New Year Detox Smoothie
Now that the holiday cheer has abated, you may find yourself yearning for a lighter, cleaner diet once again. Perhaps you’ve overindulged just a little on the wine at the office party, or dug into that cheese ball at the buffet table one time too many. . . or was it the sticky toffee pudding that put you over the edge?
For me, January heralds a perfect time to reflect and refresh. But a good cleanse doesn’t have to mean near-starving or downing massive amounts of wheatgrass and lemon water (though I do imbibe those on a regular basis anyway).
A simple, natural way to detox involves eating and drinking whole, real foods as close as possible to their natural state.
If you’re looking to repair some of the effects of too much holiday hoopla, this smoothie is one of my all-time favorite tonics. Its secret ingredient is beets, a powerhouse root vegetable that provides a range of health benefits.
Beets help tone the liver (perfect to counteract the effects of excess alcohol, sugar or party food). They’re also chock-full of antioxidants that prevent several types of cancer (including colon, breast, prostate and testicular); they thwart inflammation that can lead to heart disease or Type II diabetes; and they are full of soluble fiber, folate, potassium, vitamin C and a host of other essential nutrients.
The other ingredients are all great for detoxing as well: kale contains chlorophyll, a potent detoxifier, and cucumbers are highly alkaline, perfect to reset a healthy pH balance in your body.
When blended into this fruity sipper, these nutritious roots will add a wee bit of sweetness and a vibrant fuschia hue, while working their healing detox magic–all without you even knowing they’re there (promise!).
What’s in your favorite healthy smoothie?
Brilliantly Beet Smoothie
Makes 1 large or 2 small servings.
1 medium beet, baked until soft, peeled and cut in chunks
1 cup (240 ml) mixed fresh or frozen berries (I used blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries)
3 large or 4 medium kale leaves (in keeping with the color scheme, I used purple kale)
1/2 medium cucumber, peeled and cut in chunks
juice of 1/2 lime
1 scoop of your favorite plain or vanilla protein powder (such as Vanilla SunWarrior)
1 cup (240 ml) plain or vanilla rice milk
5-10 drops (or 1 packet dry) plain or vanilla stevia
Place all ingredients in a high powered blender and blend until smooth. (Note: if you use fresh berries, you may wish to add 1-2 ice cubes for a cold smoothie). Drink immediately.
Ricki Heller is the author of Sweet Freedom: Desserts You’ll Love without Wheat, Eggs, Dairy or Refined Sugar (one of only three cookbooks endorsed by Ellen DeGeneres on her website) as well as three e-cookbooks. She writes the popular food blog Diet, Dessert and Dogs, where, for the past three years, she has chronicled her journey with candida and posted almost 600 sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan, whole-foods recipes.