Zingiberaceae (ginger family) Wellness Smoothie

I’m still feeling under the weather, but this zingiberaceae (ginger family, which includes ginger and turmeric, and is well known for reducing inflammation) smoothie that I put together this morning actually seems to be helping with the inflammation of my sinuses, along with the Olbas cough syrup that I picked up from Outpost yesterday [which is an all-natural cough syrup made from honey, Olbas oil (A Swiss blend of peppermint, eucalyptus, cajeput, juniper, wintergreen, and clove oil), thyme, licorice, plantain, horse chestnut, and pine, and retails for around $8], and the 20-minute “Yoga for when you’re sick” video that I did earlier, and which you can find if you follow this link: https://youtu.be/n5YvtYXSocw

Ingredients:

1 C Spinach

1/2 C-1 C Kale

1 Frozen banana

1/2 in. finger of ginger (or less, if you don’t like ginger that much)

1 tsp. culinary matcha

1/2 a mango

1 frozen banana

1/2 in. (or less) finger of ginger

1/8-1tsp. turmeric (this really depends on whether or not you want to taste the turmeric)

1 1/2 C water

ice

Directions:

Blend the spinach, kale, one banana, one of the pieces of ginger, matcha, and about 1 C of water in a blender until smooth (adding the ice at the end if you wish to have a colder smoothie).  Empty contents into a glass.  Rinse out blender.  Blend the remaining ingredients in the blender until smooth.  Top off glass.  Stir if you wish. Enjoy!

A few other things that I’m doing for my cold/sinus infection are:

+Putting hot compresses on my face for 5 minutes or so every few hours

+Drinking lots of tea and water

+Using a eucalyptus tea tree chest rub that’s made by Tea Tree Therapy, which I bought back in January at my local health food store for $5 on sale (normally $8 I think), and which I still have over half a jar of.  This is a great natural chest rub to use, and I highly recommend using it as a substitution to Vick’s and the like.  You can also put a small bit underneath your nose and on the soles of your feet for extra relief!

+Getting more rest!

Cinnamon Ginger Superfood Smoothie

I’ve been feeling sick with a cold for the past few days, so this morning I decided to pack my smoothie with as many superfoods that I had left in the pantry and fridge in an attempt to feel better.  But before getting to the recipe, let’s back up a minute… What is so super about these so-called “super” foods?  And why do our bodies need them?

‘Superfood’ is just a fancy term that some clever marketing execs came up with to sell foods packed with vitamins and other nutrients vital to our survival, but they’ve been around for a lot longer than their recent popularity, and you’ve probably been eating some of them without even realizing their wondrous health benefits.  Before the advent of modern medicine, these foods, as well as other plants and plant byproducts (i.e.-honey), were the most widely available medicines on the globe, and today, there’s no reason that they can’t be effectively used for the same reason.  Including foods such as protein- and fiber-rich beans, green veggies like spinach which are rich in potassium and iron (especially important for all of the ladies out there), bananas super rich in vitamins and minerals, and omega fatty acid rich flax, just to name a few, ‘superfoods’ are available at most grocery stores and markets.

The superfoods that I put in this smoothie are bananas, flax, chia, and hemp (I plan on giving hemp it’s own post in the near future, so stay tuned!).

Ingredients:

2 1/2 Frozen bananas

2 Medjool dates, pitted

2 Tbsp. Hemp Protein

1/2 in. finger of fresh ginger

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 C unsweetened vanilla flax milk

1 Tbsp. Chia seeds (**I get a 2 lb. bag of organic raw chia seeds for under $12 on Amazon from The Raw Food Company, which is truly an unbeatable price, as a 1 lb. bag of chia seeds retails for more than this in the grocery store**)

Directions:

Add bananas, dates, hemp protein, ginger, cinnamon, and flax milk to your blender.  Blend until smooth, put in a glass, top with chia seeds, and enjoy!

Other things that I’m doing to feel better:

+Drinking jasmine green tea with a chunk of fresh ginger and honey (cayenne pepper and lemon are also a good addition for sore throats, and I’ll switch to this combo later on)

+Drinking lots of water

+Supplementing with 400mg echinacea capsules that I get from the health food store (which I take once daily year round, but increase to 2-3x/day when sick)

+Sitting outside in the sun to get some much needed fresh air and Vitamin D

+Going to the health food store (I go to Outpost Natural Foods) later on to get zinc cough drops, some tea, salad mix, soup, and a baguette (or if I don’t feel well enough to do that, ordering some pho from a place nearby that does takeout)

+Resting and cuddles!

Roasted Turmeric Curry Chickpeas, Greens, and Rice

Tonight for dinner I decided to roast chickpeas (a good source of protein and fiber) and serve them over a bed of rice, spinach, and kale, and topped with mushrooms sauteed in coconut oil (which has healthy fat).  As I do with many things, I added turmeric, which is a particularly potent plant part of the ginger family.  Since ancient times, turmeric has been renowned for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties (just to name a few), and can even be used as a natural dye-so be aware that it will stain your hands, your dish rags, your pots and pans, and anything else that it gets on.  Turmeric also supposedly possesses the power of opening up the third eye-which is perfect for today’s theme of detox Monday.  With a slightly sharp taste resembling, but still dissimilar to, mustard and ginger, turmeric is an incredibly versatile seasoning to use in every day cooking, so don’t be afraid to try it in different things!

Here is my recipe for tonight’s turmeric-inspired meal:

Ingredients:

1 25-oz. can of organic chickpeas (or two smaller cans, it really doesn’t matter), rinsed (canned non-GMO/organic beans can be expensive, so buy them when they’re on sale and stock up)

1/2-1 1/2 tsp. (depending on how much you love it) Turmeric (powder)

1/4 tsp. Cayenne pepper (powder)

1 1/2-2 tsp. Balti Curry Seasoning (or any curry that you wish)

(seasoning measurements are estimates, as I season to taste and appearance)

Cooked white basmati rice or rice of your choice (organic white basmati rice cooks for about 20 minutes covered on low-heat after boiling, and the water:rice ratio is 2:1) (cook extra if you want to save time and use leftovers to make lunch or dinner the next day!) (As a reference point, I made 2 cups of rice uncooked, I ate about 1 1/2-2 cups with my dinner and Mike the same, and I have about 5 cups left over)

2 C Spinach

2 C Kale

1 C Mushrooms

1-2 Tbsp. Olive oil

1 Tbsp. Coconut oil

Pink Himalayan salt to taste (you won’t need much, as Himalayan salt is quite flavorful)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (for crispier chickpeas that are great for snacking, cook at 425 or 450 for 30-40 minutes). Line a baking sheet with foil (I use foil made with recycled aluminum to help support the reuse and elimination of waste, but it is just fine to use the normal stuff).  After rinsing and drying the chickpeas, lay them out on the foil and drizzle them with the olive oil.  Sprinkle the seasonings and salt on the chickpeas and shake the chickpeas around on the pan until they are coated.  Put the chickpeas in the oven and cook for 20-35 minutes, agitating them a few times as they cook in order to roast them evenly.

In the meantime, you can cook your rice if you haven’t already, and it should be done around the same time as your chickpeas are!

In a pre-heated saute pan, add about 1/4-1/2 C of water and the spinach and kale.  Cook on medium heat until ready, about 4 minutes (the greens will be much smaller, flat, and dark green).

In a different pre-heated pan (or the same pan, if you want to save time), add the coconut oil, and then the mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms become soft, about 3 or 4 minutes.

After taking the chickpeas out of the oven, top a bed of rice with some of the spinach, kale, and mushrooms (I made this recipe to make 2-3 servings of the veggies), and then some chickpeas (1/2 C-1 C is a reasonable serving of the chickpeas), or just put it all together in a bowl and you’re good to go!

Stone Fruit Banana Split Green Smoothie

You can make this smoothie layered or blend it all together, it tastes delicious either way.  Now that warmer weather is here, stone fruits are a delicious fruit to add to your green smoothies to make them sweet, tart, and tasty treats.  Did you also know that stone fruits (orfruits with “stones”/pits in them rather than multiple seeds, such as cherries, plums, mangoes, etc.) are known as drupes?  Ya’ learn something new every day!

Ingredients:

1 handful of spinach

1 handful of kale

1/2 an avocado

2 Medjool dates (Make sure to pit them!  The first time I made a smoothie with them, I was so excited to try it that I completely forget that I bought them with the stone still in them, put them straight into the blender, and tiny pieces of the stone were chopped up in my smoothie :P)

1 plum (cut in half, for a layered smoothie)

2 frozen bananas

4 Tbsp. hemp protein powder

1 C cherries (freeze them the night before for a thicker smoothie)

1 C unsweetened vanilla coconut milk (or the plant-based milk of your choice; but make sure that it is unsweetened, as the extra sugar is unnecessary with the use of fruit in the smoothie)

1 C of water for blending

Directions:

For a layered smoothie, blend the spinach, kale, avocado, hemp protein powder, one date, one frozen banana, half the plum, and water until smooth.  Empty contents into glass.  Rinse out blender.  For the second layer, blend the cherries, another date and frozen banana, the other half of the plum, and the coconut milk until smooth.  Top off glass and enjoy!

If you’re short on time, blend all of the ingredients together (adding all of the coconut milk, and the water just as needed to blend).

Peppermint Plum Green Tea Smoothie

Ingredients:

Handful of kale

Handful of spinach

1 tsp. culinary grade matcha green tea powder (which gives nice, calm energy, and is packed with more antioxidants than normal green tea)

4 Tbsp. Hemp protein powder (I use Just Hemp Foods, which I purchase on Amazon for less than $11/container, and the containers last me about a week and half-two weeks, making it one of the most affordable plant-based protein powders available)

1 frozen banana

1 plum

2 pitted Medjool dates

Fresh peppermint

3-4 ice cubes

1 C cold water

Directions:

Add the kale and spinach to your blender, then add the matcha powder and hemp protein followed by the fruit, ice, and water.  Blend until smooth and enjoy!