With the holidays just around the corner, your plates sure to be stuffed with all the sugar and savor of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years meals. It is important to enjoy the delicious home cooked meals and abundance of baked goods during the holiday season, yet even more critical and even challenging to maintain your health this time of year. Adding antioxidant and nutrient-rich smoothies to your diet are a simple and effective way to look and feel your best, inside and out during the holidays. Whether blending one up for a nutrition-filled breakfast or a midday treat, this smoothie recipe is one of my favorite ways to stay healthy. Not only is it a creamy and delicious smoothie option, but it’s a sure fire way for me to make sure I get my daily dose of fruits, greens, and other vital nutrients for the day.
2 Cups Almond Milk:
Almond milk is a great alternative to regular milk. It is lower in fat, dairy free, and contains is an excellent source of magnesium, Vitamin E, and unsaturated fats. Almond milk is also a healthier swap for an alternate juice option because it promotes a creamier, more satisfying flavor and with much less sugar.
1 Cup Mixed Berries:
The base for this simple smoothie is a medley of mixed berries that includes blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries. Adding all of these different berries helps ensure a balanced flavor and a wider array of nutrients and plenty of antioxidants. Berries are also high in fiber and considered to be among the healthiest foods on earth.
1 Cup Blueberries:
These adorable little superfoods are the heart and soul of this smoothie. Although there are some in the mixed berry mix, I add extra to get more of the blueberry flavor, and because blueberries are the highest in antioxidant. Not only are blueberries low in calories, but they are extremely high in nutrients and antioxidants. Blueberries are an excellent way to reduce belly fat and to reverse the adverse effects of aging, as well as aid in cancer prevention.
2 Cups Spinach:
Let’s be honest here, getting our daily dose of leafy greens is not always the easiest diet rule to follow. My way of making sure I get enough of this super healthy green is by tossing a few cups in my smoothie. Blending your greens is proven to be a healthy alternative to simply eating them, because the blending process breaks down the walls of the leaf better than our pearly whites can, releasing all of the vitamins and nutrients such as Vitamin A, C, K1, B9 and more. Consuming spinach may also benefit eye health, reduce oxidative stress, help prevent cancer and reduce blood pressure levels. The best part? You can’t even taste it when it’s blended up with all the other goodies!
I rarely make a smoothie without adding a banana or two because it improves the consistency of the smoothie, making it more creamy and smooth. Banana’s are a simple way to make the smoothie naturally sweet and not overwhelm the flavor of the berries. Bananas are high in potassium, fiber, Vitamin B6, Vitamin c, and have benefits for digestion, heart health, and weight loss.
1 Cup Almond Butter:
Almonds can contribute to reducing belly fat, promoting weight loss, and strengthen the immune system. Adding 1 cup of raw almond butter is an excellent way to sneak in a lot of almonds, and also changes the taste to make your smoothie more savory.
1 Tsp. Bee Pollen:
Did you know, bee pollen is considered one of nature’s most completely nourishing foods? It contains nearly all nutrients required by humans. I consume anywhere between a teaspoon to a tablespoon of bee pollen a day because of it’s extreme health benefits. Blending be pollen into the mix, or drizzling it on top is an excellent way to incorporate it into your diet, and it doesn’t affect the overall flavor profile of the smoothie. (Be aware: bee pollen can be allergic to some people, so it’s best to start with only a granule or 2 to ensure your body does not have a negative reaction).
2 Tsps. Ground Cinnamon:
Apart from being one of the most delicious spices on the planet, did you know that Cinnamon is also one of the healthiest? Cinnamon has great anti-inflammatory properties, is loaded with antioxidants, and even can help prevent heart disease by improving blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Bonus: Cinnamon helps increase sensitivity to the hormone insulin, so it’s a good idea to add Cinnamon to sugary meal items to lower your blood sugar levels and improve your metabolism.
1 Tsp. Nutmeg:
Adding Nutmeg to this smoothie is a simple way to add a rich sweetness without any extra sugar. Nutmeg also has an extensive list of associated health benefits such as the ability to relieve pain, soothe indigestion, strengthen cognitive function, detoxify the body, boost skin health, increase immune system function and even reduce insomnia.
1/2 Tbsp. Chia Seeds:
Chia Seeds are something I like to sneak into my smoothies, yogurts, and even salads whenever possible. Don’t let their tiny size fool you; these little seeds are a potent source of Omega-3’s, protein, calcium, phosphorus, and manganese. They don’t change the flavor but may add a little bite to the consistency of the smoothie.
1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract:
Adding vanilla extract to the mix helps bring out all the different flavors, making the flavor more sultry and flavorful. Vanilla’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits are also a bonus.
Simply combine all the ingredients in a blender, starting with the almond milk, and blend on medium until smooth and creamy.
Add in the berries and frozen ingredients first to blend well, and the bee pollen and chia seeds last so as not to over blend.
Feel free to play with the amount of liquids and spices a bit to get the consistency you desire, and the flavor profile you love.
Voilà! You now have yourself one delicious, healthy and quite simple antioxidant smoothie. Happy blending and Happy Holidays!