Let’s be clear. I love to eat anything that is horrible for me. Fat. Sugar. Salt. Brown liquor. Hell yes. As far as I know this ride is one go around only, so I see indulging as an obligation. Still though, I’m a big believer in everything in moderation, especially sweets, especially as a pastry chef. Day to day I’m actually a pretty healthy guy, and one of my favorite things to have as a meal is a solid smoothie. They’re quick, convenient and have infinite variations. I thought today would be the perfect day to share one of my go-to smoothies with you because let’s face it, many of us (myself included) may need a pick me up from the weekend’s festivities.
Don’t overthink this thing. It’s a smoothie. Feel free to add, subtract, adjust the quantities, etc. This particular recipe gives you a good mix of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein and carbohydrates (Shut up. You need carbohydrates to live. Not a ton of them, not necessarily bread, but yes, dreaded carbs).
The ginger “tea” that I use as a smoothie base (and was brought to me by one of my cooks, Filipe) is fantastic to drink on its own, although usually with a little extra water because it’s so strong. It also works well with carbonated water and as a cocktail base in case you think healthy lifestyles are for suckers.
This should go without saying, but choose organic produce for your smoothie if possible and natural, no sugar added and not from concentrate pomegranate juice. Otherwise, what’s the point?
OK, so here’s what I put in my smoothie and why it’s good for you! (Note: I am not now nor have I ever been trained as a doctor or dietician. The closest I ever came was playing Operation as a kid, and I wasn’t so hot at it. Many of the health benefits listed below are still under study or inconclusive but hey, it’s definitely healthier than ordering some McDonalds and blending that up.)
Ginger helps prevent nauseau, indigestion and has anti-inflammatory properties. New studies also show that ginger may help fight against heart disease and diabetes and even help lower cholesterol.
Lemons are rich in vitamin C and P, help to stabilize our body’s Ph levels and are liver friendly, helping to dissolve uric acid and other toxins. Lemons are also anionic (quite possibly the only food in the world that is) making it extremely useful in helping to promote cellular energy.
Honey is antibacterial, contains flavonoids and antioxidants (reducing cancer and heart disease risk), soothes sore throats, provides probiotics, strengthens the immune system and helps regulate natural blood sugar.
Green tea is loaded with compounds and nutrients that improve overall health, brain function, increases fat burning (boosts your metabolism) and is packed with cancer-fighting antioxidants.
Whew, just getting started!
Rich in vitamin C, antioxidants and fiber (which helps satiate hunger). Pomegranates have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects and may help prevent cancers. These little guys are also rich in dietary nitrates which help improve exercise performance.
Bananas have high levels of potassium and deliver quick, high-quality energy making them great for a post workout snack. Bananas also have good fiber, vitamin B6 and help moderate blood sugar.
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” isn’t such a far out saying. Apples are high in dietary fiber promoting a healthy GI tract and helping to keep you feeling full (and also reduces the risk of colon cancer). They’re also full of antioxidants and help lower cholesterol.
One of the OG super foods! Full of antioxidants, blueberries also contain iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin K, all of which supports healthy bones. The list goes on for blueberries with vitamins and nutrients that helps to lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, help manage type-1 diabetes, prevent cancer and improve mental health and digestion.
Chia seeds are incredible because they deliver a huge amount of nutrition in such a small, low-calorie package. They are rich in fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, manganese, magnesium and phosphorous. They’re also high in antioxidants. So, yeah, chia seeds are pretty bad ass.
Once relegated to adorning meat for sale in butcher shops, kale is now known to be nutrient rich, especially in vitamin K, A and C. Kale also has antioxidants and shown to support cardiovascular health, prevent cancer and work as a great detox veggie.
Spinach is rich in vitamin B6, B2, K, E, C and A, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, folate, manganese and potassium. Basically, all the nutrients. There’s a reason Popeye got down on this stuff. Spinach is thought to help prevent cancer, inflammation and support bone health.
Acai berries are loaded with antioxidants making them help promote heart health. They also help support healthy skin and digestion, aid in weight loss, mental function, boost your immune system and improve cellular health. They’ve also been known to increase blood circulation which can aid in certain bedroom activities if you know what I mean >wink< >wink<. Sex. I’m talking about better sex.
Acai berries don’t taste so hot on their own, so they often come with added sugar. Be sure to get the sugar free kind!
dfk power smoothie
200g ginger raw
100g lemon juice
15g green tea decaffeinated
Peel and roughly chop the ginger.
Add the ginger to the water and let simmer for 1-1.5hrs.
About halfway through the simmering time I cut a lemon into quarters and add them to the liquid.
Remove the liquid from the stove and add the green tea to infuse for 4-5min. 15g of loose tea is equal to about three standard sized tea bags.
Pass the mixture through a fine mesh strainer, reserving the ginger liquid and removing the solid ginger.
Add the honey and lemon juice and mix until combined.
25g chia seeds
Warm the water and add the chia seeds. Let set overnight in the refrigerator to allow the seeds to hydrate.
dfk power smoothie
225g ginger tea
225g pomegranate juice
100g banana approx.1
200g green apple approx. 1
30g chia gel
50g baby spinach
100g acai puree
Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.
Cheers to a healthy and happy 2017! – Chef Scott