Jonesing for Juice? Got a hankering for a smoothie?
Don’t make the common mistake of thinking that because your sugar is coming from fruit that it’s okay to eat a lot of it. “The liver doesn’t know whether sugar came from fruit or not,” said Kimber Stanhope, a researcher at the University of California, Davis, who studies the effects of sugar on health1.
In part I of my series on fruit juice I explain why you need to be careful about fruit juice, even when it comes from fresh fruit.
But while relying on a daily morning all-fruit smoothie is far from a healthy way to start the day, it doesn’t mean we have to nix all blended juices or purees.
If we make our own versions at home, we can control exactly what we put in them creating signature recipes that are high in nutrient density and fiber, low in sugar and off the charts delicious on the flavor scale! And by adding in a nice variety of spices, we boost the quality and taste even more, while supporting our immune system to boot.
It’s a win on all fronts!
Below are two summer friendly recipes that are easy to make, easy to digest and far healthier and more delicious than what you might find at the local juice bar.
By blending whole, organic veggies rather than just extracting the juice and discarding all the fiber, we boost the nutrient density even more, creating a more satiating meal on the go.
Summer Greens Smoothie
Mix and match to make it yours, or follow along as suggested below to test out my own personal fave. The more varied you make it each time, the less likely you are to end up in a veggie rut. So the sky’s the limit and any fresh. organic leafy green is fair game!
- 1 cup fresh swiss chard
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 peeled cucumber
- 1 avocado
- 1/2 small lemon, juiced
- 1/4” fresh ginger root
- 1 teaspoon maca powder
- Filtered water
- Combine all ingredients but water in high power blender, such as a Vitamix
- Add water to taste if you prefer a less thick smoothie
- Add ice if you prefer a frothier smoothie
- Top with freshly ground nutmeg, to taste
Summer Grilled Peach Puree
We think of grilling meats, fish and veggies, but why not throw some seasonal fruit on the grill, too? Just as roasting red peppers can enhance their flavor, grilling a freshly picked peach can do the same. Throw some on the grill before you start your meat and veggies, then let them cool. Then follow the recipe below for a great dessert or a surprising marinade for chicken or sauce for fish.
- 4 grilled peaches, cooled
- Juice from 1 small Meyer Lemon
- Natural, dried coconut flakes, to taste
- Fresh mint leaves
- Peel peaches and discard skin
- Place in high power blender or food processor
- Add lemon juice
- Whiz to combine
- Pour the blend into a ramekin(s)
- Place in freezer for 10 – 15 minutes
- Top with coconut flakes and garnish with mint leaf
Alternatively, after step four, pour into a glass or ceramic bowl and use as a fish or chicken marinade.