Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Mother Of All Smoothies! Healthy And Delicious, High In Fiber And Omega 3. Also, How To Freeze Seasonal Fruit!

Fruits, veggies plus healthy additions make this the Mother of All Smoothies.
Contains almost half the daily requirement of dietary fiber and over 3 grams of ALA omega 3 fatty acid!

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Chemistry in the Kitchen
My morning smoothies are like a chemistry experiment. Every day, for the last week, I've been drinking and perfecting this recipe. It has a number of the healthful ingredients I've used in previously posted smoothie recipes.
I always start with some dark green veggies like kale, spinach or chard. Lately I've been adding other vegetables like cucumbers or celery. 
To make the smoothes sweet and delicious, I add a small banana and some big juicy figs that I still have in the freezer from my neighbor's last years crop. ( I also drop in a packet of stevia for added sweetness). To get lots of vitamin C and some "detoxing" pectin, I throw in an orange from my tree, skin and all! Sometimes, instead, I use an apple or pear, depending on availability.
And, of course, I always keep a huge bag of frozen blueberries in the freezer so I add a cup of them for their high antioxidant properties. Sometimes I throw in the tops of strawberries that I keep in the freezer too.
To make this the "Mother of all Smoothies", I add some healthy additions:
* Brazil nuts for their enormous selenium content. Selenium is a mineral with high antioxidant properties.
* Unfiltered Flaxseed oil for its ALA omega 3 fatty acid content.
* Vitamineral Green - my absolute favorite green "superfood"  by Healthforce Nutritionals.
* Matcha powdered green tea, known for its many health benefits.

This brand of UNFILTERED FLAX OIL provides 6.2 g ALA omega 3, plus 10 - 14 mg SDG lignans.
Lignans contain phytoestrogen substances which are associated with lowered breast cancer risk, heart health,  improved immune function and many other health benefits.
I noticed this product is manufactured in the same plant as wheat products so I don't think it is guaranteed gluten free.

VITAMINERAL GREEN contains a large collection of green foods like wheat grass, broccoli and kale juice, nettle leaf and many others.
From the waters are spirulina and chlorella.
 From the oceans are sea vegetables like kelp, dulse, laver, bladderwrack and more.
Each heaping tablespoon contains necessary digestive enzymes and probiotics.
If you experience beneficial cleansing reactions, start out with a lesser amount.
Latest formulation is vegan and gluten free.

Green tea is my favorite beverage. I enjoy hot Sencha tea and I use a powdered "Matcha" in smoothies.
MATCHA POWDERED GREEN TEA contains the potent cancer fighting catechin antioxidant, EGCg.
It has an ORAC rating of 1300 units/g (higher than blueberries and chocolate).
Its high chlorophyll content removes metals and chemical toxins from the body.
It contains L-theanine, a mood enhancing amino acid.

STEVIA is a plant native to South America.
This natural sweetener has been used by the Indigo people for hundreds of years.
It's been used as a sweetener in Japan and Brazil for 3 decades.
It was only approved by the FDA as a food additive in 2008.
It's a good, natural sweetener for diabetics and others wanting to avoid sugar.

Freezing and Preserving Seasonal Fruits
In the summer, you may end up with lots of beautiful fresh fruit. You may have fruit trees or a generous neighbor with fruit trees. Or, you may find wonderful deals at your local farmers market. In any event, you will have to figure out what to do with it all! 
You may want to use some to make Low sugar jam but if you want to enjoy raw smoothies throughout the year, your best bet is to freeze it.
Just throwing fruit in a freezer bag doesn't work very well. In a matter of weeks you'll have freezer burn and the fruit may turn a different, unappealing color. To successfully freeze fruit you'll need a heavy plastic bag and a vacuum sealing machine. 
There are a number of products available. Since we bought ours a while back, I don't really know which is currently the best on the market. I can only say it was one of the best purchases we ever made. 
The trick to successfully freezing fruit is this:
1. Clean fruit and dry it.
2. Halve or quarter figs or slice peaches or apricots but make the slices big enough so that they can stand up on a cookie sheet.
3. Place fruit skin side down on a small cookie sheet that fits in your freezer.
4. Freeze the fruit until it is hard.
5. Place frozen fruit in the plastic bag that comes with the vacuum sealing machine keeping the fruit pieces in a single layer.
6. Seal the bag with the machine making sure the fruit remains in a single layer. 
7. Place in freezer.

A FoodSaver vacuum sealing machine that we bought years ago.
You can buy individual freezer bags or a continuous roll that allows you to adjust the size.
We froze these figs 9 months ago and they were still fresh and delicious in this morning's smoothie!
Notice how we kept figs in a single layer. That makes it easier to break off the frozen pieces as needed.

The Mother of all Smoothies
Vegan or Raw Vegan options
[makes 4 cups or 2 breakfast servings]
1 1/2 cups cold organic vanilla soy milk*
2 Brazil nuts
1 cup organic kale, stems removed, chopped
1 cup organic celery, chopped (or organic cucumber with skin)
1 small banana
2 medium figs, cut in half
1 small organic orange, seeds removed, with skin
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 tablespoon unfiltered, organic, high lignan flaxseed oil
1 heaping tablespoon Vitamineral Green **
1 teaspoon Japanese powdered Matcha green tea
1 packet stevia natural sweetener

* For a completely raw smoothie, replace soymilk with 1 1/2 cups cold water, 12 soaked, raw almonds and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.
** Cut down the amount to start with to avoid a possible cleansing reaction.

Add all ingredients to a Vitamix or high speed blender.
Process until smooth and serve immediately.

Per serving (with soy milk): 384 calories, 12.4 g fat, 2.3 g saturated fat, 3.2 g ALA omega 3 and 2.2 g omega 6 fatty acid, 0 mg cholesterol, 11.2 g protein, 59.5 g carbohydrates and 10.9 g dietary fiber.

Per serving (with raw almonds, water and vanilla): 345 calories, 12.9 g fat, 1.8 g saturated fat, 3.2 g ALA omega 3 and 3.9 g omega 6 fatty acid, 0 mg cholesterol, 8.2 g protein, 54.3 g carbohydrates and 11.6 g dietary fiber.


KootenayBorn said...

We just bought this reusabale storage kit, I have heard great things about it so thought we'd try it out! I love that I can reuse the bags. BUT I have only froze things and havent used or thawed yet, so we'll see how good they are in a few months!

KootenayBorn said...

link to mentioned item


Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

That's a great idea. The only issue I've had with this product is that the bags are quite expensive so even if you are saving money on the fruit and vegetables, you are spending money on the bags. It's nice to see that there are now reusable bags available! That's also great for the environment!

karina said...

yummy smoothies nonna! i love the idea of adding matcha, brilliant. where do you buy yours? can you use the powder for tea too? thank you.

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

Hi Karina,
I buy all my green tea at denstea.com - the little pyramid bags of sencha as well as this matcha powdered tea.
Besides putting it in smoothies, you can use the powder to make green tea too but it's quite a different process. See my post http://foodsforlonglife.blogspot.com/2010/09/making-matcha-green-tea-health-benefits.html which will explain how to make a good cup of matcha tea.
I hear summer finally reached Portland and your garden is flourishing! We need to come and see it soon! I'll bring you some matcha!

aaron said...

I was wondering in terms of matcha, does one get the most out of a product nutrionally if the matcha is exposed to heat or by just putting the matcha in a smoothie or by just mixing matcha with cold water. Would love to hear your thoughts

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

Hi Aaron,
That's a great question. Catechin is a water soluble polyphenol so I would not think that it needs to be heated, it just needs to be in water.
I recently bought powdered benefuki, a special powdered green tea that contains methyl catechin that helps with allergy symptoms. The instructions say to mix with hot or cold water to get the benefits.
Hope this helps!