Turmeric has gotten a lot of the rage on all the health blogs and magazines, but for a good reason. It has strong anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce inflammation in the body. You can find typically find turmeric (curcuma) in a lot of Indian dishes (curries or soups), but now, almost any juice bar has a turmeric juice or lemonade. I am big fan of turmeric ; it's spicy, very flagrant and always makes be feel better after I have eaten foods that don't agree with me, or that I shouldn't be eating. I hate to jump on the bandwagon here, but I can't help myself. Next to cardamom, turmeric is my favorite spice, so its only makes sense to add a turmeric smoothie to my collection!
Despite the recent attention to turmeric, the claims of any holistic remedy can be debated and you should always do your research first. But I am huge fan, largely because of what I have learned and I have witnessed first hand.
TRUE STORY: When I was in the 7th grade, my family and I were eating out at an Indian restaurant in Phoenix, AZ. After dinner, we were hanging in the parking lot waiting for my Dad to wrap up his conversation with the owner--yes, my father was always the last person to leave a place and spark up a 30 minute conversation with a stranger on the way out.
We had one of those old-school vans with the sliding doors (not like the fancy upgraded vans with the automatic door controls, this was the 90s' people :-).
I was standing outside the van, waiting for my dad and giving him the 'c'mon daddy lets go evil eye,' when suddenly, here comes the van door, sliding swiftly and crushing my hand!! Yes, my brother wasn't looking and slammed my hand in the door. It took a while to get it out and while it was incredibly painful, as any preteen would do, I made a HUGE, dramatic scene in the parking lot, more than what was warranted... I mean, it was just 3 days away from Volleyball tryouts and now my season was ruined!!
The owner of the restaurant came over with my dad, handed me some ice and told me to stop "worrying sweetheart, just have your mom make a turmeric paste, wrap it with a wet cloth and you'll be fine." And so, my mother did just that when we got back to Tucson. Long story short, I wrapped my hand religiously with that ikcy, orangey paste for the next few days. AND JUST like MAGIC, the swelling went down in 2 days. My hand was yellow and orange for a bit, but Volleyball try outs went well. I made the team again that year, and my older brother didn't feel so bad after that. At the time, I didn't really care to know what was in that "magic-orange paste," or why it worked. All I knew was that it worked and things were back to normal. #lifeofamiddleschooler. I actually completely forgot about this story until a few years ago when I came across turmeric again in some health magazine. And then it clicked, and I fully understood just how powerful this herb was.
Now a days, I just put turmeric in my curries or smoothies. When I am sick or have a soar throat, I drink turmeric milk or tea and it typically cures it up pretty quickly. I also find that when I feel bloated, or have gone off my normal clean diet, either during vacation or on one of my cheat days, eating turmeric dishes and drinks helps calm my digestive system. Integrating turmeric more into my diet, has also calmed my adult acne breakouts, which I struggled with for years.
Whether you want to use turmeric to treat a sprain, reduce inflammation, or just indulge in a tasty drink, this smoothie hits the spot. Below is my version of a turmeric lemonade recipe. I add tangerine or orange to cut the intensity and bitterness of turmeric and to also balance on the acidity of the lemon.
Turmeric Ginger Lemonade Smoothie Recipe (Tangerine, Lemon, Apple)
Serving Size: 16oz smoothie
Below is a recipe for turmeric shots, which are great for those post holiday/cheat meals, big nights outs, or when you want to build your immune system.
Turmeric Detox Shots
Serving Size: makes approximately 5, 3 ounce shots
Ginger Peach Greens Smoothie: (Kale Smoothie with Romaine, Broccoli & Green Apple, Peach and Ginger)
This is a perfect summer smoothie recipe. It has a spicy, tart taste to it. If you like ginger or peaches you're sure to love this recipe.
Why I made this: I love ginger, I love peaches and summer is here. Need I say more :-).
Why you should try: Broccoli is a good anti-inflammatory veggie packed with Vitamins B6, B2 and C, but it also can have an over powering taste in a smoothie. The ginger and ginger are a nice complement to each other and also a good way to disguise or to cut the strong flavor of the broccoli and greens. I drink this whenever I've need a little break for my every day green smoothie but still want to get in my greens with a little kick.
Ginger Peach Greens Smoothie: (Kale Romaine, Broccoli & Green Apple, Peach and Ginger)
Serving Size: 16oz smoothie
TIP: If you like sweeter smoothies you can swap the green apple for a gala apple.
**You can also use nectarines if you don't fancy peaches
I made this smoothie because I was looking for an earthly green taste that wasn't too overwhelming. I always default to kale for greens in my daily green smoothie, mainly because it's very cooling and so good for you. However, every now and then, I like to subtitute Chard for Kale. Chard is high in vitamin K, which has been linked to bone health. The romaine and citrus from the lemon tone down the chard a bit so you can still indulge in your greens without that strong taste.
Pear-a-Mint Smoothie (Pear, Romaine, Chard, Mint, Parsley, Lemon)
*This nutrition data is provided by https://www.fitwatch.com. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the data presented at https://www.fitwatch.com; I provide it as a courtesy.
This recipe is for the chocolate lovers who are looking for a healthier way of fulfilling those sweet cravings. While I typically start my day with my daily green smoothie, I also enjoy switching it up and adding this smoothie in as an afternoon kick. Raw cacao is also a great source of Magnesium, and other essential minerals including calcium, sulfur, zinc, iron, copper, potassium, and manganese. Sometimes I also throw in Maca Powder to give it an extra superfood kick.
Chocolate Mint Smoothie (Cacao, Mint, Banana, Dates)
It's getting hot in herre' but your body doesn't have to!
Let's face it, DC's hot and muggy summers can be quite uncomfortable, particularly if you hate the heat, and/or if you are a west-coaster like myself (this AZ girl prefers the dry heat!). While I am grateful this this summer has been more mild and cooler than most summers, it can still get pretty hot at times. During hot months, it's great to eat more cooling and hydrating foods to keep you hydrated and balanced.
This is even more critical for someone like myself, whose body type tends to get overheated very quickly. According to my Ayurvedic Body Type-Pitta, I should avoid spicier (heating) foods and favor more cooling foods to keep me balanced. In my early 20's I never paid attention to how I felt, or how my body reacted when I ate certain foods. The last 6 years or so, I started to be more mindful about what I was putting in my body, as well as paying more attention to how my body felt after I ate certain foods. This has made a word of difference for me-its helped my skin, digestion and my energy significantly.
I created this smoothie in the spirit of those watermelon lovers, 'Pitta Peeps,' and anyone who wants something refreshing to them cool down this summer. The aromatic-spiciness of the fennel compliments the sweetness of the watermelon very well; then its topped with a touch of lime and mint to keep it cool and balanced.
Watermelon, Cucumber, Fennel and Mint Smoothie
For more on Doshas & Ayurvedic medicine, click here.
Who am I and do why write this blog? Each time I ask myself that question, I find that I have so much more to learn and discover. "Who am I" is an ongoing process, and just when we think we've figured it out, life has its way of throwing us a ton of curve balls-but that's why its called a journey.
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