blood orange, carrot and ginger smoothie

A simple blood orange smoothie fIlled with vitamins and minerals. An invigorating drink anytime of the day

I admit I spend quite a bit of time at Whole Foods. It may be a good thing that it's not located near my house but close to work. It works out since I only travel to the office twice a week and therefore have only two opportunities for doing serious food shopping damage. But there's something about that place - the layout, the feeling, it's just different than your typical grocery store. Some would say it's snobby and overpriced and I'm the first to agree but damn it they have those cool salt lamp balls that are heated and...off topic.

A simple blood orange smoothie fIlled with vitamins and minerals. An invigorating drink anytime of the day
A simple blood orange smoothie fIlled with vitamins and minerals. An invigorating drink anytime of the day

But in all seriousness, it's still winter and my farmer's market is quite sad at the moment so this is the next best thing. Being in the presence of fresh food inspires me since most of the time, I have no idea what my next recipe will be. I plan to a certain extent but I like the thrill of finding an ingredient and letting the natural discovery process unfold. That kind of intuitive shopping feels rewarding and I can't imagine doing things any other way. 

I realize most of the time I look like a crazy person investigating produce, smelling it, hopelessly staring into a blood orange's soul...you know, looks weird as can be from the outside, but perfectly acceptable to me. 

And speaking of blood oranges, as they're in season for only a few short months, I decided to get a few and see what I could make with them. Moro blood oranges evidently are only in season through March so buying them felt all the more special. 

A simple blood orange smoothie fIlled with vitamins and minerals. An invigorating drink anytime of the day

When I cut into the blood orange I was in awe at the surprinsing color. I've seen blood oranges before but these had to be the most beautifully marbled shade of deep red with a few specs of orange peppered throughout. I immediately had to photograph it and since it was 9am and I wasn't quite prepared to whip up any particular dish at that point, I decided to opt for a smoothie. It is a preferred way to get a healthy dose of vitamins in liquid form. My daughter who's a smoothie aficionado, was delighted to try something new. 

If you can't find blood oranges, using a regular orange is perfectly okay, you just won't get that orange creamsicle color but will get all the taste. 

A simple blood orange smoothie fIlled with vitamins and minerals. An invigorating drink anytime of the day

blood orange, carrot and ginger smoothie

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almond, cashew or coconut milk
  • 1 medium carrot peeled and chopped 
  • 1 blood orange, peeled and cut into pieces
  • 1 knob grated fresh ginger (about 1")
  • 1 frozen banana 
  • 1 /2 cup pineapple
  • optional: toss in 1/2 apple, peeled and cored
  • optional: 1 scoop collagen

Equipment: 

  • blender

Directions: 

Combine all ingredients and blend for about one minute until everything is fully incorporated. 


golden milk with collagen

golden milk with collagen

When it comes to spices, many of us think of them as flavor enhancers in food. And while that's true, most spices contain a ton of health benefits. However, there's one spice that stands out in particular. And that's turmeric. 

Turmeric has been used in traditional Indian cooking for thousands of years and Ayurvedic medicine considers it to be not just food but medicine.  

Read More

super green parsley and cilantro smoothie

cilantro, cucumber, parsley, ginger, lemon and celery
ginger root, cucumber, cilantro and parsley
cilantro, cucumber, parsley, ginger, lemon and celery smoothie

Those of us who hear the word smoothie, generally think of bright colorful fruit and some sort of yogurt, milk, or maybe water. For some courageous types, maybe a little spinach may make it green. This smoothie is a bit different. It provides a jolt of energy that not even coffee can match. I find it's an amazing pick me up any time of the day. No caffeine of any kind, just all of nature's goodness. 

Parsley has been making its way into the main stream as being more than just plate decor. It has an incredible nutrient profile and I'm using it as a base for my smoothie along with cilantro.

Furthermore, it is one of the highest antioxidant plants, delivering an impressive amount of vitamin K, C and A. Several tablespoons of parsley can deliver over 500% of daily value of vitamin K, over 60% of vitamin C and close to 50% of vitamin A. It also delivers folate, iron and many other minerals and micro nutrients. Parsley has been widely used in traditional medicine for help with :

  • GI issues

  • Diabetes

  • Hypertension

  • Cardiac disease

  • Ear infections and many others.

"Parsley is useful as a digestive aid with its high fiber content. This helps move foods through the digestive tract and controls blood-cholesterol levels, but has a diuretic effect as well. A tea made from parsley is a traditional remedy for colic, indigestion, and intestinal gas. As an herb sprinkled in food, it actually helps purify the blood and fight cancer. Eating parsley is now thought to be a way to detoxify the system of harmful compounds like mercury, sometimes found in dental fillings."

In addition to parsley, the other ingredients in this smoothie all have similar health benefits, with cilantro having an equally impressive array of nutrients and benefits. Just like parsley, cilantro is an antioxidant herb, high in vitamins and minerals

Benefits of cilantro:

  • it acts as a natural detoxifier

  • supports digestion

  • promotes healthy sleep

  • reduces anxiety

  • has been shown to fight Alzhemier's

Ginger and Turmeric also have wonderful health benefits. Ginger has been shown to help with upset stomach and nausea while turmeric is great for bloating and gas. Together they are really powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory and in some studies have shown to have cancer fighting properties.

cilantro, cucumber, parsley, ginger, lemon and celery smoothie

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super green parsley and cilantro smoothie

  • prep time: 5 mins

  • makes: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 handful of organic parsley

  • 1 handful of organic cilantro

  • 1/3 of organic English cucumber or 1 regular size cucumber

  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger minced (I use a lemon zester to make it fine)

  • 1/4 tsp fresh turmeric (or 1/4 tsp dry)

  • 2 organic celery stalks

  • juice from 1/2 lemon

  • 2 cups water

  • optional: if you want some sweetness, add one chopped pear skin on


Equipment:

  • blender


Directions:

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender and enjoy right away.


You can drink your way to glowing skin and a healthy digestive system with this super green cilantro, parsley, ginger, cucumber, lemon and celery smoothie. It will make you feel good from the inside out. #vegansmoothie #vegan, #whole30smoothie #paleosmoothie #healthyskin #glowingskin #greensmoothie #nosugar #lowcarb #lowsugar #greendrinks #calmeats #smoothie #parsley #cilantro #cucumber #lemon #ginger #celery

water kefir

Recently I've discovered a wonderful beverage, called water kefir. I've been a kombucha drinker for years, but wanted to dabble with making my own water kefir as an alternative. The name and process may sound intimidating, but I assure you it's easy and fun to make. You can get creative with the flavor and it's actually quite inexpensive. The result is a fruity, bubbly probiotic drink, that's perfect for the warm summer months (or anytime). It's also a great option for those who cannot tolerate caffeine that's often found in kombucha. Additionally, it's a great substitute if you're dairy free and cannot consume milk kefir. 

Kefir grains or tibicos are not actually grains at all but clusters of yeast and bacteria. These when combined with sugar water that's at a 65-90 degree temperature, cause fermentation, producing a bubbly soda like drink. The main difference between kefir and kombucha, is that you won't have the vinegar like taste, which some people have a hard time warming up to. 

It's no surprise that water kefir is beneficial for the gut since it's made up of bacteria. It's a fantastic way to get probiotics that don't come in pill form. It's also great for a number of reasons: 

  • it's a healthy, low sugar option to soda
  • it provides healthy gut bacteria 
  • fantastic for digestion
  • immune support
  • may help to prevent allergies 

If you want to get started with making your own kefir water, you will first need the kefir grains, which can be purchased here

Once you have the kefir grains, the culturing your grains part is fairly simple but it does take time. 

What you need for starting your grains: 

  • one quart jar
  • measuring cups
  • 3-4 cups spring or filtered water
  • coffee filter or kitchen towel
  • rubber band
  • thermometer (I didn't use one)
  • one packet dehydrated kefir grains
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar or sugar in the raw
  • small pot
  • mesh strainer (plastic is best, stainless steel is fine too but no aluminum as it reacts with the grains)

Directions

Mix 1/4 cup sugar with 1/2 cup boiling water and pour into jar. Swirl around to ensure that all the sugar has dissolved. Next add 3 - 3 1/2 cups of room temperature filtered water. At this point, if you want to be exact, you can measure the temperature to ensure it is between 68-85 degrees. Then, add the kefir grains. Cover with coffee filter and secure with rubber band. Store at a temperature of 68-85 degrees for 3-4 days. 

Once your grains have cultured, strain the grains and set aside in a bowl. They should look plump and squishy. Now you're ready to start flavoring your water. 

Fruity water kefir

Ingredients

  • 2-3 sliced strawberries
  • seeds from 1/2 passion fruit
  • a few slices of mango
  • 2-3 raspberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar or sugar in the raw
  • 3-4 cups spring or filtered water

Directions

Mix 1/4 cup sugar with 1/2 cup boiling water and pour into a clean jar. Swirl around to ensure that all the sugar has dissolved. Add 3 - 3 1/2 cups of room temperature filtered water and add the cultured kefir grains. Again, prior to adding grains, you can check the temperature if you want to be exact. Lastly, add the fruit, cover with coffee filter and secure with rubber band as shown below. 

Let this sit for 24-48 hour. Next, pick out the fruit and strain the fruity water into a storage bottle and store it in the refrigerator. Strain the grains and set aside. Repeat the above process for the next batch of fruity water. You can get creative with the fruit. I've used bananas, and other sweet fruit as the grains love feasting on the sweet stuff but you'll be left with a low sugar, beneficial drink as the bacteria and yeast consume most of the sugar. 

The beauty of these grains is that you can use them over and over and make batch after batch. Enjoy!