Grow a Smoothie Garden

Get fresh and unusual smoothie ingredients from your own garden.

| June 2018


Blueberry smoothie

Photo courtesy of Getty user Lilechka75

Smoothies have become an increasingly popular and convenient meal choice in the last few years, joining the likes of kombucha and almond butter as one of the latest “trendy” health foods. Most everyone has a go-to blend of fruits and yogurt, and some even toss in a handful or two of leafy greens to give their drink a nutritional boost, which, when consumed on a daily basis, provides the foundation for good health, disease prevention, and real energy. A few uncommon smoothie ingredients are not only healthy and delicious, but also easy to grow yourself, which assures optimum freshness of those life-giving vitamins. Drinking a smoothie for breakfast will nourish you, but won’t leave you feeling as heavy as you would with eggs and bacon, and gives a healthier energy source than a morning cup of coffee.

My own personal favorite smoothie combination includes soaked chia seeds, apples (which contain vitamin C, beta-carotene, flavonoids, and polyphenols), fresh spinach leaves (which I consider medicine in the form of food—the chlorophyll helps to improve red blood cell count and oxygenation of the body and brain, strengthens the immune system, increases enzymatic activity, and regulates hormones), and pumpkin seeds. I also include medicinal herbs at times, my favorites being holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) and lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) for their anti-anxiety and blood pressure regulating effects.

My version of the grow-your-own smoothie recipe (vegan):

  • 1 cup chia water (made by soaking overnight 1 tablespoonful chia seeds per one cup water)
  • 1 apple, cored and cut in pieces, or 1 cup other fresh homegrown fruits
  • 1 cup chopped spinach, packed
  • 1/4 cup hull-less pumpkin seeds

Directions:  Add chia water to blender first, then add additional ingredients one by one. Do not leave the pumpkin seeds in for very long, since they can make the smoothie too thick.



Yield: 1 serving (2.5 cups)

 



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