Sunday, April 12, 2009

My New Favorite Drink

I have been incorporating new, healthier foods into my diet lately.  Well, not really 'new' foods, but new to my diet foods, such as kale, chard, fruits, really green salads, etc.  I bought jicama at the store on friday with the hopes that I will put it in my salads this week - should be crunchy and interesting.  Every morning, as I have posted here, I start my day with a green drink using kale, chard, pineapple, tomato and agave nectar (sweetener).  I do however, sneak in a sweeter smoothie when I can.  I came up with my new favorite smoothie just a couple of weeks ago, and have now successfully kept all the ingredients in the house at all times, so I can make it any time I want.  It's really a Pina Colada, but I just call it heaven...

Mindful Mama's Smooth Smoothie

1 Cup coconut milk
1 Cup pineapple, cubed
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1 T agave nectar
1t vanilla
1 large glass full of ice cubes

Put all in blender and blend until smooth.  Absolutely delicious!  

They say eating more raw foods is better on the budget.  I haven't found this to be the case just yet.  So far, I have spent much more than I typically budget for weekly groceries as I bulk up on nuts and organic fruits.  I am not so good at choosing foods that will make more than one meal possible, but I'm working on it.  I have been acquiring more raw 'cook' books, so I assume things will get easier as time moves on.
After drinking this smoothie at least 3 times a week, I have noticed my hair is silkier, my nails are much stronger and my skin is smooth and clear of any blemishes.  

The coconut milk in it is a terrific source of fats for your body - one that has received a very bad rap for too long.  The thing about fat is that we truly need it for survival.  Fats tell our bodies when we are satiated, give texture and flavor to foods, and provide us with necessary lubrication for our joints.  Fats make our skin glow and hair shine, and give us general health support.
Other great health benefits of coconut include:

1. goiter control (enlarged non-toxic thyroid) because of its organic iodine content.
2. Good body builder, so it is a food recommended for building up the body muscles of thin and emaciated individuals.
3. Constipation and for any build-up of gas in the stomach and intestinal tract.
4. Coconut milk has been found to help cases of sore throat as well as relieving stomach ulcers.
5. Coconut oil has been found to heal cuts, scratches, burns and sunburns.
6. The oil has also been recommended for facial massage and is reported to be good as a wrinkle remover.
7. Coconut oil is also good for the scalp and hair and makes hair dressing unnecessary.
Intake of at least 2 Tbsp. of Virgin coconut oil per day can lessen your Vitamin E requirement.
8. Coconut water is good for kidney and urinary bladder problems.

Pineapple is another thing altogether.  Apart from being amazingly sweet, one of the benefits of pineapple is that it helps to build healthy bones. Pineapples are rich in manganese, a trace mineral that is needed for your body to build bone and connective tissues. Just one cup of pineapple provides 73% of the daily recommended amount of manganese. The benefits of pineapple can effect the growth of bones in young people and the strengthening of bones in older people.   While many people often take extra vitamin C or drink extra orange juice when they have a cold, few consider eating pineapple. The benefits of pineapple when you have a cold or cough are the same as the benefits of orange juice, but there is an additional benefit of pineapple. Bromelain, which is found in pineapples, has been found to help suppress coughs and loosen mucus.

Strawberries contain a range of nutrients, with vitamin C heading the group. They also contain significant levels of phytonutrients and antioxidants, which fight free radicals. These antioxidant properties are believed to be linked to what makes the strawberry bright red.  So what are these weird free radicals? Free radicals are elements that can damage cells, and they are thought to contribute to the formation of many kinds of cancer.  In addition to vitamin C, strawberries also provide an excellent source of vitamin K and manganese, as well as folic acid, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, copper, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids.
I really don't feel bad about splurging on my new favorite drink - turns out it's really GOOD for me!!  Try it - let me know what you think!


Angela said...

I love smoothies and this one looks great. I'm going to get the ingredients this week and try it.

My favorite smoothie if you want to try it is:
frozen banana pieces
almond milk
protein powder
flax/borage oil (at health food store)- you can make it without it.

this same smoothie is also good with frozen cherries or frozen mangoes. For some reason, the almond milk gives a really good consistency.

Thanks for the recipe!

Jill said...

Thanks for such a great recipe, Angela! Do you need to grind the flaxseed first? Or do you drink it with them whole?

Angela said...

The flaxseed comes from Trader Joes- the label is Bob's Red Mill- and it's already ground. I just pour some in without measuring- probably a tablespoon or two. It's really healthy.

Let me know if you like it. Some protein powder tastes better than others. I just bought the agave nectar yesterday, so I'm ready to try yours. that was the only ingredient we didn't already have.

Angela said...

Last night my husband said he was going to eat a bunch of fruit for dinner so I asked if he wanted a smoothie and I made yours for both of us. It was delicious! We sat out on the porch and enjoyed the tropical flavor. I'm going to make this one whenever I'm craving a trip to Hawaii.

Jill said...

Sounds terrific, Angela! Thanks for letting me know you tried it - I can't believe how yummy it is! I'm going to try your recipe this week - once I return home! Take Care-