional phase between winter and spring, in which it’s teasingly sunny but still very frigid, I found myself aching for summer and morosely nostalgic for California. When I was in Los Angeles over the holidays, I’d frequently start my mornings with a breakfast smoothie from Juice Infusion, an organic juice bar near Venice Beach. My favourite was the Washington Square (banana, red apple, peanut butter, and coconut milk). There was something wonderfully satisfying and healing about walking along the beach and boardwalk in the morning, in this place of perpetual summer, while sipping on this thick tasty delicacy. So, while I’m craving some nutrients with this recipe, I’m also trying to conjure some of the colourful Californian magic to keep myself warm.
While I’m skeptical about the necessity of cleanses, believing instead that the body is pretty good at detoxifying itself, for the most part, I did focus on ingredients with anti-inflammatory properties. Here’s a breakdown of the benefits of each ingredient in this recipe:
Goldenberries – Goldenberries have a moderate level of vitamins, but are reputed to be antioxidant powerhouses and can help reduce inflammation in the body
Pomegranate – Rich in Vitamin A, C and E and antioxidants, pomegranates are said to have properties that help regulate blood flow and are often recommended for maintaining heart health and recovering strength after illness
Dragon Fruit – Overflowing with the always valuable Vitamin C, dragon fruit or pitaya are also high in fiber and are also strangely high in protein.
Hemp Seeds – The tiny seeds of the hemp plant contain a wealth of essential fatty acids (Omega 3 and 6) and are also a good source of Vitamin E and protein.
Pumpkin Seeds – There are several sources that tout pumpkin seeds as one of the world’s healthiest foods, and while that kind of claim is always debatable, they do contain a wide array of vitamins, minerals (particularly Zinc), and antioxidants. There is also some new research that suggests these seeds also help with insulin regulation.
Beets – One of my favourites, beets, besides being delicious, will help improve your immune system, lower blood pressure and support brain function. Though it’s important to note they are also higher than average in sugar content, so they are recommended in moderation.
Bananas – The much-adored fruit does, in fact, have quite a few healthy properties. They are high in potassium but also contain pectin and, when unripe, resistant starch, both of which help with digestion health.
Mangos – This sweet, sticky fruit contains a blast of Vitamin A and C, among other nutrients and are said to particularly beneficial for maintaining that healthy glow to your skin.
Coconut Milk – Coconut is kind of contentious food when it comes to health benefits. It has been accused of containing too much-saturated fat and being potentially harmful to your cardiovascular health, but there are others who claim the effect is minimal and that there are some pretty powerful antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties at work inside the fruit that can help ward off disease and illness
Turmeric – Curcumin, the compound which turmeric consists of, is an incredibly powerful anti-inflammatory, but also has the ability to boost the body’s antioxidant enzymes.
1 x package of golden berries
125g of Pomegranate Seeds (roughly one medium-sized pomegranate)
1 x Dragon Fruit Cubed
4 x beets roots
1 tbsp agave or maple syrup
1 tbsp of lime juice
1 can of coconut milk
1tsp of turmeric
- In a Blender or Food Processor, blend the 2 bananas (for a thicker consistency, freeze the bananas beforehand), 1 mango, can of coconut milk, and 1 tsp of turmeric until smooth. Transfer to a separate dish and set aside in the fridge for about an hour until the mixture sets a bit.
- Blend the Beets with 1 tbsp of agave and 1 tbsp of lime juice. Transfer to a separate dish and set aside in the fridge for about an hour until it sets a bit.
- Cut the Dragon Fruit into cubes. De-seed the pomegranate.
- In a small bowl, combine a bit of the banana and mango mixture and a bit of the beet mixture. Top with the dragon fruit, golden berries, pomegranate seeds, hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds.