With so many great green smoothie recipes available in recipe books and online, this is the kind of thing I would usually save for a Food Theme Party or one-on-one coaching. In that environment, I can work individually with clients to focus on their particular needs and tastes. Green drinks are a popular and effective way to consume nutrients, and it is so easy to tweak the flavors. Every individual in my family has their own personal blend.
Because there have been many requests for this post from people who are difficult to refuse, here are my preferred basics for an anti-inflammatory power green drink.
This version is tailored for my son. However, these ingredients are phenomenal for pretty much everyone. At the core of much disease is inflammation. This smoothie is packed with powerful anti-inflamatory agents AND it is tasty enough to get my son to consume every single day.
What goes into Levi’s Green Smoothies
The goal is to pack this smoothie with vitamins and add highly anti-inflamatory properties. Turmeric root, ginger root, black pepper, and dark leafy greens provide a powerful nutrient bomb. A couple of additional ingredients are used to add nutrients and just make it yummy.
Synergy: the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects
In food, that means making every nutrient work harder for you, using preparation methods and combinations to get even more than the sum of its nutrients working in your body.
Dark leafy greens
Alternating greens prevents boredom and adds nutritional variety. We use organic spinach, kale, collards, chard, and sometimes we even replace the leafy greens with green veggies in season, such as broccoli rabe… use what you have, what looks good, or what your body needs.
Depending on the greens you use, you will get varying amounts of essential nutrients, including fiber, calcium, iron, vitamins A and C and folate.
Orange or another vitamin C-containing fruit or veggie for Synergy
Some greens already contain vitamin C. Why do we care? If you are using something like spinach for your green, adding vitamin C will help your body to absorb MORE iron from the greens.
A few Vitamin C foods: peppers, papaya, kiwi, mango, strawberry, citrus fruits, and even brussel sprouts and broccoli
To make this smoothie highly anti-inflamatory, turmeric is a key ingredient. Raw organic turmeric root is optimal. It is a whole food. It is also a beautiful bright orange food that will stain everything, so be careful when working with it.
Turmeric powder is also wonderful, but when using turmeric in dried powder form you may wish to add a fat, like coconut oil. The curcumin in turmeric is its anti-inflamatory power component. Curcumin is absorbed much better by the body when fat is added. Whole turmeric root already contains some natural good fat, so no need to add more.
Note: about 1-inch piece of fresh turmeric equals 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder. Or more precisely, 1 tablespoon of fresh root equals 1 teaspoon of dried ground turmeric. It converts at about a 3:1 ratio.
…which means that it is powerful for fighting and preventing disease, including arthritis, Alzheimer’s, cancer, liver disease, digestive disorders, even depression.
You can order whole raw organic turmeric online and store it in your freezer. To me, whole turmeric is so much more pleasant and less bitter than dried.
Black pepper for Synergy
Black pepper exponentially increases bioavailability of anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric, so a dash of pepper goes in. Men’s health magazine says its bioavailability is multiplied by 1000%! Some sources say 2000%!
A general recommendation is about 3% black pepper to turmeric.
The anti-inflamatory, anti-fungal, cancer-fighting, pain and nausea reducing, digestion-supporting, immunity-boosting, healing properties of ginger have become very well-known. It does, however, have a spicy bite, so go easy on it until you know how much your body needs and can tolerate.
Coconut oil or another plant fat
Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble. Many smoothie makers will blend in a spoonful of a good quality coconut oil. If you are using a good chunk of turmeric, you are getting a little good fat already.
Banana, berries, and other add-ins
Of course, banana brings its own nutrients to the table, but honestly, we put it in our smoothies for better flavor and texture. It kind of smooths out the smoothie, and if you use enough frozen banana, it begins to feel more like a frozen treat than a healthy drink… not a bad thing.
Strawberries are a favorite add-in for my son. If we have fresh berries around, he will throw them in for flavor. Which makes me so happy… all those beautiful antioxidants.
We will throw in virtually ANY fruit or veggies we need to use up, or just feel like adding for flavor.
My son will drink the smoothie.
Often, he will request the smoothie.
He will even clean the blender.
But for some reason, he will not make the smoothie.
So I prep them. This could not be easier! Enter beloved mason jars.
Prep as many jars as you need by filling them with ingredients. Start with greens, nestle in turmeric, add everything else, except for your liquid, put a lid on it and refrigerate. It is that easy!!
When somebody wants a smoothie, they need only to put about 3/4 cup juice or plant milk into the blender, add the contents of one smoothie jar, blend, and enjoy!
Your jar, with the blended smoothie, may only be about 3/4 full. I added more apple juice to fill it up for its photoshoot. Adding more juice is, of course, completely optional. You can use just as much or as little juice as you need to create a nice consistency for drinking. Pictured below is my actual result, using 3/4 cup organic apple juice, which is fine with me! I could probably drink two. 🙂
If you have a powerful blender, it gets a bit frothy.
Levi’s Anti-Inflammatory Synergistic Green Power Smoothie
Measurements need not be precise. Experiment with ingredients and ratios to find a balance that works well for you.
Ingredients (for each smoothie jar)
- fresh greens, about 1 to 1 1/2 cups, loosely packed
- raw whole organic turmeric root, about a 1 inch chunk (no need to peel)
- black pepper, 2-4 dashes
- fresh ginger root, one small slice (no need to peel)
- A few slices of orange, or a chunk of any vitamin C fruit
- 1/2 banana
- optional: 1 teaspoon good quality coconut oil, if you feel your blend needs it
- optional: berries, veggies, seeds, nuts, whatever you would like to add to fill up the jar
When ready to make your smoothie:
- about 3/4 cup liquid, such as organic apple juice, or a plant-based milk, whatever you like
Method (using 2-cup mason jars)
- Fill a mason jar loosely with greens; it should be about 3/4 full
- Add turmeric, nestled into the greens. This keeps your jar or container from turning yellow.
- Add all other ingredients, except for your liquid.
- Put a lid on it and store it in the fridge.
When you are ready for a smoothie.
- Add your liquid to a blender.
- Add all contents of your smoothie jar.
- Blend until smooth.
- Pour smoothie back into your jar and enjoy immediately.
- Refreshing sigh. 🙂 You have done a great thing for your body and mind.
- The refrigerator life will only be as long as your most perishable ingredient. Making only 2 or 3 days worth at a time to keep everything very fresh is advised.
- This freezes very well! If you wish to make more and are happy with a cold smoothie, freeze your smoothies portions. They will last for months.
- Wide mouth mason jars are perfect for this because it is easy to add contents and pour them out, without having them get stuck at the top. But, of course, use whatever you already have or like best!
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Information on foodhighs.com should not be taken as medical advice. Please make your medical decisions with your healthcare professional of choice.