If you guessed this recipe has chocolate in it, then you were right. This is my wife’s favorite, and she argues this is the only smoothie we need. (Maybe I could live with that.)
-2 packed cups of fresh spinach
-2 large bananas
-2 cups of frozen blueberries
-4 tablespoons of flax seeds
-3 tablespoons of chia seeds
-3 tablespoons of raw Peruvian cocoa
-1 tablespoon of Peruvian Maca root
-1/4 of a quart of cashew milk
-1/4 of a quart of coconut milk
-1 tablespoon of honey
Again, a great high-powered blender like a Vita-Mix works best to whip up this chocolaty delight. Rinse and pack spinach in the bottom of the blender. Next, add the fruit. Add seeds, raw Peruvian cocoa and Maca, nut milks, and honey. Blend, fall in love with breakfast, live a life of abundance, and enjoy freedom from diet-caused disease.
The Nutritional Facts for Those Who Just Gotta Know
Dark leafy greens are the base of all my smoothies, and spinach is the go to guy here. This green is super nutritious. Like most leafy foods, it is a great source of dietary fiber. More important, this delicious plant is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as a good source of iron, magnesium, potassium and so much more. I already mentioned all the benefits of these guys in the post on my first smoothie recipe.
What I didn’t discuss are the dietary benefits of minerals. They are critical for hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body. Here are just few: they help maintain nerve and muscle function, support a healthy immune system, keep the heart beat steady, help bones remain strong, regulate blood glucose levels, aid in the production of energy, carry oxygen from your lungs to transport it throughout your body, conduct electricity, help with muscle contraction, and support digestion. Whew!
“Bananas,” he frequently said. I’m not sure why, but a good friend and gourmet chef from Germany exclaimed this whenever he was excited. This fruit is exciting. The first benefit from bananas is related to their potassium content. Potassium is an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. Since one medium-sized banana contains a whopping 400-plus mg of potassium, the inclusion of bananas in your routine meal plan may help with the following:
•The prevention of high blood pressure (You can Google a study on researchers who tracked 40,000 male health professionals over four years that examined the correlation of the inclusion of bananas in the diet and healthy blood pressure.)
•Lower cholesterol and the prevention of atherosclerosis because they have sterols which can block the absorption on dietary cholesterol, keeping blood cholesterol levels in check
•Aide with digestion and a stable glycemic index because they have a lot of water soluble type of fiber (pectin)
•A healthy gut microbiome because bananas have fructose-containing carbohydrates that are not typically broken down by enzymes but metabolized by friendly intestinal bacteria
•Enhanced athletic performance as a result of the bananas combination of vitamins, minerals, and low glycemic carbs (You can do a search for and review a 2012 report on endurance cyclist that had great results replacing sports drinks with only bananas and good old-fashioned H20)
Blueberries are the next ingredient in this smoothie, and they add many health benefits. This fruit has an impressive list of nutrients including the following: iron, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, folate, vitamins A, C, K, and B6, anthocyanins, and 3.6 grams of fiber per cup. A quick look on various nutritional websites revealed a host of positive health benefits from the regular consumption of blueberries. They maintain healthy bones, lower blood pressure, manage diabetes and heart disease, prevent cancer, improve digestion and mental health, increase satiety, and aid in weight loss.
Raw cocoa and Maca are the superfoods I include in this smoothie. They add incredible flavor and more health. When I describe the ingredients list, the reaction is sometimes “yuck.” One sip, however, nets an incredulous look and the comment of “Tastes like a chocolate malt.”
There’s a lot of good in a cacao bean:
- Antioxidants (flavonoids) - These guys help fight cancer causing free radicals
- Carbohydrates (the good kind of balanced with nutrients and fiber) – Good carbs provide our intestinal flora with the nutrients needed to digest our food; they are also the first source of energy for our bodies
- Fats (oleic acid, a heart-healthy, monounsaturated fat) – This nutritious fat helps raise good cholesterol and lower the bad
- Fiber – The standard American diet has too much protein and too little fiber, causing metabolic acidosis and weak immune systems (Arguably, we need all we can get of this stuff)
- Minerals (calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, sulfur, zinc) – Again, we need minerals for many critical body functions
- Vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B9, E) – Basically, we need vitamins from our foods to provide the nutrients that we cannot produce ourselves so that we have normal growth, basic cell function, and longevity (The B vitamins are crucial because they allow us to convert our foods into fuel, vitamin E helps protect our cells from the damaging effects of free radicals)
Why settle for one superfood when you can have two? The claims made on the label for my raw, Peruvian Maca are bold. Mons Valley Eco states, “Maca nutritionally supports the glands in the body to optimal function and is considered beneficial for energy (by balancing the endocrine system – thyroid, pituitary, and adrenal glands), well-being, vitality, emotional balance and stamina.” Like me, you can verify that reputable evidence exists to support these claims with a little research on the Internet; however, one should note that although there is longstanding historical account to support these claims among indigenous cultures, much of what has been learned from scientist about this superfood is new.
The last new ingredient to be covered from this recipe (I went over the benefits of flax and chia seeds in a previous post) are cashew and coconut milk. Most important is what is not in this ingredient. It does not have dairy, egg, gluten, MSG, or soy. “Why is this included?” You ask. Creaminess! This is a great place to end, I feel. Join me and my wife for a deliciously healthy way to begin a new day with this breakfast treat.