#100happydays - Berr-i-licious delight

Day 7 of my 100 happy days - and this berr-i-licious delight smoothie made me happy.

No veggies in this one, just crammed with berries. We should try and eat berries everyday as they are highly nutritious fruits, lower in sugar and packed full of anti-oxidants and phytonutrients and plenty of fiber too.

Here's the recipe: Serves 2
2 cups almond milk
4 tablespoon flax seed ( use ground flax seed if you don't have a powerful blender)
2 scoops of probiotic powder
1 tablespoon organic rose hip powder
3/4 cup organic raspberries
1/4 cup dried wild lingonberries.

Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.


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Quince and Matcha smoothie

The classes I have been teaching this week have been focusing on the immune system and sustained inflammation in the body.  One of the foods that is important in this area is Green Tea.   Green tea consumption can lead to an increase in the production of  Treg cells which stop inflammation, and act as an off switch to the killer T cells and B cells in our immune system which cause inflammation.  While we need those killer T cells and B cells at certain times - it is when they become out of balance and dysregulated that we get immune issues and sustained/chronic inflammation that leads to disease.


However,  I personally don't like the taste of green tea, and so I use it in cooking, instead of brewing it for a drink.

Today's quince recipe uses Matcha - which is ground green tea - in a smoothie.  Matcha a great source of green tea as you eat the powdered leaves -  so its not just a steeping of the leaves.  It is a little pricey,   but a little goes a long way so my jar has lasted a long time.

Here is today's breakfast smoothie that I am enjoying as I type:

Quince and Matcha Smoothie:


1 cup quince puree  (preparing quince blog post & after roasting, blend with a little water in a blender)
1 cup water
1 banana
3 handfuls of spinach
1 teaspoon matcha powder
2 tablespoons hemp hearts

Blend the ingredients together in a Vitamix or powerful blender and add more water if you prefer runnier smoothies!

Its a great way to start the day - omega 3 fats from the hemp hearts, and plenty of catechins from both the Matcha green tea and the quince - never mind all the phytonutrients in the spinach and banana.


As I was thinking up this recipe, lying in bed last night - an old song came into my head.  I wonder if you know it.  I was thinking about the colors in the smoothie ... "green and yellow, green and yellow, Mother come quick....."

Did any of you sing it as kids?  Its not a nice song and I hate to associate it with a delicious smoothie but as all the ingredients are green and yellow, its tricky not too!  I can bet my sister is singing it as she reads this however!   The song is all about this little boy Henry, who doesn't feel well and has been eating worms. His mother asks what color were the worms - "green and yellow"!  We used to sing it in the car as we were travelling somewhere - with a few actions too!!!  But this smoothie won't make you feel ill like green and yellow worms do - I can assure you,  so try it and enjoy it!
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New food of the week - Dragon Fruit

My new food this week is Dragon Fruit. I don't think I've ever tried it before....but may I did when I was in Bali, years ago....I have a very vague recollection..???


When I visited the recent Heirloom food festival in Santa Rosa, there were some stunning dragon fruits on display there. Their color alone was incredible. So it made me think I needed to taste one.

They are this wonderful vivid pink or deep purple and the fruit inside is either white or pink.



This one I bought in Whole Foods and it has a white center with the dark black seeds.

Here's how I prepared it:

Cut it in half


Use a grapefruit spoon (serrated edged spoon) or tablespoon to separate the flesh from the pink skin, by running it around the edge between the flesh and skin. The skin is inedible.




Cut the flesh into chunks


Pile it back into the skin for a beautiful presentation



As for the taste, it doesn't have a strong taste.  It is reminiscent, to me, of a kiwi fruit.....more than it just having lots of black seeds in it - but it's texture too.  It's quite pleasant but not any distinct flavor.  It seems to be asking for something else....maybe a squeeze of lemon... or use it in a  fruit salad with other fruits....or maybe I'll use some of it in a green smoothie. I bet the seeds will look good and it's quite watery.


Have you ever tried one? What did you think?  I'd definitely use it again just for the presentation....or maybe make a sorbet from it and use the skin for the serving bowl.  I'll try freezing one of these and see how it turns out.
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Pretty in Pink - Rhubarb Smoothie

I was going to make a smoothie yesterday but the only frozen fruit I had was some rhubarb - so I made my first rhubarb smoothie!

And FYI: Did you know that in the US, Rhubarb is considered a fruit, but elsewhere it is considered a vegetable?  A New York court decided in 1947 that since it was used as a fruit in the US, it was to be counted as a fruit for the regulations and duties.  A side effect was the reduction on imported rhubarb tariffs, as tariffs were higher for vegetables than fruits.

Pretty in Pink

For most smoothies, I just use fruits and vegetables and nothing else - but the pink of the rhubarb made me want to have this a little creamy.  So I added a carton of Bio-K probiotic - which looks like yogurt, but isn't yogurt - but has 50 billion probiotics in it and is non-dairy and has no sugar. I then also added a product I just found this week - pomegranate powder. It is made from freeze drying pomegranate seeds and then grinding them into a powder.  I adore pomegranates but, sadly, it is no longer their season, so I thought I'd give this a go.


It's a pretty pink powder and considered a superfood.  It has lots of vitamins and minerals, especially high in Vitamin C and potassium.  Potassium is an often overlooked mineral but made more important for us because of the high levels of sodium we consume as salt in our diets.  Practically every packaged food we consume contains high levels of sodium and the balance in our bodies of sodium to potassium is very important.  Potassium is generally inside cells and sodium is generally outside of cells. But when there is an imbalance, sodium goes inside the cells and can affect the reactions in the cell, and ultimately lead to disease.


So reducing salt intake and increasing potassium intake can really help prevent illness and also treat illness.

I don't generally like sweet things but after blending the rhubarb, BioK and pomegranate powder in the blender, with a little water, I realized it needed a little sweetness, so I added a banana.

Now, it is delicious.  The creaminess is very satisfying, - a great way to get a high dose of probiotics - and the sharpness suits my taste perfectly. And the color just makes me happy! I think I'm going to have to get more frozen rhubarb as a staple for my smoothies!

Recipe
1 packet of frozen rhubarb
1 carton of non-dairy Bio-K probiotics
1 tablespoon of pomegranate powder
1 banana
Blend until smooth and enjoy! Makes two 8 oz glasses. 
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