Most mornings I wake up and I’m excited for my green smoothie. I know excited is an odd way to feel about a glass of green slush, but it’s really true. Over the years I’ve perfected them, so they taste great and make me feel even better. I truly love the energy I feel from all of the great ingredients in that big green glass.
But sometimes, I’m just not feeling’ the green. But I still want that energy… that’s how I felt a few days ago. It was a rainy day and I just wanted something that would make me feel like summer was coming. I created this smoothie, and it fit the bill perfectly. I mean, just look at the color of this orange banana smoothie… you can’t not smile and think of summer.
If you have been reading my posts, you probably know that I love to use whole citrus fruits — the peels and all. This smoothie is no exception. I put the entire orange into my Vitamix, and that’s really what sets this shake apart from so many others. Add when you add a few superfoods, the effect is amazing. The taste and the energy and the nutritional punch you get from the this combination of awesome ingredients really cannot be matched.
Here’s another non-green smoothie to try: Apple Cinnamon Smoothie.
Here’s some of the great things that make up this “sunny” smoothie:
Oranges will help boost your levels of vitamins A, B and C. In Chinese medicine oranges have been used for many years to help coughs, colds and anorexia. Lately, oranges have been widely touted for their ability to help heal colon cancer. I peel my oranges and lay the rinds in the sun to dry, and save them for tea or for cooking because the orange rinds are an actual Chinese herb. I dry out the peels of oranges, tangerines, clementines… whatever I have. Dried tangerine peel, or “chen pi” as it’s known in Chinese medicine, is one of the greatest and most easily accessible herbs around. It’s especially good for digestive issues like abdominal discomfort, distention, fullness, bloating, belching, and nausea. It’s also great if you have a cough with a heavy or stuffy chest.
Maca Root is one of the superfoods I take every day. It has many healthy benefits including increasing libido, helping menopausal symptoms, relieving menstrual cramps, regulating hormones, and increasing energy.
I love to add bananas to smoothies; they give it a great natural sweetness and a nice creamy texture. Bananas are good for your intestines (an old Asian remedy was to eat a banana every day to relieve hemorrhoids) and your lungs, and they even help relieve the effects of overindulging in alcohol.
Dates are rich in potassium, dietary fiber and tannins. Fiber is good for your gut and tannins help the body fight inflammation and infection. Dates are also rich in vitamin A and iron. The most amazing thing about dates is that they can be used to replace sugar in almost anything. I stopped using sweetened protein powders in my smoothies and now I use unsweetened ones but I add a few dates.
Turmeric is actually a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.
Bee pollen is considered one of the most nutritious substances you can put in your body. It is higher in protein than anything animal-based and it contains an amazing amount of amino acids. It’s good for your energy, your skin, your breathing and your allergies. Add a spoonful to whatever you can.
Cashews are really a multi-tasking nut. I use them all the time so I say it all the time: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts. Most of the fat in cashews is unsaturated and is made up of oleic acid; this is the same acid that is found in olive oil, making these nuts a heart-healty choice. I know some of you have a problem finding raw nuts sometimes — I’m happy to try to help you locate them if you need shopping suggestions, so just leave a comment and I will try to help. I buy then whenever and wherever I see them. I’m also lucky enough to live near a Whole Foods, so I sometimes buy them from the bulk bins here.
- 2 frozen bananas, cut in half
- 1 whole orange, with the peel, quartered
- 1-1/2 cups coconut water
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1-1/2 tsp maca root powder
- ¼ cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
- 3 pitted dates
- ¼ cup raw cashews
- 1 Tbs bee pollen granules
- Place all of the ingredients into a high-speed blender. (I'm not sure how finely the orange peel will grind up in a regular blender, so if you try it, please let me know!)
- Whiz it up until it's really smooth.
- Garnish with extra coconut flakes or orange slices if that makes you smile.