Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Big Pink Smoothie

I love eating pretty things, don't you? I naturally gravitate towards colorful packaging or decor (just how you were drawn to the colorful words on this page, am I right? :).

I think we are all also wired to want to eat colorfully- that's how we were made! Maybe that's why Big Candy Companies package their sugary anit-nutritive foods in a kaleidoscope of color. I'm still a sucker for looking at the shelves while waiting at the checkout line even though I haven't purchased a candy bar in probably over a year now...but they still make me look :)

I would like to submit an alternative to colorful, sugary non-goodness stuff with this Big Pink Smoothie. This pretty smoothie has many powerful antioxidants, fiber, essential minerals, vitamins galore, protein, and essential fatty acids. I bet you would never hear those claims from Skittles©!

You may notice a rather strange smoothie ingredient in this recipe: a beet. Don't worry, your smoothie won't taste like a vegetable (but I bet my colorful spelling out of it made you at least think it might taste yummy, right? OK, I digress with the color :). If you are nervous about trying a vegetable with your smoothie in the morning start out small. You don't have to add the whole amount listed the first time you make it- just give a little a try. Beets have many amazing health benefits, and are actually a sweet veg. (There is even a type of beet that is used to make some commercially manufactured sugar.) Beets are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains, which have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. These earthy guys are also high in dietary fiber and even show promise in lab tests of having anti-cancer benefits for certain cancers.

If you are making this for one, you will need a BIG glass, my big glasses were all in the dishwasher this morning, so I went back for seconds with my 16 oz. glass.

Big Pink Smoothie

Makes 1 big smoothie, or 2 "normal" sized smoothies :)
  • 1 small beet, peeled and cut in to large chunks for better processing
  • 2 cups of berries (I like to use blackberries and cherries when I can, but any kinds works)
  • 1/4 cup cashews, macadamia nuts, or almonds
  • 1 Tbsp of hemp seeds (ground in a coffee grinder if not using a high powered blender)
  • 1 cup of non-dairy milk (or less if you want a thicker smoothie)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla paste*
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted (optional for a creamier, richer tasting smoothie)
  • Optional: 1/4-1/2 banana to sweeten
*Note- if you are watching for hidden sugar, read the ingredients of your vanilla. Many artificial vanillas have sugar added, and/ or sugar alcohols.

  • Puree all together in a high powered blender, taste for sweetness and add banana if desired, and serve
  • Tip: if you only have a normal blender, try steaming the beets the night before for 15-20 minutes and then refrigerating them for the following day. This way they will puree easier in a lowered powered blender or food processor.
To all of you who are giving up sugar, beginning today, because of The Sugar Free Challenge, I encourage you to play around with smoothies this morning! And remember to eat colorfully to abate those nasty sugar cravings ;)

Happy Colorful Eating,

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