Smoothies & Juices:
The Comeback Kids


September 2013

By Allan Richter

Cheese-stuffed thick crust pizzas, dessert-flavored pancakes and double cheeseburgers signal nasty culinary trends with a painful byproduct: soaring obesity. Every now and then, however, the pendulum seems to swing the other way—toward health and well-being.

Though not a new trend, it’s returned in a big way: juicing and blending smoothies. It’s not hard to find a smoothie or juice bar—or at least a restaurant offering the delectable drinks. Unless ingredients are carefully specified, however, it’s hard to know exactly what, or how much of it (read, sugar), is in that smoothie or juice.

The good news: You can make them at home. And with plentiful food options, your drink is limited only by your imagination (and education about ingredients and their benefits). But the abundance of ingredient choices can be overwhelming: What to put in? What to leave out?

The Pros of Protein Powder

Looking to boost your smoothie’s nutritional content? The easiest way is by fortifying your drink with powdered protein. High-quality protein powders supply all amino acids—the protein building blocks that serve a variety of functions in the body—in a readily digestible form; they often also include an array of vitamins, minerals and other key nutrients.

Some are based on whey, the liquid that remains after cheese is produced. Other shakes combine proteins taken from various plant sources, including sprouted brown rice, chia, flax, pea and soy.

Julie Morris, natural food chef and the author of Superfood Smoothies (Sterling), suggests having a goal in mind when coming up with ingredients. “What do you want to get out of your smoothies? You would never sit down to a meal and say, ‘I want every single food in my kitchen in this meal.’ You can’t treat smoothies the same way,” says Morris, executive chef for Navitas Naturals. “In a smoothie I’m looking for something that’s balanced and that has a bit of a nutritional objective.”

Joel Fuhrman MD, author of Eat to Live (Little, Brown) and an accompanying cookbook due out next month, says smoothies and juices make it easy for people to consume cruciferous vegetables like kale and broccoli. “These foods are so powerfully longevity-promoting, and especially protective against cancer, that we’re looking for avenues to increase our exposure to those foods. People usually don’t like eating them raw. By making a smoothie, they make it possible to consume more of these raw vegetables that they would have trouble normally consuming.”

Juices sometimes get a bad rap for their often-high sugar content. But juicing advocates point to healthful juicing methods, such as using fruits with a low glycemic index or making green juices with veggies. Pat Crocker, author of The Juicing Bible and The Smoothies Bible (both Robert Rose), points out that more than half the juices in her book are vegetable juices. She adds that the left-behind pulp can add fiber to muffins, soups and sauces.

Enjoying food and drink is also about experiencing various textures—the thicker, more tangible smoothie versus the silky fluidity of a juice. When done right, these drinks can be a boon to your health; a few recipes, including two green juices using rising star kale as a base, appear on these pages.

 

Recipes

 

C-Green

¾ cup apple juice
1 cup chopped spinach
½ avocado
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley*
1 tbsp chopped watercress

In a blender, combine apple juice, spinach, avocado, parsley and watercress.
Secure lid and blend (from low to high if using a variable-speed blender) until smooth.

* If you are pregnant, limit your intake of parsley to ½ teaspoon dried or one sprig fresh per day.
Do not take parsley if you are suffering from kidney inflammation.

This deliciously antioxidant-rich green smoothie is from author Pat Crocker’s
aptly titled The Smoothies Bible, second edition (Robert Rose), with more than 300
original smoothie recipes. In addition to the smoothies, Crocker’s book features sections
describing myriad ingredients, including fruits, veggies, herbs and more, and tips on
blending and juicing them, to relieve various ailments.

 

Mint Chip

2 cups frozen spinach
2 cups frozen bananas
¼ cup raw cashews
3 tbsp cacao nibs
2 tbsp (packed) minced fresh mint leaves
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups rice milk (original variety)
½ cup coconut water
Sweetener, to taste (optional)

Blend all the ingredients together until smooth. Taste, and sweeten as desired.
Superfood boost: Add ¼ teaspoon chlorella powder (or to taste).

This smoothie, from Superfood Smoothies (Sterling) by Julie Morris, boasts what the
Los Angeles-based natural food chef calls “beauty nutrients” such as vitamin C, an
anti-inflammatory essential for the synthesis of collagen. It is also good for heart health and
can help flush the body of toxins and raise alkalinity. Morris also includes the superfood cacao.
“I love how the cacao nibs provide a bit of dark-chocolate crunch without being
overpowering,” she says.

Visit www.juliemorris.net.

Mixed Vegetable Juice

6 kale leaves
8 carrots, peeled
2 stalks bok choy
2 apples
2 medium beets, peeled
1 cup watercress with stems

Run all ingredients through a juicer.

Joel Fuhrman, MD’s approach to health calls for a sensible focus on nutrition over calories.
Keep track of the nutrients you’re putting in your body, and health will come without feeling
like you’re struggling to diet. This green juice recipe, with its vitamin A-plentiful beets,
anti-aging watercress, and phytonutrient-rich bok choy, exemplifies that approach.
It is from Fuhrman’s book Immersion Excursion Recipes accompanying his
“Immersion Excursion” DVD, a set of lectures on nutrition.

Visit www.DrFuhrman.com.

 

Super Green Juice

5 kale leaves
½ cucumber, peeled
1 stalk celery
1 green apple, peeled
½ lemon, skin and pits removed
1 tbsp ginger, peeled
2 tbsp parsley

Blender method: If you have a Vitamix blend all ingredients until well combined and enjoy.
If using a regular blender, blend all ingredients and pour ½ cups at a time through a
fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth and squeeze out all of the juice.

Juicer method: Put all ingredients through the machine and enjoy.

Green juice supports liver detoxification and digestion, notes Susan Blum, MD, MPH,
author of The Immune System Recovery Plan (Scribner). This recipe is from BlumKitchen,
the nutrition guide and cookbook from her Blum Center for Health in Rye Brook, New York.
Its kale is rich in liver-supercharging vitamins, minerals and compounds; its ginger
aids digestion and lowers inflammation; and its cucumbers provide antioxidants and fiber.

Visit www.blumcenterforhealth.com

 

 

Mango Crush

2 mangoes
2 oranges
8 tbsp apple juice
Juice of one lime

“One pure orange color, two different tastes, one result—a fabulous smoothie where
the creamy, sweet mango contrasts well with the tangy orange,” says British
nutritionist Natalie Savona, MPhil, MA in The Big Book of Juices and Smoothies:
365 Natural Blends for Health and Vitality Every Day
(Duncan Baird).
Savona includes detailed guides on ailments, the foods that will relieve them,
and the health benefits of various nutrients. She also ranks the health benefits
of each of her drink recipes. Her Mango Crush, for instance, scores high for
boosting energy and strengthening immunity, and can help your skin.

Visit www.nataliesavona.com

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More recipes and the means to make them...

Tribest Slowstar Juicer

The Tribest Slowstar Vertical Slow Juicer and Mincer can quietly juice fruits and vegetables at a low 47 RPM speed. When a juicer uses too much speed, it creates air bubbles that degrade, or oxidize, the nutritional value of the juice. In addition to featuring more torque power, the Slowstar has a double-edge Duoblade auger that does twice as much work as a traditional auger, which means it only has to spin at 47 RPM to juice the same amount of produce per minute as other juicers operating at the traditional 80RPM. This lower speed preserves the nutritional value of the juice by preventing friction and heat during the process and it produces greater juice yield with less foam. The Mincing Attachment turns the Slowstar into a multi-purpose tool to create recipes like sorbets, nut butters, pâté, and sauces. The Slowstar is available at select retail stores and at www.tribestlife.com.

RECIPE

Oriental Express

3 leaves of Napa cabbage, cut lengthwise
4 stalks of Bok Choy with leaves, cut lengthwise
2 stalks of anise (fennel) with green stem and leaves
6 medium carrots (cut into 4 pieces)
2 apples (Yellow Delicious, Fuji or Granny—cut into 4 to 6 pieces)

Juice Napa cabbage, Bok Choy and fennel first. Juice apples second.
Juice carrots into the rest of the juice.

Source: Tribest Corp. recipe for Tribest
Slowstar Vertical Slow Juicer and Mincer

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super

Navitas Naturals Exotic Superfoods

Navitas Naturals organic superfoods, including exotic goldenberry, raw cacao and camu camu powders, among others, are a diverse whole-food source of antioxidants, protein, essential fats, minerals, vitamins and other key nutrients. Its products are certified organic and Non-GMO Project Verified, and use methods such as freeze-drying and low temperature processing for maximum nutrition and flavor. Visit www.navitasnaturals.com.

 

RECIPE

Maqui Banana Smoothie

3 frozen bananas
2¼ cups coconut milk (boxed variety)
1 tablespoon Navitas Naturals Maqui Berry Powder
1 tablespoon of Navitas Naturals chia seeds
Sweetener, to taste (optional

Blend together all the ingredients until smooth. Taste, and sweeten if desired.
Makes two 14-ounce servings.

Source: Superfood Smoothies (Sterling Publishing) by Julie Morris,
executive chef for Navitas Naturals.

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The Juice Cleanse Reset Diet

Antioxidant rich green tea delivers an energy boost to this refreshing blend of melon, spinach, and cucumber. This will also help you shed excess water and rid your body of toxins. Makes 16 ounces. Juice the lemon on a manual citrus juicer. Combine the juice with all of the remaining ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Store in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

 

RECIPE

Green Energy Smoothie

1 cup spinach
1/2 cucumber, seeded and peeled
1 cup honeydew melon, cubed
1 cup organic green tea
1/2 lemon

Reprinted with permission from The Juice Cleanse Reset Diet
by Lori Kenyon Farley and Marra St. Clair. Copyright © 2013
by Lori Kenyon Farley and Marra St. Clair.
Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.

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Carrington Farms Super Seeds

Carrington Farms’ Flax Chia Blend and Flax Hemp blends are dense with nutrients and packed with disease-fighting minerals and enzymes. These ready-to-eat Organic Milled Flax Blends are loaded with Omega 3's, fiber, antioxidants, and minerals, with the added benefit of hormone balancing phytoestrogens called lignans, all of which help promote a healthy lifestyle and boosted metabolism. The blend can be added to yogurt or smoothies for breakfast or as a topping to salads or as a binding agent in meat loaf , casseroles or hamburgers.  Visit www.carringtonfarms.com.

 

RECIPE

Flaxseed Shake

6 ice cubes
1⁄2 cup fresh berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, etc)
2 teaspoons organic agave nectar
1-2 tablespoons Carrington Farms Organic Milled flaxseed
1 cup cold water
scoop vanilla protein powder or Whey Protein Powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄4 banana
1⁄2 tablespoon flaxseed oil optional

Place all ingredients in a blender in the order listed.
Blend on low for 10 seconds or until smooth. Serve immediately.

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nutri

NutriBullet for Healthful Smoothies

Many of the essential elements within our food cannot be accessed by juicing, blending or chewing alone. The NutriBullet with its exclusive Cyclonic Action has the power to unlock the hidden nutrition inside the food we eat. With The NutriBullet, ingredients are broken up into their most easily digestible state, allowing your body to absorb up to 95% of the vitamins and minerals. The NutriBullet’s Emulsifying Blade is used to crack through stems and shred through skins, while the Flat Blade is used to bust open seeds. A tall cup and two short cups are used to mix, store and consume your creations. The cups are BPA-free and dishwasher safe. Visit www.NutriBullet.com and major retailers.

RECIPE

The Hormone Helper

¼ small raw beet
10 red seedless grapes
2 small broccoli florets
10 raspberries
1 Tbsp. goji berries
½ small avocado
1 tsp olive oil

Source: NutriBullet

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Superberries for an Extra Boost

Aroniaberries, also known as chokeberries, contain health-boosting phytonutrients, including anthocyanins, a compound that may help to lower blood pressure. The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry says total anthocyanin content in energy-boosting aroniaberries is 1480mg per 100g of fresh berries, placing it “among the highest measured in plants to date.” The Superberries product line includes of 100% Pure Aroniaberry Concentrate that contains seven pounds of aroniaberries in every bottle. Visit www.Superberries.com.

RECIPE

Aroniaberry Smoothie

2 cups frozen mixed berries
1 cup pomegranate juice
2 tsp aroniaberry concentrate
1 banana
1/2 cup nonfat cottage cheese
1/2 cup water

Combine mixed berries, pomegranate and aroniaberry juice, banana,
cottage cheese and water in a blender until smooth. Serve immediately.

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RECIPE

Fruited Rice Milk

Makes 4 ½ cups

3 cups chilled rice milk
1 ½ cups chopped fruit: strawberries, mangoes, papayas or other
¾ tsp. pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp. cinnamon
1-2 Tbsp. sweetened condensed milk, or to taste, optional

Place all ingredients except condensed milk in a blender container
and process until smooth. Taste and add condensed milk for a sweeter
creamier flavor if desired. Serve in a tall glass filled with ice cubes.

Source: Blender Drinks (Taylor Trade) by Joanna White

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Pines Wheat Grass for Robust Wellness

Because Pines Wheat Grass is grown through cold months, outdoors in temperatures that are often freezing at night, it can grow slowly as nature intended. That results in a naturally concentrated, dark green leafy vegetable that provides a wide array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Pines Wheat Grass is richer in chlorophyll and iron than spinach. Its protein level averages 25 % and it contains virtually every vitamin known, along with 20 amino acids, including the eight that are considered essential for human health. For smoothies, you’ll want the wheat grass in powder. The company also supplies beet powder, a nice addition to smoothies. Visit www.wheatgrass.com.

 

RECIPE

Green Energy Shake

¾ cup Crushed Pineapple
¾ cup Unfiltered Apple Juice
1 small Banana

2 tbsp. Pines Wheat Grass Powder

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Blossom Flaxmill for Fresh Flax Seeds

Blossom Flaxmill is designed to ensure crushing without pulverizing, keeps flax fresh by allowing you to grind on demand, and saves you money in the long run. Our mill features a unique automatic opening and closing base for a mess free table. The specially designed ceramic grinder captures the slippery seeds and ensures a near 100% crush rate in a way no ordinary grinder can, making it easy to unlock the health benefits of “superfood” flax with a simple twist of the mill. Visit www.spiceratchet.com.

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Blue Monkey Coconut Water

We’ve heard of it as one of the most amazing natural hydrators, but coconut water is also considered a beauty drink. In addition to a blend of electrolyes, potassium, and sodium to hydrate and enhance the skin from within, the antioxidants and cytokinins present in coconut water help to remove free radicals that damage the skin. It also enhances proper circulation in the body, allowing the skin to breathe healthy oxygen, which in turn promotes a healthy and flawless complexion. Further, its bio-active enzymes are extremely helpful with regularity, increased metabolism and anti-aging properties. Visit www.bluemonkeydrinks.com.

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Blossom Flaxmill for Fresh Flax Seeds

Blossom Flaxmill is designed to ensure crushing without pulverizing, keeps flax fresh by allowing you to grind on demand, and saves you money in the long run. Our mill features a unique automatic opening and closing base for a mess free table. The specially designed ceramic grinder captures the slippery seeds and ensures a near 100% crush rate in a way no ordinary grinder can, making it easy to unlock the health benefits of “superfood” flax with a simple twist of the mill. Visit www.spiceratchet.com.

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