For most people making smoothies, it’s throw in forgotten fruit at the bottom of a refrigerator into a blender with water, yogurt or milk. As time goes on, kale or spinach is added for more nutrients. Smoothies are healthy and fun drinks, and if you’re trying to break out of the banana, berry and/or spinach smoothie mix, Julie Morris’ “Superfood Smoothie,” will not only inspire better tasting smoothies, but it’s a chance to learn how to turn a smoothie into a nutritional powerhouse.
Morris started her quest for learning to eat healthy after becoming completely exhausted from running a 5K race, because her diet was focused on “…nutrient-absent calories of processed foods—white bread, pasta, baked goods—while eating almost no vegetables, protein sources or foods rich in essential fatty acids, minimal amounts of fruit.” She started her smoothies with a blender, water, and whole food ingredients. In the beginning, her smoothies didn’t taste good, but the simple change would lead her to improve her running time and workouts. Through her journey, Morris became a Chef specializing in superfood ingredients.
In the beginning of “Superfood Smoothies,” Morris breaks down the essentials of a healthy smoothie and why being concerned about nutrients is better than counting calories. As she mentioned, it’s best to analyze the amount of micronutrients per calorie. Nutrient density is ration of micro-nutrients—vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals—per calorie. The more micro-nutrients per calorie of food, the higher (better) the nutrient density of the food. A smoothie made with a teaspoon of raw, superfood powder, elevates a smoothie into a powerhouse healthy drink.
For “Superfood Smoothies,” Morris defines her ‘Super 15’ ingredients that are available at health food stores and online, such as Navitas Naturals. Her smoothies cookbook goes into detail about each of her ‘super 15,’ such as suggested serving size, substitutes, buying information and varieties. The following is an example of her ‘Super 15’ list.
Acai Berries: A berry low in sugar and packed with antioxidants. According to the National Cancer Institute, antioxidants prevent free radicals from damaging healthy cells, in which such damage could result in cancer.*
Algae: People either love or hate algae, but it’s super detoxifying. Only a pinch is needed in a smoothie to pack it with minerals, such as iron, vitamin D and vitamin B. Morris recommends using it with strong flavors, such as chocolate, apple or lemon to mask it’s oceanic taste.
Cacao: If reading about algae wasn’t persuasive than learning about cacao is the superfood to convince us healthy smoothies truly rock our world. Cacao is a raw form of chocolate. And, I’ve used it in recipes calling for cocoa powder on a one-to-one ratio. Navitas Naturals offers it in two forms: powder and nibs. Not convince of the deliciousness of cacao? Try Navita Naturals Coffee Cacao snack, it’s a sweet energizing snack without the caffeine jitters.
Camu Powder: Morris calls this berry the “South American version of cranberry.” It’s tart, and a teaspoon is only needed. It’s super-high level of vitamin C makes this an immune boosting superfood.
The other ‘Super 15’ includes chia seeds, flax seeds, sea buckthorn berries, maqui berries, goji and so on. Her favorite smoothie, Creamy Orange (see recipe below) taste like a creamsicle sans the sugary guilt from an ice cream truck. It’s sweetened with medjool dates, nutritionally packed with cashews, hemp seeds and camu powder while using orange juice and zest.
The last part of “Superfood Smoothies,” is a supplementary section of how to make nut and seed milks and substitute superfood ingredients. Morris also recommends which smoothie enhances specific health concerns. With Morris’ ‘Superfood Smoothie,’ your frozen drinks go from predictable water and fruit concoctions to exciting powerhouse nutritional drinks with creative flavors (for added citrus flavor, Morris inspires me to add orange zest to my smoothies).