If there is one thing my partner loves, it’s soccer. He loves watching it, playing it and just plain old talking about it. The only thing he doesn’t love about it is the injuries he sometimes gets. And right now he’s got one nasty injury- an injury that required surgery. Knee reconstruction to be exact- gross. So while he’s been napping on the couch recovering, I’ve been playing around in the kitchen thinking up ways to overload him with foods that will help him heal. First thing that came to mind was to blend everything up into a yummy smoothie:
And my oh my was it ever yummy! I ended up making a double batch so I could enjoy it too since healing foods are good for everyone, not just in times of illness or injury.
Anti- Inflammatory Berry Good for You Smoothie
Sweet and creamy smoothie with a gentle gingery zing and health boosting properties you won’t believe!
Makes 1 large or 2 small servings
- 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used almond)
- 20 blackberries, washed
- 1 cup frozen dark cherries
- 1 banana
- 1/2 small beet, peeled
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 1 tbsp dried hibiscus flower
- 1 tbsp flax seeds
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp Ceylon cinnamon
- Grab your high-powered blender, throw all the ingredients in and blend until smooth. I used my Vitamix and it took between 20-30 seconds. And yes, this is one of the many reasons I am absolutely in love with my Vitamix :)
So why is this smoothie “berry” good for you? And why is it anti-inflammatory? Let’s break it down:
Unsweetened Non-Dairy Milk: dairy causes inflammation in the body, so any kind of unsweetened non-dairy milk is a good choice. Look for a brand that doesn’t add oil. Or even better, make your own (I will be posting about how I make my almond milk in the near future).
Blackberries: these little beauties contain a type of antioxidant that reduces inflammation. They are also filled with fiber, which can help alleviate digestive issues caused by pain medication.
Cherries: now, before you get all up in arms that I used frozen cherries and not tart cherry juice, hear me out. Yes, tart cherries and tart cherry juice have been shown by research to reduce inflammation the most, but that doesn’t mean that delicious sweet cherries aren’t helpful as well. In fact, sweet cherries have loads of antioxidants (just like blackberries) and it’s this antioxidant that gives them their dark colour, reduces inflammation and decreases pain. Cherries also contain natural melatonin, which aids with sleep. And what better way to recover from a surgery than to get lots of sleep and let your body heal! Dark cherries are also delicious and add a delightful sweet flavour to this smoothie :)
Banana: not only do bananas add creaminess to the smoothie, they also contain tryptophan (the stuff turkey is known for having), which helps the body feel relaxed and happy.
Beets: these bright gems are great for helping cleanse the liver and blood. And since pain medication is hard on the liver, eating beets is a great way to support your liver. Beets also have iron, which helps in the formation of hemoglobin.
Ginger: okay, ginger is an all-star when it comes to…well, pretty much everything. It’s not only anti-inflammatory and helps relieve pain, it also helps with nausea, assists the body in maintaining good blood circulation, helps the body absorb nutrients, helps with digestion, and can strengthen immunity.
Hibiscus Flower: whether you enjoy it as a tea or just blend up the actual dried flower, hibiscus flowers are loaded, and I mean loaded, with antioxidants.
Flax Seed: now we’re talking omega-3 fatty acids, because flax seeds have them and they’re great for helping with inflammation. Flax seeds also have fiber and antioxidants.
Turmeric: just like ginger, turmeric is also an all-star. It helps the liver cleanse, speeds up wound healing, is anti-inflammatory and a natural pain killer.
Ceylon Cinnamon: and last, but not last, Ceylon cinnamon. I love cinnamon and add it to pretty much everything. In addition to tasting great, it helps stabilize blood sugar, is anti-microbial, regulates blood clotting and is anti-inflammatory. It’s important to use Ceylon cinnamon though, find out why here.
Okay, I’m officially tired of typing- back to the kitchen I go :)
UPDATE! This recipe has been shared at Raw Food Thursdays, Wellness Weekend, Fat Tuesday, Thank Your Body Thursdays, Make Your Own Mondays, Fresh Bites Friday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Natural Living Mondays, Whole Food Wednesdays, Whole Food Fridays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Summer Potluck Party, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Healthy Vegan Fridays and Healthy 2Day Wednesdays.