By Sean Michael Hall, L.Ac.
Perfect Winter Smoothie Ingredients:
- 1 cup blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries(frozen or fresh)
- 1 – 2 scoops green powder – I recommend Garden of Life’s Perfect Food
- 1 cup pomegranate, cherry or blueberry Juice(alternate)
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 2 – 4 tbsp pumpkin, chia, sunflower or sesame seeds(alternate)
- 1 thumbs worth ginger root
- 1 thumbs worth turmeric root
- ¼ lime (include peel)
- ¼ – ½ tsp total clove, nutmeg, cardamom, and/or cinnamon powder
- As needed: water or chilled green tea
- If you want to make it into a full breakfast, add:
- 1 scoop protein powder – I recommend Design for Health’s Paleomeal
Or serve with 2 eggs and/or 2 slices of Ezekial Sprouted Bread. If the smoothie needs more liquid, add water or room-temperature green tea, not more juice. Fresh turmeric root can be found at Berkeley Bowl, Farmer Joe’s, and sometimes at Whole Foods.
Protein, Fat & Low-Glycemic Index Fruits
Be wary of smoothies that have an abundance of fruit and fruit juice, without protein and fat. They are not healthy, as they raise blood sugar levels quickly; often times, just as quickly as a can of soda. The coconut oil and seeds in this recipe perfectly balances the smoothie.
Healthy fat and protein help to satiate, and reduce cravings. They have a calming, grounding effect. They regulate blood-sugar levels. And recent studies show that many of the phytonutrients found in fruits and vegetables are more completely absorbed when eaten with fats.
Choice of fruit is very important also, as berries and cherries are low on the glycemic index (GI), which means they raise blood sugar levels moderately and slowly. Pomegranate juice is a little higher, but it’s got so many other benefits that having it in the balanced way this recipe calls for keeps it healthy.
Eat with the Season in Mind
Eating only fruits and vegetables that are in season locally is a great idea. But honestly, I find that it’s not very practical, and I often deviate from that ideal. Still, there is a lot you can do to make sure that you’re eating with the seasons in mind. Winter is a time for emphasizing warming, grounding, mostly-cooked meals.
The raw ingredients in this smoothie make it the exception for me, but I balance it with the addition of ginger and turmeric root, and lots of spices. If you find that you need something even more warming, add an additional ¼ tsp each of dried ginger powder and cinnamon powder. These are both potent herbs in Chinese Medicine for tonifying the Yang, and building warmth.
You can find Design for Health’s Paleomeal and Garden of Life’s Perfect Food at my clinic, East Bay Acupuncture & Natural Medicine.