Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Green-A-Colada

It has been chilly and gloomy out there the past few days but today....today is a beautiful day. The sun is shining, the grass is green and there is no wind. I was craving something a little tropical to go along with the beautiful weather. I miss the long summer days, never ending sunshine, blue skies..... and this drink reminds me of just that. The ingredients below make this filling smoothie for 360 kcal. I drink it in place of a meal.  If you don't need the protein, leave it out and you save 100 kcal.  
  • 1/3 c lite coconut milk
  • 2/3 c pineapple chunks
  • 1 small banana
  • 2 c organic baby spinach leaves
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I use Spiru-tein)
  • 1/2-1 c water depending on the thickness you like
  • Handful of ice
Mix all ingredients in blender until smooth. Yes, even the spinach! Trust me, you will hardly even notice it's there except the vibrant green color it adds. Green is totally the new "it" color. :)  I needed 1 c of water to thin my drink out with the added protein powder. Serve in a fun cocktail glass and umbrella for an extra special effect.

FUN FACTS:
  •  Pineapple - This sweet fruit contains the enzyme bromelain, which helps digest food. In larger doses, it has been shown to lessen inflammation and reduce certain types of swelling due to the enzyme's ability to block the production of kinins that form during inflammation. In clinical human trials, supplementation with bromelain has demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory effects in conditions such as sinusitis, sore throat, arthritis and aids in recovery after surgery. However, fresh pineapple is also an excellent source of manganese, vitamin C, vitamin B1, Vitamin B6, copper and dietary fiber.
  • Coconut milk- Coconut milk contains lauric acid (saturated fatty acid), a nutrient that is found in a breast milk and is easily metabolized by the body. It has lots of vitamins in addition to electrolytes so it is great for nourishing the body . It is also full of antioxidants and those little guys are great for preventing cancer and warding off degenerative diseases.  Researchers have also found it is  anti-bacterial (kills off bad bacteria in the stomach), anti-viral and anti-microbial. And because we all want great skin and hair, coconut is often used in the pharmaceutical industry for moisturizing, repairing and healing of skin and hair. In addition to smoothies, try it in a few home beauty remedies.
  • Bananas- I adore bananas and I don't care that they are higher in carbs than some other fruits. They have good levels of fiber and are rich in potassium. Potassium helps maintain cell integrity, electrolyte and fluid balance and helps keep our heart beating steadily. Be sure to get enough if exercising because low levels of potassium have been linked to muscle cramps in athletes. In addition, there is strong evidence that consuming foods high in potassium can help regulate blood pressure. They also contain vitamin B6 (important for red blood cell and protein metabolism) and vitamin C. Oh and have you heard of fructoogliosaccharides?? Well, just know that bananas have them and they seem to work in the same way as probiotics ("friendly" bacteria).
  • Spinach-Spinach is a powerhouse food. It contains beta carotene, lutein and xanthene all of which are beneficial to those beautiful eyes. Plus, spinach is a good source of vitamin K, which is helpful in retaining calcium in the bone matrix leading to bone mineralization (strong bones). Furthermore, I am sure you have heard of or seen CO-Q10 supplements somewhere. This antioxidant is a component of spinach and plays an important role in strengthening muscles, especially the heart.
Resources:

2 comments:

  1. Let me know what you think! I loved the banana and pineapple together and the coconut milk made it nice and creamy! Couldn't taste the spinach at all :) <3

    ReplyDelete

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