Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Super Salad Smoothie Recipe


During my recent health crisis, I began looking into new ways of getting more fresh fruits and vegetables into my daily diet. One option that immediately came to mind was eating salad. This isn’t my favorite way of enjoying vegetables, but, admittedly, it is a healthy and practical way to eat more of them. After a few days of having salad after salad, I began to wonder: Could I get more nutrition from similar ingredients if I blended them up? A crazy idea, I know. However, in theory, the end result could be something like a combination of a salad and soup. In practice, it became known as my “Super Salad Smoothie”.
By now, I think most of you know about the long list of health benefits associated with green leafy vegetables. So, instead of recounting the virtues of these powerful foods, I want to focus on several of the other ingredients I’ve carefully selected for this recipe. But, before I move on, I want to share some pertinent information about the types of green leafy vegetables I’ve chosen to use. For the sake of simplicity, I use organic, triple washed salad blends which are commonly available at health food stores and markets. In my neighborhood, I found two candidates which I think are excellent choices and listed below. They contain a wide array of nutrient dense, popular and uncommon salad ingredients including: organic baby arugula, red chard, spinach, green swiss chard and tat soi.
  • Taylor Organic Power Greens (the least expensive option)
  • Organic Girl Super Greens (pricier, but equally nutritious)
Healthy Fellow’s Super Salad Smoothie
5-6 oz Organic Greens
1 Organic Garlic Clove *
1/2 Organic Lemon
1 Tbs Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil ** 1 Organic Button Mushroom
5 Organic Black Peppercorns
6-8 oz Purified Water
Nutritional Content: Calories: 185. Protein: 5 grams. Fat: 14 grams. Fiber: 7 grams. “Net” Carbohydrates: 8 grams. *** Vitamin A: 340%. Vitamin C: 160%. Vitamin K: 1,080%. Percentages are based on Percent Daily Values.
* Smashing garlic causes an enzymatic reaction which results in the formation of allicin, a phytochemical with potent antioxidant, anti-cancer and antimicrobial properties.
** 3-4 tablespoons of organic, extra virgin olive oil can be used if weight gain is desired.
*** “Net” Carbohydrates indicate the number of non-fiber carbohydrates.
Start by packing, yes, packing the greens into a high-powered blender cup. You want as many greens as possible! Personally, I use a NutriBullet with the large cup measure. Smash the garlic and allow to sit for 10 minutes or so prior to throwing it into the mix.** Add the half lemon with or without the peel. Even if you choose not to include the yellow skin, at least consider retaining the white pith underneath the skin and the seeds – sources of healthy bioflavonoids. Next, chop and drop the cleaned button mushroom. Then, put in the black peppercorns, olive oil and purified water. Finally, place the smashed garlic on top of everything else and blend until perfectly smooth. If the mixture is too thick, simply add more water.
If you’re wondering why you might want to add this recipe to your regular diet, keep the following in mind. Firstly, this smoothie is a good source of dietary fiber, healthy fats, numerous minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese and potassium) and an excellent reservoir for essential vitamins, including folic acid, Vitamins A, C and K. But, the real beauty of this formulation, according to the medical literature, is that it may very well confer nutritional protection against a variety of cancers. For starters, recent studies reveal that button mushrooms support mucosal immunity and have been linked to a lower risk of breast cancer. An interesting side note is that eating button mushrooms alongside garlic helps to minimize the likelihood of garlic breath. Speaking of raw garlic, its intake is associated with reduced incidence of colorectal, lung and stomach cancer. And, naturally occurring chemicals in the peel, pith and seeds of lemons likewise possess anticancer, antifungal and antiviral activity. Finally, the addition of black peppercorns and extra virgin olive oil enhance the absorption of both fat and water soluble nutrients (Vitamins A and K), and phytochemicals (chlorophyll, lutein, zeaxanthin) – which may benefit everything from bone to ocular health. Not bad for a simple, green drink, eh?
Note: If raw garlic isn’t right for you (or your co-workers, friends or mate), you can use a one inch piece of fresh, organic ginger root instead. Like raw garlic, fresh ginger may offer powerful protection against a variety of cancers: Update on the Chemoprotective Effects of Ginger

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