Super-Food Slam: The Ugliest Smoothie You’ll Ever Love
Like most people, I go through food phases.
Right now, I’m kind of over the big salads that were making me happy for the past few months. Yet I know that I’ve got to get those all-important greens and I’m really trying to stay up on my Omega-3′s and healthy fats.
Earlier this week, I had a lightbulb. I’ll drink my salad!
That sounds disgusting, right? Right. But, as a self-described Super Smoothie Ninja Master, I felt confident that I could make it taste good. A few weeks ago, POM Wonderful sent me a big box of pomegranate juice to sample and I was just dying to use it creatively in a blended beverage. I wagered it would do the trick – and it did.
(By the way, this Precision Nutrition article does a completely kick ass job of breaking down “super” shakes and their ingredients. It even has a chart. Hot damn, I do love a good chart.)
I present to you, the Super Food Slam: a filling and delightfully tasty smoothie chock-full of some of the healthiest foods out there.
The trick to this smoothie is finding balance. The fruit juices provide much-needed sweetness to offset the huge green spinach attack. (Normally, I don’t use fruit juices because of sugar content, but I feel like a little sugar is a small price to pay to make 5 cups of spinach taste like heaven.)
Did I say 5 cups of spinach? Yeah, I did.
Here’s our crew:
Not only is POM Wonderful good for you, it’s also very cute. Style counts, people! : )
Frozen fruit. I buy these at Trader Joe’s. What you can’t see is that the bottom of the container is filled exclusively with frozen blueberries.
Almonds. Or, as Sal says, “Ammans”
Ground Flax Seed. Yes, yes, yes. (You can nab these at my store if you can’t find them locally, but every health food store should have them – and most “normal” stores do too if they have an organic or “hippy” section. Look for Bob’s Red Mill. We love Bob!)
Spinach. Lots of it. Feel the Popeye-ness wash over you.
Orange Juice is used today as a sweetening agent along with the POM Wonderful.
Ingredient List (Makes 2):
3/4 cup Orange juice (can be any type of sweet juice)
4 oz POM Wonderful juice
1/2 cup Soy Milk (or almond milk or rice milk or… even cold green tea if you’ve got some!)
1 cup frozen blueberries
.5 - .75 cups other frozen fruit of your choice (mango, raspberry, banana… all work!)
3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
5 cups spinach (you could also add a cup of kale if you want to level up!)
1 serving Jay Robb Vanilla protein powder (I’m into protein, you don’t have to be.)
Pulverize the Crap Out of It:
Add to blender in order listed. I’ve had trouble blending nuts and leafy vegetables in normal blenders in the past so I finally gave in and dropped cash on a big Vita-Mix Blender last year. I’ve used it every day since and, as you can tell, I never shutup about it. Sorry. This was one of the first things I asked to have sourced for the Grit and Glimmer store, so excited was I to spread the pulverizing love to the entire planet.
With the Vita-Mix I find it’s easiest to blend all the other ingredients first then load the spinach in through the top hole. Get a good whirlpool going with a high-speed setting and then use the big, black VitaMix stick to press the spinach down into the blades.
When you’re done, you’ll have something that looks like a vegetable monster vomited in your blender. (I swear on all things holy – it tastes 100x better than it looks.)
To enhance enjoyment, cajole your significant other into pouring the concoction into an elegant glass.
Don’t forget to force your significant other to smile.
Take a picture.
Say, “Look happy! You love the Super Slam!”
Art direction is fun.
Last but not least: Do not overfill your glass. It makes a mess.
Also, don’t let this drink sit around after you make it. All that lovely fiber in the spinach will cause it to separate if you do – which will make this ugly shake even uglier.
What Makes it Super:
From the PN article: “The Super Shake… is packed with good stuff like high-quality protein, fiber, good fats, antioxidants and more.”
But, for me, the super shake above is all about the anti-oxidants. Antioxidants do all kinds of nifty things like prevent heart disease and cancer, reduce blood pressure and slow the effects of aging. They protect the body from harmful, excess free radicals, sweeping them up before they can cause damage. Pomegranate, almonds, spinach and blueberries are all loaded with anti-oxidants and, if you sub in green tea as one of your liquid bases, you’re getting even more.
Almonds: (From the Mayo Clinic website) These tear-shaped nuts are packed with nutrients — fiber, riboflavin, magnesium, iron and calcium. In fact, almonds have more calcium than any other nut — 75 milligrams (mg) in one serving (about 23 almonds). Also, one serving of almonds provides half of your body’s Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of vitamin E.
Like all nuts, almonds provide one of the best plant sources of protein. And they’re good for your heart. Most of the fat in almonds is monounsaturated fat — a healthier type of fat that may help lower blood cholesterol levels.
Blueberries: (From the Mayo Clinic website) Blueberries are a rich source of plant compounds (phytonutrients). As with cranberries, phytonutrients in blueberries may help prevent urinary tract infections. Blueberries may also improve short-term memory and promote healthy aging.
Blueberries are also a low-calorie source of fiber and vitamin C — 1 cup of fresh blueberries has 84 calories, 3.6 grams of fiber and 14 mg of vitamin C.
Spinach: (From the Mayo Clinic website) Spinach is high in vitamins A and C and folate. It’s also a good source of riboflavin, vitamin B-6, calcium, iron and magnesium. The plant compounds in spinach may boost your immune system and may help keep your hair and skin healthy.
Pomegranate: Pomegranate has quickly become one of the most talked about super foods in the past two years. Pomegranate fruits contain polyphenols, tannins and anthocyanins, which are all beneficial antioxidants. On the other hand, pomegranate juice contains high levels of antioxidants – higher than most other fruit juices, red wine or tea. Preliminary evidence suggested that drinking concentrated pomegranate juice may reduce cholesterol. It was further suggested that drinking a glass of pomegranate juice a day for one year reduced blood pressure (particularly systolic pressure) and slowed down low density lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) oxidation.
Flaxseed: (From Health Castle) Derived from the plant source, flax seed offers a vegetarian alternative to provide omega 3 fatty acid. Flax seed has been shown in many studies to offer heart-healthy benefits. In addition, flax seed also contain other beneficial ingredients such as fiber and lignan, a type of antioxidant phytoestrogen. Research revealed that lignan in flax seed shows promising results in fighting disease, particularly cancer. Studies show that lignan possesses anti-cancer properties. Results were most promising in breast cancer prevention.