Pink Zinger Morning Smoothie
Mornings are hard for some people (I am one of those people!) and sometimes you just need to kickstart your day and your digestion. This smoothie packs in a whopping 4 servings of fruits and veggies right off the bat... plus it's pretty and good for your gut. So what's in here and why?
Raspberries. Berries are an excellent source of polyphenols, including anthocyanins, which are what give raspberries their beautiful red colour and are thought to have protective effects against various cancers. Raspberries are also high in fibre, with almost 5g of fibre per serving (125mL or 1/2 cup). Fibre is great for heart health and digestive health, so already this smoothie is off to a great start!
Beets. I love beets! They are excellent raw, roasted, steamed, pickled and fermented, but for this smoothie, I use plain raw red beets. There are a lot of types of beets, from Chiogga (candy-cane) to golden to red beets, but for this recipe, I prefer to use red beets, both for the flavour and for the look. Beets are a good source of betaine, which is good for liver, heart and kidney health - this is the reason a lot of 'cleanses' and 'detoxes' promote the use of beets. Either way, they are a nice addition to this smoothie and a great way to sneak in some veggies.
Green apple. I love how tart green apples are; they are my favourite kind of apple and I find they add a nice level of tartness to this smoothie. If you have more of a sweet tooth, you can always sub in a sweeter apple, such as Pink Lady or Royal Gala.
Lemon juice. As with all other other ingredients, the lemon juice adds some vitamin C to the smoothie and adds another sour element. Skip it if you don't love sour smoothies.
Ginger. Ah ginger. We eat a lot of fresh ginger in our house and I recommend buying organic ginger because the flavour is very different than conventionally grown ginger. Ginger is associated its anti-nausea properties, as well as its anti-inflammatory properties and is touted to be an immune booster as well. While the evidence is limited at best regarding the health claims, ginger is delicious and really adds a lot to this smoothie.
Hemp hearts. These are added for protein and healthy fats. 2 tablespoons add 7g of protein to the smoothie, as well as omega-3s and manganese, which is important for our skin and connective tissue. I like to add hemp hearts to almost all of my smoothies because I find they also add a nice creaminess as well.
Dates. Mmmmm dates - these are purely added for bit of sweetness. Add a couple more if you have a sweet tooth. Everyone always uses Medjool dates, which are delicious, but I prefer bam dates. Bam dates are from Iran and are often found in the fridge section. They are really soft and blend well into any smoothie. They also taste great rolled in coconut as a snack.
Kefir. I use a plain dairy-based kefir, but this could easily be subbed with your favourite probiotic yogurt, coconut kefir or simply milk or a milk alternative. I use kefir because I like the added gut health bonus as well as the 7g of protein and added calcium and vitamin D. If you choose to use a milk alternative, watch out for added sugars and double check to see whether or not it has been fortified with calcium and vitamin D. There are plenty of good milk alternatives out there, but if you want one with a good amount of protein, look for pea protein or soy; they are your best bet.
Ingredients - serves 1
- 1 cup raspberries (I used some that I froze from the farmer's market this summer)
- 1 medium size beet, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 a green apple
- 2 tbsp hemp hearts
- 1-2 inches of ginger (depending on how much you love ginger)
- 2 dates
- 1 cup of kefir / milk / milk alternative / probiotic yogurt
- water, if needed to reach desired consistency.
- Blend all the ingredients together in a high-speed blender, thin with water if necessary
- Enjoy a fabulous day!