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Learning to make smoothie recipes with an extra nutritional punch!

I’ve been a smoothie junkie for the past 10 years. I first started making smoothies regularly when I lived in my teeny tiny, closet-sized apartment in NYC using a Magic Bullet mini blender that my mom purchased from an infomercial years before. (Everyone in my family got a Magic Bullet due to a buy one get one free special or some other wacky promotion.) Back then, my smoothie recipes would simply consist of the strawberries, blueberries and bananas that I usually picked up from a street vendor on Third Avenue (before you judge, grocery store produce is very expensive in NYC!) and yogurt and spinach from the Food Emporium across the street (which was also quite expensive). My smoothies were nothing fancy and very consistent from day to day.

A few years later, that Magic Bullet bit the dust. Since then, I have not only upgraded my blender to the much coveted Vitamix blender (it’s definitely worth the investment) and upgraded my apartment by moving across the river (well, I gained a few hundred square feet anyway), but I have also elevated and supercharged my smoothie recipes.

A purple smoothie in a glass with an orange and leafy garnish
Photo by Daniela Miskulin on Pexels.com

I have been experimenting with smoothie recipes for the past few years. For example, I’ve tried adding different nut and plant-based milks, nut butters, fruits, herbs, vegetables, powders and supplements. For at least six months prior to the pandemic, I consistently made my own version of the Medical Medium’s Heavy Metal Detox Smoothie, which consisted of banana, cilantro, spirulina, barley grass juice extract, wild blueberries, atlantic dulse and my own additions of pineapple and parsley.

Fast forward to the beginning of the pandemic in March… It was almost impossible to find fresh or frozen produce anywhere – even at smaller supermarkets or bodegas. For a few weeks, restaurants around me were even selling produce directly to locals who couldn’t get produce in grocery stores. (Some were even selling toilet paper!) So, during that time, I had no choice really but to order ready-to-blend smoothies. I chose to order a monthly supply from Daily Harvest, a brand that advertises all over social media. While pricey, Daily Harvest’s ingredients are mostly organic, the smoothies were beyond easy to make and definitely feature some interesting flavor combinations.

A New Immune Boosting Smoothie Recipe Was Born

When the grocery stores were fully stocked in June, I cancelled Daily Harvest immediately. When I was finally able to purchase produce again locally, I began concocting new smoothie recipes. After some trial and error, I have came up with a supercharged smoothie recipe that features an abundance of antioxidants and immune boosting ingredients. My smoothie is a combination of the Medical Medium’s Heavy Metal Detox Smoothie, some ingredients from a smoothie recipe that a pop culture site reposted from Reese Witherspoon and many of my own contributions.

Just a disclaimer before I get to the recipe, the smoothie usually takes me about 7-10 minutes to prepare and blend. However, it is so worth the prep time. Since making this smoothie almost daily, my hair and nails have been growing like weeds, my hair is super shiny and soft, and the dry skin that typically rears its head this time of year is completely absent. It also does wonders for my digestion.

Ingredients

The regular ingredients (typically added to my blender in the order below):

  • A 1/2 cup to 1 cup of Oat Milk (or any nut milk or dairy milk)
  • 1 small banana
  • 1 apple (cut in wedges)
  • A handful of cilantro
  • A handful of parsley
  • 1-2 handfuls of Bok Choy leaves (or you can use Spinach if you are not so bold)
  • 1 large handful of frozen blueberries or wild blueberries
  • 3 frozen cherries
  • 2 tablespoons of ground flax (I use this one.)
  • 1 scoop of chocolate or vanilla flavored collagen powder (I typically use whatever high quality brand is on sale and also use it in my coffee as described here; right now, I am using this one.)
  • 1 probiotic capsule (open the capsule and pour powder add to the blender.

Add-on Ingredients

The ingredients above are the “regulars.” But, I seems feel the urge to change things up a bit. Other ingredients I might toss in if I have them on hand from time to time or if I feel the need include (but are not necessary):

  • 1-3 fresh strawberries
  • A few fresh raspberries or blueberries
  • Some handful of broccoli sprouts (a little goes a long way; be careful because too much will overpower your smoothie)
  • A few frozen pineapple bits
  • 1-2 tablespoons of canned pumpkin
  • A scoop of spirulina powder (if I am feeling a bit run down or under the weather; I use this one.)
  • Glutamine powder (if I am experiencing any digestive issues; I use this one.)
  • A 1/2 scoop of plant-based protein powder (if using the smoothie as a meal replacement)

Instructions: Blend together and enjoy!

A smoothie in a glass on the counter

This smoothie is such an ideal and quick way to add more fruits, vegetables, fresh herbs, antioxidants, fiber and protein to your diet – all in a single swoop.

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