Monday, January 27, 2014

Goji Berries and Double Rainbows

Smoothie magic is all about adding some powerful super foods to your morning smoothie.  What is a super food?

A super food is defined as a nutrient-rich food that is considered to be especially beneficial for health ans well-being.

One of my favorite magic ingredients is Goji Berries.  Goji berries are the most nutritionally dense foods on the planet.  It is the only fruit that is a complete protein and has one of the highest anti-oxident ratings.  They contain 21 trace minerals and are exceptionally high in selenium and germanium which are powerful cancer fighting antioxidants.

Goji berries contain more beta-carotene than carrots.  Your body converts beta-carotene into Vitamin A for healthy skin, eyes and a strong immune system.  They also contain natural anti-inflammatory compounds that lower cholesterol.

Goji berries are native to the Himalayan Mountains and have been used in Tibet and Mongolia for thousands of years both as a culinary ingredients and for their medicinal properties.

I think it's time we get some of that Goji goodness into us!

Double Rainbow Smoothie

2 cups water
1-2 Romaine leaves
1 handful spinach
6 strawberries
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 carrot
1/2 banana
1 cup pineapple
1/2 cup blueberries
1/4-1/2 of a beet
2 Tbsp. goji berries, optional
8-10 ice cubes

Place all ingredients in a blender in the order listed and blend until smooth.
Share your smoothie magic with a friend!

What is your favorite way to eat a goji?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Smoothie Magic

 So what is the big deal about smoothies, especially green ones?

Just the other day I was shopping and came across two ladies who were definitely on a healthy eating mission.  In fact they must have been doing this together. They had one cart that was strategically divided down the middle with identical products on either side.  I noticed this as they were gathering fresh produce from the organic section, way to go ladies!  One of them had a book in one hand and a shopping list in the other she was calling out items while her friend was loading up the cart with yummy green produce.  Judging by items they were gathering I could only assume they were on a green drink mission!

They were getting a great start to their new year and they were doing it together!  It is always more fun to try something new when you can enroll a friend in the process with you.

So just what is the big deal with smoothies, green drinks and juicing?  Well, the big deal is that you can get an enormous amount of nutrients with a wide variety of foods in an easy to deliver, fast to create and delicious to eat meal.  Packed with enzymes, vitamins, minerals, protein and antioxidants.  Smoothies hydrate you, satisfy hunger and sugar cravings and boost your energy and mood.  And that's just the beginning of why smoothies are such a big deal.

Join me this month for my Smoothie Magic Class and learn more about the amazing benefits of increasing your fruit and veggie consumption.  I will introduce you to some awesome super foods and you will learn why they are so super!  Come learn how to milk an almond and find out what else you can milk and why you would want too.  This is a fun class with lots to learn and lots to taste...yummy!

Use the paypal button on the right located under the Nourishing Families Foundation Classes, and select the Smoothie Magic Class.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Make Every Ingredient Count

I recently finished my certification in an intensive Culinary Nutrition Expert course and the underlying theme that ran throughout the entire 15 week course was Make Every Ingredient Count.  I have always tried to choose ingredients that are health building but when you really stop to think about it, you can actually cater your health results by the ingredients that you choose.

Hummus is delicious for dipping veggies, spreading on crackers and using in place of mayo on a sandwich. Try this hummus recipe that has been Powered Up with some exceptional health building ingredients.

Pumpkin Seeds: Excellent source of the bone building minerals phosphorus, magnesium and manganese. Pumpkin seeds have properties in their oils that have antimicrobial benefits.

Sunflower Seeds: Excellent source of Vitamin E.  Vitamin E is an antioxidant that travels throughout the body to neutralize free radicals and specifically protects the cell membranes. Vitamin E also has a significant anti-inflammatory properties.

Zucchini: Adds an excellent source of dietary fiber which helps regulate blood sugar. Zucchini also provide vitamin A and C both of which have anti-inflammatory properties and boost immune function.

Avocado:  Excellent source of essential omega-3 fatty acids that aids in cardiovascular function.  Avocados help increase your absorption of fat soluble vitamins and antioxidants by as much as 400%! Avocados are loaded with anti-inflammatory components.

Ginger: Contains wonderful anti-inflammatory properties especially for the joints and the colon.  Helps maintain normal blood circulation and improves the body's ability to absorb essential nutrients.

Powered Up Hummus

2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup water*
1 1/2 cups cooked garbanzo beans (or 1 can rinsed and drained)
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 Tbsp. tahini
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1/2 avocado
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. ginger root, grated
*3 Tbsp. garlic water

In a small sauce pan bring the 1/2 cup water to a boil, add in the garlic and boil uncovered for 3 minutes.  Take garlic out of water and set aside to cool. Reserve water.

In a food processor or blender combine all ingredients and process until smooth.  Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with  veggies or crackers.