I’m a woman who loves her smoothies. My blender, Janet, is honestly one of my best friends. If you’ve been following me at all, for any period of time, you know that when life hands me a quandry, I’m very likely to try and fix it with a smoothie. I know that sounds weird, but it’s true. My oldest, he doesn’t sleep. I create a cherry bedtime smoothie to help calm him down at night. I’ve been over-indulging and need a drastic detox reset, I grab some kale and blend away. And just a few weeks ago, when my middle was scary sick (you know, when a child is so sick they’re just limp? It’s terrifying) with the flu there was no doubt that I was going to turn to my kitchen to try to help speed healing along.
This does not mean that I am adverse to modern medicine and rely on only food and nutrition to heal. I’m way too lazy (and realistic) for that. Plus, I really like junk food so I don’t think I’m a candidate for a completely holistic lifestyle. But I do strongly believe that what you put in your body has a direct effect on how you feel–it doesn’t take an expert to figure this out. So when things start to go wrong and don’t feel right, it just stands to reason that we should start looking at our plates (or cups) and make adjustments as needed.
So that’s the motivation for this post, friends. With this flu season being ridiculous (the worst since the 2009 swine flu chaos) we need all the help we can get. I did some poking around and gathered up five awesome options that are sure to give you a boost this season. There’s something for everybody in here, from green smoothies to a protein packed peanut butter option (speaking my love language here). You can’t wrong stacking your health deck with food. Give these a try–I swear flu fighting never tasted so sweet.
Green Smoothies have been all the rage for some time now, and with good reason. Greens are packed with Vitamin C (really!) and also have immune-boosting properties that are so important when trying to stay healthy during flu season. I love this smoothie because it pairs kale with pineapple, which is a great anti-inflammatory agent and also helps balance out the flavor of, you know, the kale. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully. With the technique laid out in this post you also get the added benefit of a super-smooth green smoothie, because no one wants to chew their drink. That’s just gross.
Just one look at this smoothie is enough to make you smile. It’s beautiful. Kids love when their food is interesting and unique, so you can be sure a striped smoothie is going to be a big hit and go down without a fight. But on top of looks, this smoothie packs a great immune-boosting punch. Chock full of antioxidants, wild blueberries are a delicious way to help bolster your immune response to infection. While there is a slight nutritional difference between a wild blueberry and one that you can find at, say, your local Kroger, I would say that for our purposes use what you can find. Most grocers will have wild blueberries in the frozen section, but if not, don’t sweat it. Either way, with this beauty you’re getting great health and a gorgeous drink all in one.
Y’all know how I feel about this smoothie. I swear it helped my family recover from the flu a few weeks ago and also kept me healthy so that I could actually do my job as a mom and care for my sick babies. It’s a regular in our rotation now, even after we kicked the flu. It’s packed with Vitamin C. We use Halos, mainly because my kids love them so we always have them on hand. I also think they make the texture a bit smoother than a regular orange because they have less pulp. But this is one where I think you can use what you have and don’t have to stress too much over what type of orange you throw in. The beauty is in the addition of the ginger and tumeric. According to my middle, “it tastes a bit like orange pumpkin pie.” Which I interpret to mean it tastes like a Dreamsicle. And we all know how delicious those babies are.
Peanut Butter makes everything better. At least it does for me. I am a lick the knife, eat it by the spoonful, peanut butter addict. I use it in everything from savory sauces to baking. It’s versatile and delicious and I cannot get enough. But I NEVER would have thought of pairing it with blackberries. Grapes, sure. Strawberries, yes, in jelly form. But Blackberries. Never. And then I tried this smoothie. And it blew me away. I love the balance of the vanilla, peanut butter and berries. I love that it’s a bit more filling because of the added protein so it keeps me full for longer. And I love how healthy it is. Great for after a workout or even just a breakfast on the go, this is the perfect smoothie for the nut butter lover in your life.
This is a fun, unexpected little smoothie. Pairing Avocado with Papaya would never, in one million years, have crossed my mind. Especially in a smoothie. But this little drink makes it happen. I love how the avocado adds a silky texture to this drink. Texture can make or break a smoothie. Pricey high powered blenders make easy work of tough ingredients to give you that Jamba Juice texture, but not all of us can afford one. The next time you’re battling with your smoothie, mad because you can’t get the texture right, throw in half an avocado and see if that helps. Not only does it smooth it out, it’s also amazingly anti-inflammatory so it gives a nutrition boost as well. And Papaya, well, that’s just a fun unexpected fruit. I love the change of pace it provides from my typical smoothie rotation. And also it reminds me just a bit of Mexico, which is a wonderful day dream in cold dreary February here in the States.