Smoothies are ubiquitous and can be a healthy meal replacement. They can be found at fast-food restaurants, airports, malls, grocery stores and more.
Are all smoothies created equal? Not at all.
The smoothies found at fast-food establishments contain ingredients such as artificial flavors, cellulose powder, sugar, and modified food starch. Smoothies created at juice bars or establishments known to be healthier are better than those found at fast-food if you order carefully (such as adding organic fruits and vegetables and avoiding additions such as ice cream, frozen yogurt or sherbet).
The best smoothies meal replacements are those made at home and can help make “food as medicine” delicious and nutritious. Why? You know what ingredients are in your homemade smoothie and can add herbs and spices, whole fruits, seeds, and other ingredients to increase the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidation properties, and provide other health benefits.
Smoothies are simple to prepare at home. Here is Calmglow’s Super Smoothie recipe.
Ingredients and equipment
- Spice grinder (coffee grinder used solely for grinding spices and seeds)
- Cheesecloth and Kitchen twine or spool of thread for sewing or a tea ball
- 2 quarters cold tap or spring water
- Herbs and spices (personal preference combination of the following):
- Two tablespoons of Gotu Kola leaf
- Two tablespoons of lemon balm leaf
- Two tablespoons of dried hawthorne
- Two tablespoons of dried elderberries
- Two tablespoons eluthero (Elutherococcus senticosus or Siberian ginseng)
- Two tablespoons of white willow bark
- One tablespoon powdered ashwaganda root
- One tablespoon powdered shatavari root
- One tablespoon slippery elm bark powdered
- One tablespoon of fresh rosemary chopped
- One teaspoon of fresh ground turmeric
- One-half teaspoon of fresh ground cinnamon or cinnamon stick
- Tea (one of the following: Green tea, Nettle tea, Licorice tea, Detox tea or Herbal tea)
- Three-quarters cup of organic berries or one-half cup of organic berries and one-quarter cup other organic whole fruit (pineapple, banana, peach, melon, pear, mango or organic, unsweetened applesauce)
- Two-four oz of chilled, pomegranate juice, unsweetened purple grape juice, acai juice or other “just” juice (preferably organic)
- One to two tablespoons of whole golden flax seeds (not brown, which are bitter), ground in the spice grinder
- Protein (two tablespoons or recommended portion of whey, pea or rice protein powder, or one-half cup of non-dairy yogurt or kefir, or whole oats soaked in non-dairy milk overnight in the refrigerator)
- Recommended portion of PhytoGanix
- ¼ cup of crushed ice, if you like your smoothie cold
Adding a Healing Sachet to the brewed tea will accentuate the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties in the smoothie, balance blood sugars, offer adrenal gland support, and positively affect the ability of your body to heal and rejuvenate. A Healing Sachet is created by cutting a square of the cheesecloth, adding your personal preference herbal and spice combination from the list above, and tying it together with kitchen twine or thread or putting the herb/spice/tea blend in a tea ball.
If you are using loose tea leaves, add 4 tablespoons of tea leaves to the Healing Sachet.
Healing Sachet tea liquid is made by adding the Healing Sachet (and 4 tea bags, if not using loose tea leaves in the sachet) to two quarts of hot water. Simmer in two quarts of hot water for 10-15 minutes then cover and turn off the stove and allow it to cool 20 minutes or so. Strain and discard the loose tea. Store in the refrigerator. This stays good for a week to ten days.
Change the flavor of the Healing Sachet liquid by changing the tea and/or spice/herb combination, which will add taste variety to your smoothies.
Use 4-6 oz. of the chilled Healing Sachet liquid for your smoothie. Place it in a blender.
To the blender add the juice, berries or fruit & berries, ground flax seeds, protein, Phytoganix, and crushed ice (if using).
Blend until it is of the right consistency for you.
To your health.
Dianne Hinton NP, PA, IFM-C