Raw Food Part 1: In Search of the Perfect Green Smoothie

Smoothie before blending: Top to bottom: fresh papaya, raspberries, spinach, ice, orange juice and raw honey....

The GREEN smoothie after!  It tasted great!
In a continuing quest to live a healthy, natural, and pain-free life; I made a decision to eat raw food for two meals per day.  In the research I have conducted (which I will attempt to cite in a later blog), raw food has enzymes, fiber, vitamins, and other benefits that cooked food does not possess.  An additional benefit is that it cuts back on inflammation.

To that end, I needed something EASY for breakfast...smoothies fit the bill.  Groupon had a BIG BOSS promotion so I purchased one and my daily smoothie adventure began!  One thing about drinking smoothies each day that I have noticed is that I feel much, MUCH better when I am drinking them, and not-so-good when I don't.  Let me give you a few guidelines when making smoothies (your ingredients, of course, should be organic when possible):

Use something thick:  Smoothies need body.  1/2 Banana or a few slices of papaya works well.  1 T Peanut butter is nice too.

Use a handful of something green: Spinach is my favorite, you cannot taste it, and it provides iron, fiber, and all kinds of other benefits.  In summer I also use swiss chard, which has a lot of vitamin A.  Kale works, and just about any other green.

Use something wet:  You will not be able to blend it otherwise.  Orange juice is fantastic, because the vitamin C helps the iron in your greens to work.  You can also use green tea, raw cow or goat milk, soy or almond or rice milk, or any other unsweetened juice--cherry is nice.

Use something frozen:  The best option here is frozen berries--blackberries or blueberries are excellent.  You can use strawberries too, it helps to have them chopped.  Super-important that berries are organic, because they are particularly prone to contamination.

Options are good:  Some options--wheatgrass, spirulina, raw local honey, raw apple cider vinegar, vitamin E or D oil, ground flaxseed, cocoa powder, etc.  Only use a small amount of certain additives so as to not alter the taste.  I know from experience that too much spirulina is NOT a good thing taste-wise! (shudder!)

So...here is my go-to morning smoothie recipe:

1/2 c orange juice
1/2 banana
1 c baby spinach
1 c frozen berries
1 T raw apple cider vinegar
1 T raw local honey
1 t wheatgrass
Blend 1 minute.  Drink!
I take it with a ginseng, vitamin D and C in winter, probiotic, and elderberry if I feel as if I am coming down with something.  Keeps me going until lunch!

Do you ever drink smoothies?  If so, what do you drink?  I would love to find out!