Cookbook author Mindy Toomay's blog about eating for health, cooking with spirit, and celebrating life in northern California. Here she dishes up food rants and raves, recipes, and plenty of kitchen wisdom.

By your own efforts, waken yourself, watch yourself, and live joyfully.
-- The Dhammapada

Why not make a daily pleasure out of a daily necessity?
-- Peter Mayle


A smoothie boost

It might seem counter-intuitive to have a cold and creamy beverage on a cold winter day, but in fact it makes some sense. A smoothie, as it happens, is a great medium for lots of "boosters," ingredients that have special nutritive powers.

Pictured here is a four-fruit smoothie. The base is equal parts grapefruit juice (freshly squeezed is best) and plain yogurt. This went in the blender, to which I added a cut-up apple (unpeeled if organically grown; the skin carries fiber and vitamins), a banana (peeled, of course), and a cup of frozen raspberries.

Now come the boosters. I sprinkled in a teaspoon of vitamin C crystals (powdered ascorbic acid) and a couple of tablespoons of ground flax seed (for its fiber and omega-3s). Then I added 2 ounces of aloe vera juice (soothing for the digestive tract) and squirted in some echinacea tincture (legendary immune booster). The latter tastes very bitter on its own, but is perfectly palatable in the smoothie context.

Those are apple wedges on the rim of the glass, BTW, but lemon or orange also make nice garnishes, and/or a sprig of fresh mint.

Drink nice and cold, if that appeals, or pour it into tall glasses and let it sit around for a while. Let it come to room temperature and it won't chill you to the bones. Mother Nature will take care of that!

There you have it, a very simple and immune-boosting breakfast or lunch.

Blessings and bon appetit!


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