As friends, family, and clients know by now, I am a huge fan of the smoothie. It’s a great way to pack in a ton of nutrition into 1 meal, it can be thrown together in minutes, and it can be a delicious and health-packed way to start the day.
I am always looking for new and exciting (and tasty!) smoothie recipes, and I whipped a new one up this morning that was so amazing that I am super eager to share!
My husband is enrolled at IIN this year, and David Wolfe, raw foods star and spokesman extraordinaire, presented a lecture yesterday. Anyone who has seen David Wolfe speak can tell you that he is very charismatic and persuasive, and I dare you to hear him speak and not run out and immediately stock your home with raw superfoods! So of course Matt came bounding through the door after class, eager to tell me about all of the superfoods we HAD to buy to increase our lifespan, our health & happiness, our libido, and to save the world.
It doesn’t take much to persuade me to buy a new health food, so we set about picking up all the new fangled ingredients to make our superfood smoothie. Some of these we had on hand, others we picked up at Whole Foods:
–Camu Camu powder: According to the Navitas Naturals site, camu camu “is a milled powder made from wild-crafted camu berries from the Amazonian rainforest. The most potent known source of vitamin C in the world, Camu contains 30 to 60 times the amount of vitamin C found in oranges.” Camu also contains a wide range of antioxidants and other phytonutrients, and helps reduce inflammation in the body.
–Cacao Nibs: These partially ground cacao beans (aka chocolate beans) are very high in antioxidants and contain trace minerals magnesium and iron. I’ve kept them around the house before to sprinkle on yogurt or ice cream – love their crunch and bitter-yet-creamy taste. (This is “real” chocolate, before it gets blended with sugar and other stuff and poured into bar form.)
–Acai Berry Powder: No doubt you’ve been hearing a lot about Acai berries in the past year or two. The nutritional benefits of this Amazonian berry are being touted all over the place, and for good reason. Acai berries contain a ton of antioxidants (known as anthocyanins), which can help prevent cancer and fight heart disease. The berries also contain healthy doses of omega-9 and omega-6 fatty acids, and has heart-healthy fiber and protein. And the deep purple hue is gorgeous!
-Pau D’Arco: Another South American superfood, pau d’arco bark comes from an evergreen tree. It’s often sold as tea, and contains powerful natural chemicals that hel strengthen the immune system by helping to kill off bacteria, fungus, and yeast in the body. It’s also suspected to increase heart health and help prevent cancer.
-Raw honey: Anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal. And delicious!!
-Maca Powder: Maca root is native to the high Andes of Bolivia and Peru, where it’s been used increase energy, combat stress, increase stamina and – most famously – boost libido! It contains plant sterols, essential minerals, amino acids and healthy fats.
–Coconut Water: I’m a huge fan of this stuff. Packed with electrolytes, coconut water is the perfect pre or post-workout beverage, great to boost energy levels or help nurse you back to health if you’re hungover. I always keep this on hand.
-Chia Seeds: Your beloved chia pet’s seeds turn out to be edible. Aztec warriors used to eat chia seeds for basic survival, and they have been used medicinally for years to relieve joint pain. That’s probably because chia’s rich levels of omega-3 fatty acids (more than in flax seeds!) help keep joints supple. Chias also provide good amounts of fiber, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc. And they act a bit like gelatin, thickening up your smoothie when mixed with other liquids.
Talk about packing a nutritional punch! The smoothie recipe that we put together below is chock full of antioxidant power, healthy fats and proteins, and staying power: it kept me quite full from 8a to 12p. If you try it (or have any additions you can suggest), let me know! I’d love to hear from you.
Chocolate Berry Superfood Smoothie
11 ounces coconut water
6 ounces pau d’arco tea (made the night before by steeping a tea bag in 6 ounces of boiling water)
1/2 teaspoon raw honey
1/2 cup mixed organic frozen berries
About 10 frozen cherries
2 teaspoons maca powder
2 teaspoons camu camu powder
2 scoops (6 grams) acai berry powder
1 tablespoon chia seeds
4 tablespoons cacao nibs OR 1/3 cup raw cacao powder if you don’t have a high-speed blender
1 tablespoon raw almond butter
1 tablespoon flax seed oil or 1 tablespoon coconut oil
Add all ingredients to blender. Blend until smooth and desired consistency, adding a little water if you like it on the thinner side. YUM!