Apr 18, 2011

Green Elixir

     My friend, Jenna, introduced me to this smoothie. I call it an elixir because it has so many health benefits that it can "cure" whatever ails you. It is packed with vitamins, nutrients, fiber and flavor. Flavor meaning this smoothie is not a "beginner" smoothie. It tastes great, however, it also tastes VERY GREEN. Along with all that green flavor comes BIG health benefits. Did you know that Kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet? Kale is the king of greens. Kale is an amazing vegetable recognized for its exceptional nutrient richness, health benefits, and delicious flavor. It has powerful antioxidant properties. It is also considered to be anti-inflammatory. Kale is very high in vitamins A, C and K. Kale is also reasonably rich in calcium. Kale is unusually full of fiber. It helps to create the bulk you need to fill you up and keep you feeling full.
     Collards are another important ingredient in this elixir. Collards are a good source of vitamin C and have many anti-cancer properties. With all the health benefits of collards they only have about 46 calories in a quarter pound of cooked greens. Which makes them excellent dieters fare.
     Parsley and cilantro are also important ingredients in this "cure" for health problems. Parsley, most people think of as only a garnish. Most herbs actually have many nutritional benefits to them, which makes them wonderful additives in green drinks and other smoothies. They have a very strong taste, but not unpleasant. In fact, every time I put parsley and cilantro in my green smoothies I feel like they taste more "fresh." Parsley belongs to a group of the world's seven most potent disease-fighting spices which also include cinnamon, ginger, sage, turmeric, oregano and red chili peppers. The diuretic properties of parsley can help people with urinary problems. It is also a 'warming' food, meaning it stimulates and increases the energy of the organs and thus enhances the ability to digest and utilize nutrients. Cilantro stimulates digestion. One small serving has a high amount of vitamin A and lutein. Cilantro is one of the richest herbal sources for vitamin K. 
     This post is already too long, so I won't go into any more detail. I would recommend trying this "medicine" if you find yourself with digestion problems, low energy or you just want to fuel your body with amazingly healthy foods. I think you'll be surprised how quickly you develop a taste for this strong, green flavor each day.

Jenna's Green Elixir
Note: all ingredients should be fresh and organic if possible. This recipe fits into a standard Vitamix pitcher, if you have a small blender, please use less ingredients. Also, if you are not using a high-powered blender you may need to blend longer in order to get a smooth consistency.

1 apple
1 banana
1 1/2 -2 cups pineapple juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1-2 large carrots
1-2 cups spinach
1-3 leaves kale
1-3 leaves collard greens
1/4-1/2 bunch parsley
1/4-1/2 bunch cilantro (optional)
1-2 stalks celery
flax seeds
chia seeds
agave, to taste

Put all washed and trimmed ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Water or pineapple juice may be added to achieve desired consistency. Serve with ice or refrigerate until cold.

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