Let’s talk about beets, baby…

IMG_7175Beetroot has come a long way from being seen as something pickled in a jar. This fibrous, sweet and iron rich root vegetable has been used since the Roman times where it had a reputation for being a blood purifier and cleanser of the liver and intestines. Continue reading “Let’s talk about beets, baby…”

The Nutritious Super Smoothie

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Being  back at home with my juicer and blender is more exciting than it ought to be. I didn’t think I could miss two machines as much as I have – but the truth is I feel 100% better drinking green juices and smoothies than when I don’t! Simple as that. After a month of going off piste in all kinds of foodie directions, not necessarily bad ones (although some were) and not consuming the amount of vegetables that I normally do, I started to feel really tired and lethargic. Spots were appearing out of nowhere (really?) and I just didn’t have the same amount of energy as I’m used to having. Time for action! After a massive vegetable shop my fridge is now full of goodies and this Green Swede is going back to basics.

Today’s smoothie recipe was filling and delicious as well as jam packed with nutrients. Here’s what my trusted book ‘Natural Wonderfoods’ says about the ingredients in it. Drink it and feel FABULOUS.

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Avocado – monounsaturated fats, lecithin (improves brain function), high content of vitamin C, E and whole range of B, lutein (protects against eye problems and cardiovascular disease, tryptophan, folic acid (help to turn the tryptophan into serotonin, aka feel good hormone), potassium (staves off fatigue, depression and essential for healthy blood pressure and muscle contraction),rich in  fibre, high in omega-3 fatty acids (fight against wrinkles) and contains more protein than any other fruit.

Celery – known to stimulate kidneys and flush out our system, full of vitamin B and C, detoxifying, liver cleanser, useful antiseptic for urinary tract problems, calcium, iron, magnesium and selenium to normalise the body’s acid-alkaline balance.

Ginger – stimulates and promotes detoxification and circulation, fast acting cure for nausea, relieves indigestion, wind and colic, aids general absorption of nutrients, ease constipation, helps against fungal infections, regulates blood sugar, rich in zink (immune system), combats colds and influenza, clears congestion, expels phlegm and relieves coughs, antiseptic, ease pain and inflammation, used in treatments of joint problems, stimulates circulation and lowers blood pressure. Use in juices, smoothies or add to hot water and drink as a tea.

Cucumber – one of the best diuretic foods (Egyptians, Greeks and Romans knew a thing or two), mineral rich, kidney cleanser, alleviates puffy eyes and sunburn, anti-inflammatory, rich in fibre, ease constipation, rich in erepsin (enzyme that help break down protein), silica (strong hair and nails), magnesium, potassium. The minerals are clustered in the peel so make sure you buy organic as otherwise you’d remove the peel and could lose valuable nutrients.

Kale – high in beta carotene (body turns this into vitamin A), lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids (helps prevent eye disease), B6 and B12 (boosts brain power and prevents memory loss), improve energy and supports immune system, calcium, silica, detoxifier, flavonoids (aids circulation and stimulates immune response), vitamin C (anti-oxidant), vitamin K, iron, zink and rich in fibre.

Banana – tryptophan (promotes serotonin), ease depression, aid restful sleep, high levels of vitamin B, vitamin C, manganese, potassium, maintains healthy nerve and muscle function, lowers blood pressure, rich in fibre, acts as antacids (heartburn or ulcers), banana skin can soften corns and calluses.

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The Nutritious Super Smoothie

(Makes 2 tumblers)

1 avocado

1/2 cucumber

2 handfuls of shredded kale

1 banana

2″ piece of ginger root

1 carrot

2 celery sticks

coconut water

1 large tbsp coconut oil

1 scoop green protein powder

Mix all in blender and enjoy. Enjoy and have a wonderful Saturday! x

 

 

 

Love Cherries

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Included in my fabulous Abel&Cole fruit and veg box this week was a punnet of cherries. I devoured the entire punnet in minutes. One is just never enough. Knowing that Abel&Cole’s motto is to only include seasonal produce in their weekly boxes, it dawned on me that the cherry season must finally be upon us. Happy days!

The humble cherry comes highly charged and is a bit of a dark horse. It is packed with anti-oxidants, a potent detoxifier, an anti-inflammatory and immune system booster. So far so impressive. But what I didn’t know is that cherries are also rich in the mineral Boron which can help prevent the steady loss of bone density with advancing age, this according to the excellent and invaluable book Natural Wonderfoods; 100 Amazing foods for Healing, Immune Boosting, Fitness Enhancing, Anti Ageing. And, as if that was not enough, you can even make an infusion of cherry stalks, which can be helpful when dealing with cystitis and bladder problems in a natural way. So there!

Shopping for local and seasonal food is nothing new, but it hadn’t dawned on me just how important it could be until I read  Clean, Dr Alejandro Junger’s amazing book about gut health and detoxing. In it, he goes as far as saying that produce that is local, can sometimes be a better buy than organic produce coming from afar. Your local farmer may struggle with the stringent organic certification process, despite using no pesticides in his farming. As a consequence, he may be bypassed by consumers opting for organic produce flown in from abroad.  Still, the fact remains, a head of Kale that has just been taken from the ground at a local farm and driven to a local farmers market is always going to have more nutrition than the head of Kale that has grown organically but then been transported for thousands of toxic air miles. Makes you think!

Eating locally sourced, seasonal food therefore is important on so many levels. It saves us from polluting our planet. Produce in season are filled to the brim with nutrients and enzymes that our bodies crave. Buying from farmers markets or delivery services such as Abel& Cole, supports our local farmers and not factory farms. And finally, what is wrong with longing for something that you know taste best in season?  Yes it is lovely to be able to have the same fruit and vegetables all year around but it also takes away the knowledge of what seasonal food can actually taste like. Plump cherries for example, are wondrous RIGHT NOW and for the next month or so. Live for the moment, people! Enjoy today! x