I've been inspired by all the unique, vibrant and beautiful smoothie pictures on food blogs and instagram lately. I decided it was time to use my imagination and nutrition knowledge to develop a rainbow series of smoothies (and salads in the future) so that everyone can enjoy the powerful, disease-fighting, feel good benefits of each produce color.
To ensure these recipes were delicious, each rainbow smoothie will have the following:
veggies for all their healing superpowers!
fruit for sweetness
fat for absorption and satiety
an acid for tartness
liquid to add the right texture (but no juice to keep the sugar lower)
and lots of gut-loving fiber:)
You can be sure they will ALWAYS be:
without added sugars
without lots of calories
Orange fruits and vegetables (and dark green produce as well) are rich in beta-carotene (and other carotenoids), vitamin C, potassium, fiber and phytochemicals (disease-preventing and anti-aging chemicals, many of which haven't even been identified yet!). Our bodies convert beta-carotene (and other carotenoids) to vitamin A which then is used to support immune function, skin health, regulate inflammation, prevent eye disease and cancers of the lung, esophagus and stomach. And that's not all, wow! Carotenoids act as some of the strongest antioxidants in our bodies helping us recover from stress. Research shows that 4 servings of beta-carotene rich foods daily can help prevent cancer, brain disease and heart disease. AND the color orange can help us to stay looking younger for longer. AMEN to that! Before you rush out to buy some supplements, know that supplemental beta-carotene is not the same as food beta-carotene. Too much supplemental beta-carotene increases lung cancer risk for smokers and is toxic to the body. Now that I've convinced you that orange produce is important, I present to you my Living Orange Smoothie. :)
Very important: in order for all these carotenoids to be absorbed well by the body, you MUST have fat accompany them. Just say NO to smoothies and meals that don't have added fat. Here I use shredded coconut. But you can sub that for coconut cream, milk, oil or another preferred oil (though expect the texture and flavor to be different).
Superfood Orange Smoothie
2 mini seedless oranges
1/2 cup chopped carrots (frozen or raw)
1/2 cup brewed green tea (cold)
1/4 cup cooked sweet potato (or sub pumpkin)
6 orange cherry tomatoes
2 Tbsp shredded coconut
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
1/4 tsp turmeric
Simply blend all ingredients!
61 cals, 3g fat, 70mg sodium, 7g carbs, 2g fiber, 1g protein.
You can meal prep for your week by multiplying the recipe and dividing the ingredients into jars or baggies for quick breakfasts or snacks.
I love smoothies because they are nutrient-packed, easily digested, quick to make, and a great way to increase your veggie intake.
Color Me Healthy. (2008, Nov). Today's Dietitian.
All You Need to Know About Beta-Carotene. (2017, Dec.). Medical News Today.