Summer is a great time to add a lot of fresh foods to the diet. Especially locally grown fruits and vegetables. Or maybe you grow some of your own fruits and veggies? It’s amazing how easy it can be to grow, even a few things, in small spaces. Strawberries or blackberries in pots on the porch. Even blueberries can be grown nicely in a container, or as a lawn shrub.
However you get or grow your fresh summer produce– it can be a great time to find new ways to eat lots of healthy foods that taste great. And smoothies can be a great way to get a healthy meal into someone who has difficulty eating, or has less appetite ( more on that later) :)…
Have you ever made your own smoothie? It’s super-easy, if you just have a blender or a food processor. On really hot days, you can start with a handful of ice cubes, and grind them down into fine crushed ice. Then start with a good base, like bananas.
Bananas are high in potassium and other feel-good nutrients. So they are great for Alzheimer’s. And you can add all kinds of things into smoothies, as well. It can also be a great way to get someone to take “hard to swallow” vitamins and supplements. Just powder them up, by crushing them with a can or jar, and add them to the smoothie. Or, you can put the supplements in a bit of water for a few minutes and let them dissolve before adding them to the smoothie. All of the thickness and flavour in the smoothie, easily covers the taste of the vitamins, leaving only a trace sometimes, of the aftertaste.
ANYWAY- back to making great smoothies. One of my favourite smoothie recipes is bananas, raw almond butter, and a bit of almond milk. The almond butter is full of protein, and magnesium- which helps muscles and nerves relax, It also has a good bit of calcium and iron- so more healthy benefits for the body. Additionally, raw foods like raw almond butter ( you can get from some larger food chains, or from local health food store, or co-op. I occasionally find it for a great price at the local discount market! It costs half to 2/3 less, for the same brand in the health food store. When it is available, I try to stock up on a few jars)… also, the raw food aspect, means that it is bursting with those healthy enzymes that help keep the GUT and digestion healthy! A MUCH better alternative, to peanut butter 😉
SO- what to add to a smoothie? Some of it depends on taste. I love adding pineapple, but sometimes pineapple can be a bit pulpy… The benefits trade off against the pulp. Pineapple is one of the best foods for getting digestive enzymes– which, like raw nuts.. those enzymes help the body break down, and absorb nutrients.
Almost any fruit can be added to a smoothie. Last week, I experimented with a peach, pineapple watermelon smoothie. It was great! And if you want to add some protein, you can always toss in a spoonful of almond butter. The almond butter is also a great way to add calories, if that is an issue.
You can also add spices, like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and mint to your smoothies. Cinnamon has amazing benefits, from stimulating a sluggish appetite. All of these medicinal plants are great for nausea and vomiting and indigestion. It’s no wonder these helpful herbs have found their way into our kitchens!
Also, you can add other things to a smoothie for adding protein or calories. Coconut milk makes a thick creamy smoothie. Real coconut milk is actually more like a solic, slightly thicker say, than sour cream and it tastes almost like ice cream. It has a wonderful sweet, creamy flavour that blends well with most things. AND, you get some of the brain-health benefits of coconut added into the meal or snack. You may know that the Alzheimer brain cannot burn the normal glucose as its fuel… Coconut oils contain the medium chain fatty acids, that the Alzheimer brain can use as fuel. So it can help boost clarity and focus and memory- especially when it is used over a period of time.
You can also add hemp protein powder to the smoothie- and get the brain boosting benefits of (non-recreational) hemp. It is also high in the essential fatty acids, and possesses cannabinoids- which are beneficial to the brain. Plus, it is a great source of easily digestible protein, and again, it tastes great. Note, you can get hemp protein powder in various flavors, as well- like berry, and chocolate. Add a little extra, and a bit of coconut oil, and your smoothie can turn into a delicious pudding! You could even use that as a pie filling!!!!
Please share your best smoothie ideas or questions in the comments!!
I am an Education Specialist, Health Coach and Author. I work with aspects of the teachings I have learned from Andean shamanic and cosmology, to health, nutrition and education. Everything is energy. Energy must flow. Like water, when it does not flow, it stagnates and is not healthy. These techniques help your life to flow. I have been initiated into many of the ancient lineages and learned ceremonies, rites of passage and healing techniques. I have worked as a healer and done workshops and taught some of these aspects – passing the teachings on.
Dancing in Your Bubble : ancient teaching, modern healing
Natural Support for Alzheimer’s
Getting a Handle on Happy : find and fix causes of stress and depression
The Naturally Smarter Kid : a parent’s guide to helping kids succeed in school and life
Cafe of the Hungry Ghosts : behind the veil of ordinary – a paranormal-ish fiction book