15 Sep 2014

3 Go-To Herbal Smoothies

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Smoothies are all the rage, and for good reason — they’re easy and delicious! Made with fresh, high quality ingredients, they’re loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, qualifying them for food-as-medicine status. But beware: in the realm of smoothies, there are those that are just wolves in sheep’s clothing! Many smoothies are so loaded with sugar and dairy that nutritionally they’re not that different from a strawberry milkshake, so it’s nice to make them at home and know exactly what’s going into the blender.

3 Go-To Herbal Smoothies by Herbal Academy of New England

Deconstructing Herbal Smoothies

You can certainly pack a lot of supplements and super foods in one smoothie, but for the sake of the digestive system I like to keep them fairly simple, and approach smoothie construction as a combination the following parts:

Fruits – Berries, mangos, peaches, strawberries, bananas, grapes, apples – the options are limitless, and provide a powerful punch of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Freeze fresh local fruit or buy frozen fruit to keep the smoothie cold.

Vegetables – Kale, spinach, beets and carrots are smoothie superstars! They’re nutrition powerhouses and add really nice flavor.

Nourishing herbal infusions – Herbal infusions are made from nourishing herbs such as nettle, oatstraw, red clover, chickweed, and violet leaf and are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, micronutrients and/or protein. Infusions are made from 1 ounce of herb steeped in 1 quart boiling water for at least 4 hours, so can have a strong taste; the flavors of nettle and oat straw seem to meld into a smoothie nicely. Herbal tonics made with hawthorn and elderberry or other vitamin-rich herbs such as rose hips and hibiscus are also nice additions.

Digestive HerbsGinger, peppermint, lemon balm, anise, cinnamon, and cardamom stimulate and support healthy digestion and soothe digestive imbalances such as indigestion, gas, or cramping. Oh, and they taste good!

Non-dairy milk or yogurt – Non-dairy milk or yogurt add protein and a creamy texture to smoothies, and yogurt has the added benefit of probiotics. The recipes call for rice milk, which has a light, neutral taste, but you can choose whichever milk you prefer — rice, almond, coconut, hemp, soy… You can also substitute yogurt for some of the milk.

Coconut oil – Coconut oil is delicious, and since it is solid at room temperature, it adds a creamy element to a smoothie. It’s known to increase HDL (good) cholesterol and thus improve the overall cholesterol ratio, and also has antioxidant effect on the body.

Sweetener – Dates add sweetness, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Honey, maple syrup, or stevia are also nice.

3 Delicious Go-To Herbal Smoothies - Herbal Academy of New England

Green Nettle Mint Smoothie


Ingredients
2 leaves fresh kale
1 C frozen mango
3/4 C nettle infusion (cold or room temperature)
3/4 C rice milk
1 tbsp coconut oil
5 mint leaves
4 pitted dates

Directions
  • Blend all ingredients thoroughly in a blender until smooth.
  • Garnish with a mint leaf.

 

Beet Berry Hemp Smoothie


Ingredients
1 small raw beet, peeled
1 small carrot
1 C frozen mixed berries
1/2 C elderberry infusion (or 2 tsp dried elderberries plus 1/2 C water)
1 C rice milk
2 tbsp hemp seeds
1 tbsp coconut oil
1-2 tsp fresh ginger root
4 pitted dates

Directions
  • Peel and quarter the beet.
  • Blend all ingredients thoroughly in a blender until smooth.

Peach Maca Smoothie


Ingredients
1 C frozen peaches
1 medium carrot
1/2 C oatstraw infusion (cold or room temperature) or water
1 C rice milk
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp maca powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
4 pitted dates

Directions
  • Blend all ingredients thoroughly in a blender until smooth.

These recipes give you some ideas but are just the tip of the iceberg! Choose your favorite fruit, vegetable, nourishing herb and digestive herb and tailor a smoothie to your tastes. How about a chai smoothie with bananas, chaga decoction, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg? Or a Creamsicle Vitamin C smoothie with orange juice, vanilla yogurt, rose hip tea and lemon balm? I think I feel another smoothie blog post coming on!

3 Go To Herbal Smoothies by HANE