Goji Cranberry Green Smoothie…A Festive Cleansing Drink :)

I was visiting my parents all last week for Thanksgiving in the San Francisco area. As a family, we tend to eat fairly moderately, so I didn’t feel like I overindulged so much on turkey and pie. What I did indulge on was BREAD. That San Francisco sourdough will be the death of me, I tell you!

At any rate, I am back home and cooking in my own kitchen again. I came up with this little recipe after I went to the grocery store yesterday. As I was re-filling my refrigerator and putting some things in the freezer, I realized I had taken a bag of fresh cranberries I had opened before I left town and put them in the freezer so they wouldn’t be rotten when I returned. I thought about them before I went to bed last night and decided they would be added to a green smoothie I intended to make in the morning.

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Now I am not always a green juice or smoothie drinker, but ever since I purchased a Vitamix about a year ago, I have really enjoyed creating my own and bringing them places with me in mason jars. I prefer the smoothie version of green juices, because I like to get all the fibers, vitamins and minerals that are found in the skin of most of my favorite fruits and veggies. This smoothie may or may not be a filling breakfast for some. I do add a scoop of my friend Sophie’s raw vegan protein powder called Green Dream and a tablespoon of flaxseed oil, since the healthy fat helps our bodies absorb the vitamins from the fruits and vegetables more readily.

Using cranberries in a smoothie is also a seasonal thing. It will make your smoothie taste more tart, but on the plus side, cranberries are known for fighting cancers and contain proanthocyanidins, which help block urinary tract infections.

Goji berries are something I also do not normal add to smoothies. They can be pricey, but I ran a turkey trot race when I was home for Thanksgiving and they gave us sample bags in our race gift bags, so I figured this would be a clever way to use them. Goji berries, like other berries, are known for their antioxidant properties and are said to help with mood, sleep and energy levels. If you are interested in purchasing some, I recommend this site for some of the best prices.

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1 cup water

1 head of romaine*

1 cup kale or spinach*

2 celery stalks*

1 piece of raw ginger

1/2 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen (fresh preferred)*

2 tbsp. goji berries

1/2 banana

1 tbsp. flaxseed oil

1 tbsp. Philosophie Green Dream (optional)

Blend and enjoy!

*I do recommend using organic produce wherever possible 🙂

And On To Greener Pastures…The Famous Glowing Green Smoothie-A Review

In my quest to become a successful nutritionist, I often spend time researching not only articles and recipes, but other nutritionists. I want to see what the most successful people in my industry are up to and what is making them so…well…successful!

A girlfriend of mine told me about this certified nutritionist Kimberly Snyder, who has definitely made a name for herself in the wellness industry and has a multitude of followers worldwide. Kim has a holistic approach to nutrition. She is a vegan and raw foodist, and like myself, wants her clients to try their best to incorporate fresh, whole and organic foods that nourish and fuel their bodies properly.Image

A major part of Kim’s nutrition plan to detox clients from previous negative eating behaviors includes her famous Glowing Green Smoothie. This smoothie is actually quite simple and includes purely fruits and vegetables.

Kim has the instructions to the smoothie set up so it is easier on the blender. Ideally, the person making this smoothie has a Vitamix, which makes the blending super easy and gives the smoothie a creamy consistency, even though there is no dairy in it.

The recipe starts with two cups of water (preferably filtered), a head of organic romaine lettuce (chopped) and 1/2 a head of organic spinach. I personally have never seen a head of spinach, as I buy mine in bunches, so I use half of a bunch. Blend all of this until smooth.

Next, add 2-3 stalks of organic celery, 1 organic apple, cored and chopped and 1 organic pear, cored and chopped. Blend again until smooth. Another option is to add fresh herbs like organic parsley or cilantro. I added cilantro to mine because cilantro is not only a powerful detoxifier, but it also has a little spicy kick to it I enjoy in my smoothie.

Lastly, add 1 organic banana and the juice of 1 lemon. I use regular bananas, because I don’t eat the peel, which is where organic labels are important. Blend again and your smoothie is ready.

I was definitely surprised by the volume of smoothie produced by this recipe. As you can see in my picture above, I filled three mason jars. It is recommended to drink all of the blend, but you can spread it out throughout the day if you have a way to store the smoothie ( I recommend mason jars!) or leave it in your refrigerator. The full serving of this Glowing Green Smoothie contains 3 cups of green leafy vegetables, which, as Kim says (and she is right!) is more than most people get in a week.

Not only is this an easy way to get your greens, this smoothie is also quite delicious. There is a good ratio of sweet fruits to vegetables, so  it can mask the taste of greenery if you are a person who is not fond of the taste of vegetables. You can also mix up the fruits. I made a version this morning that used organic strawberries instead of pear and kale instead of spinach. For the vegetables, however, I would not recommend straying too far from the basic. If you are not used to making fruit and vegetable smoothies, vegetables like kale or chard can seem bitter. Spinach and romaine are more mild on the taste buds but still pack a lot of nutrients in them.

The Glowing Green Smoothie is a great breakfast for someone trying to make a healthy change and incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their eating regimen. Personally, I find that I get enough fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, and some mornings I want a bowl of hot oatmeal and berries or eggs and toast, not a smoothie. However, if I am feeling sluggish and know I am not ingesting the proper amounts of fruits and vegetables at any point in time, this is a recipe I would definitely turn to.