Friday, September 7, 2012

the chocolate blueberry grime fighter

Spring I love you! I'm not even in the Southern Hemisphere right now but I can still feel that spring in my step. Why? Because I'm living the goodness through my friends and family back home. When we connect through the cyber world I can literally see the winter weight lift and their faces brightening (not that any of them were ever not-bright and beautiful)! So I wanted to write a post with those lovely people in mind.

Spring time to me is all about freshness, colour and... cleaning. And I'm not just talking about spring cleaning the bedroom, kitchen or desk at work. I think this time of year calls for a decent boost and clear out of our insides. I like to do this by filling my body with nourishing foods and aiding my digestive system in to a healthy, ultimate functioning mode. 

My first step is to drink drink drink the goodness - sometimes in the form of a fresh vegetable and fruit juice, but most of the time as a smoothie. Enjoying one of these puppies for breakfast is a perfect way to start the day. This week's Grime Fighter Smoothie kicks some serious ass - filling you with super rich antioxidant foods to help get rid of those mean toxins and grime that creep their way into our system. Sounds like just the ticket for a Spring clean out right?!

Blueberries and chocolate both taste amazing and are packed with antioxidants. So pairing these two together makes for an explosion of healthy-deliciousness. I've given some background on raw cacao in this post here. It's worth taking a look, especially if you're interested in some of the key differences between raw cacao and cocoa. It's pretty awesome to learn that something so yummy can be so good for you. Raw cacao not only has extremely high antioxidant levels, but it's magnesium-rich qualities can help promote healthy heart function and good circulation along with nerve, muscle and bone strength.

Antioxidants and Blueberries - We're exposed to free radicals (the bad little molecules that latch on to our cells and destroy healthy tissue) due to natural chemical processes in our body and from the environment (air pollution, cigarette smoke etc). Sometimes, no matter how 'clean' we try to live our lives, it's hard to avoid their effects. This is why we should all love antioxidant rich food because antioxidants can help our body to fight infection and rebuild damaged cells by neutralising free radicals. Blueberries are full of antioxidant nutrients which can help repair and protect against tissue damage within our muscles and in a range of body systems like the cardiovascular system and nervous system.

Hemp Protein - So while I was getting all excited, piling blueberries and cacao into my blender, I thought I'd take it one step further and throw in some hemp protein. Hemp protein is a bi-product of pressed hemp seeds. This superfood is oh-so-super because it contains all of the essential amino acids our body needs, making it a complete protein which is not so easy to find in plant based foods. Protein is really important - it provides strength and support to the tissue all throughout our body, and is needed for muscle repair and building. Hemp protein is also a great source of essential fatty acids - omega 3 and 6 - and provides them in the ideal ratio for our body to utilise. Essential fatty acids give us an effecient energy source while promoting and supporting all things good for our bodies - healthy heart, nerve, muscle and brain function, bone strength, circulation and healthy cell growth. Why would I not add a scoop of this to my smoothie?? Make me strong to fight the grime I say. 

So if you're after a way to kick the winter slumps, starting yourself on a spring transformation or just wanting to maintain a healthy balanced bod at any time of year - give the Grime Fighter Smoothie a go!

the chocolate blueberry grime fighter 

1 frozen banana*
1 cup blueberries - frozen or fresh
1 Tbls hemp protein powder
1 heaped Tbls raw cacao
2 Tbls of raw almonds - I had sliced almonds on hand, but whole almonds work too
1 Tbls honey
3-4 ice cubes**
1 cup of water 

Add all ingredients to a blender, and blend until smooth. It's that easy. Feel free to add more or less water to thicken or thin the consistency.

* I usually add frozen bananas to my smoothie. Having a smoothie icy fresh is pretty crucial - warm room temp banana just doesn't cut it for me. Plus, that way I can buy a bunch and not worry about them over ripening. Before you freeze them, peel and chop each banana into four or five pieces (I make them the same-ish size so I know how many bits to grab when I need one banana). Freeze pieces separated on a tray, and bag together once frozen which will prevent them sticking together.

** Add more ice cubes if you are not using frozen bananas or frozen blueberries. It really makes a difference when this smoothie is icy cold!

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