Something very exciting just happened for me. I got a Vitamix Blender!! For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a high powered blender that will blend a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g. I can make ice cream in it. I can make homemade nut milk. I can make peanut butter. I can make soup that is HOT! To get this blender wasn’t an impulse decision – I thought about it for a long time, looked up recipes, and saved up, because the $500 investment is not miniscule. That price is actually on the low end too – thank you Costco for your low prices! The real benefit to me is that it opens the door to easier cooking of a variety of things, and since I eat a lot of smoothies, soups, and sauces already, it was the right purchase for me.
Today I’m recommending a health smoothie. I know people that think a smoothie is a smoothie is a smoothie, but I don’t. There are the frozen syrup kind you get at McDonalds or Tim Hortens that claim to be healthy but will actually just give you a sugar high, then there are the basic (but delicious) 2-3 whole fruit kinds with juice/milk that I find in some recipe books, then there are what I’m going to call designer smoothies. These are the smoothies you find at Organic Lives, or Gorilla in Vancouver, or Crudessense in Montreal. Designer smoothies add superfoods that sometimes do and sometimes don’t modify the flavour, but make your smoothie just that much more nutritious.
This blueberry smoothie really takes the cake with designer smoothies – there are a lot of extras in there that add health benefits. The down side is that this recipe could be a bit inaccessible if these ingredients aren’t regularly in your fridge/cupboard. What I’d recommend is to modify where you don’t have one of my ingredients that I list – substitute hemp seeds or pumpkin seeds for Chia seeds, or take a multi-vitamin on the side if you don’t have powder vitamins.
Without further adieu, here is the recipe!
1 c blueberries
1 c soya milk (or your favourite kind of non-dairy milk. Sometimes I will do half soya milk, half pure cranberry juice)
1 handful of spinach
1/2 ripe avocado
1 1/2 tsp yellow maca powder
3 tsp Chia seeds
3 tsp Pranin A-Z
1 scoop Pranin B
1 scoop Pranin Iron
The smoothie will taste like blueberries (look at that colour!), be incredibly smooth and creamy, with an earthy undertone flavour. If you’d like it sweeter, try adding a teaspoon at a time of agave or honey until you achieve the desired sweetness.
Now – why drink this with all the additions? Let me tell you.
Iron – this smoothie has my daily intake of iron! This small scoop of Pranin Iron supplement has 110% of my required iron. There is also spinach in the smoothie, the Pranin A-Z, and Chia. As I’ve written about before, it’s so hard to get all the iron I need in my diet, so this is a huge point for me. The Pranin iron is a whole food supplement from curry leaves, and it is made without yeast (which is in many whole food iron supplements) and, according to the naturopathic doctor that makes Pranin, is better absorbed because of it. I’m just going to come out and say it, because I know you all are thinking it – this iron supplement won’t make you constipated because it’s a whole food and your body knows what to do with the ingredients. I’ve been taking this supplement for a month or so now, so the proof will be when I get my iron levels tested again, but I don’t feel lethargic and tired all the time like I was when I was anemic.
B12 – this smoothie has my daily intake of b12! The B vitamin formula, for one tiny scoop, is 220% of my B12, a vitamin that is also very difficult to get in a vegan diet. Previously, my B12 was generally from fortified products like soy milk, but now I can have a less-processed source of it. This B vitamin also has B6 and other vitamins in it too for a balanced formula to get me what I need.
Antioxidants – blueberries are chalk full of antioxidants, which help combat free radicals in your body that destroy cell structure.
Yellow maca powder – this one is for the ladies. Maca is a root grown in the Peruvian Andes, where the soil is rich in minerals and the growing conditions make it one of the most nourishing superfoods known. Yellow maca in particular is known for its beneficial effects on female fertility and menopausal symptoms. I’m going after the former effect, not the latter, but I notice a positive difference in my monthly cycle when I am incorporating yellow maca in my diet – decreased cramps and balanced hormonal state are the two big changes. A bag of yellow maca can be found for about $30 CND in store and it lasts for a long time – it is worth the investment!
There are lots of other minerals and vitamins in this that I haven’t listed, but the four above are the most important for me. Here is the link to Pranin Supplements if you want more information on the products or ordering (I don’t have any affiliation with them at all – just like the product!), and the other superfoods can be found at a health food store such as Planet Organic, Whole Foods, or Finlandia.
This smoothie starts my day out right by giving me energy and sustaining me until lunch. What’s your favourite superfood?
Happy smoothie making!