This recipe marks a pretty monumental achievement. I have a new favourite smoothie. This might sound fairly humdrum to those of you living outside of my head (which I guess would be all of you, with the exception of Conor, on occasion), but I can assure you, a new smoothie entering my breakfast rotation is not a frequent occurrence. I alternate between a couple favourites during the week and enjoy my Chocolate Almond Java Shake on the weekends when I know I have the time to hit the gym extra hard and need a little boost, but that’s about as adventurous as I get on a busy morning. But this smoothie… it’s like a cool burst of spring air. Not only is it completely satisfying, it’s absolutely invigorating. Designed to help aid digestion using a few key ingredients, I can guarantee this will wake you up at least as well as coffee and stimulate your digestive system to start producing all those gut-friendly enzymes in the process. If I could sum up the taste in one word, it would be vibrant. Between the tartness of the lemon, the kick of the ginger, and the freshness of the parsley, it really tastes like a happy garden in a glass. Scroll down for a full breakdown of the health benefits of this smoothie! Let’s show our tummies some love, shall we? Parsley: An effective treatment for constipation and a wonderful digestion aid, parsley has many benefits. It is rich in antioxidants and vitamins, including Vitamin C, B12, and K, and a natural diuretic, helping to relieve congestion and inflammation in the kidneys and bladder and alleviate pain in the joints. Chewing parsley at the end of a meal also aids digestion and freshens the breath – no chewing gum necessary! Romaine Lettuce: Another diuretic and digestive aid, romaine (along with other large, leafy lettuces) helps flush toxins from the body and can sooth gastric distress and bloating. It is full of soluble fibre – another bonus for digestion – along with beta-carotene, iron, and vitamin C. Lettuce also contains lactucarium, a natural sedative. Ginger: Ginger is well-known for its ability to combat nausea and other stomach upsets, but it also helps move food through the digestion tract and alleviates gas and bloating. Ginger in the morning is especially useful, since it stimulates the digestive enzymes in your mouth and stomach to “wake up.” Ginger is also powerfully anti-inflammatory. Lemon: Despite being acidic, lemons actually have a calming effect on the gut, helping to relieve heartburn, nausea, indigestion, and stomach aches. They are highly alkalizing and antibacterial, and can reduce LDL cholesterol in the blood. Another diuretic, lemons reduce bloating and water retention. Coconut Oil: Despite being pure fat, coconut oil is high in medium-chain-triglycerides (MCTs), meaning it can actually help with weight management by reducing appetite, boosting metabolism, and increasing the activity of fat-burning cells. MCTs also help lower the risk of heart disease. Coconut oil also fights bacteria, viruses, and fungi, as it is a natural antibiotic and antifungal. Matcha: Packed with antioxidants called polyphenols (137x more than regularly brewed green tea!), matcha offers protection against various forms of cancer and helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. It is also an effective detoxifier, and has been shown to boost the metabolism and provide a steady dose of energy, enhancing mood and aiding concentration throughout the day. Matcha also contains a good amount of fibre, along with vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc, and magnesium. I encourage you to buy organic produce whenever possible, but nowhere is this more important than when blending greens. Leafy green vegetables are among the worst culprits when it comes to absorption of pesticides – having no protective skin or rind to keep out at least a portion of these chemicals, conventionally grown greens pose a serious risk to your health. And since you’re breaking them down completely before they even get to your digestive system, those toxins are essentially being mainlined right into your bloodstream. Spring Detox Smoothie (serves 1) ~ gluten free, vegan, raw, soy free, no added sugar ~ Inspired by Happy Digestion Smoothie Ingredients
- 1 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy beverage – I use my vanilla cashew-almond milk)
- 1/4 cup filtered water
- 1 frozen banana
- 2 cups romaine lettuce
- 3/4 cup parsley
- 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
- a generous squeeze of lemon
- 1 serving raw vanilla protein powder
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 3-4 ice cubes
- 1 tsp matcha powder
- 1 tsp maca powder (optional)
- Add the almond milk, water, frozen banana, lemon juice, and ice cubes to the blender, along with all of the dry ingredients (protein powder, matcha, maca if using).
- Blend on high until mostly incorporated, then, with the blender still running, slowly add in the various greens, ginger, and coconut oil. Continue blending until completely smooth, adding cold water a splash at a time if necessary.
- Enjoy immediately.