The Magical Kiwi Smoothie (and why fresh fruit juices rule)

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Alexia, happily posing with The Magical Kiwi Smoothie

The picky eater

Let me be clear about one thing: I like savory things. I do not enjoy fruit with the exception of clementines. Give me nuts, beans, fresh vegetables with a bit of salt or olive oil and I am happy. But we do need fruit; a variety of them, because each one offers us a different range of nutrients. My partner loves bananas and kiwis. I hate the fuzz on the peel of kiwis and I find bananas a bit too sweet. Anyway, you get the point. Not a fruit person. And a picky fruit eater.

The solution

But as the weather is getting better, it is smoothies time again, which means that I can just put everything in the blender and drink the juice. By blending you can manage to consume much more than the recommended five-a-day. And you can sneak in fruits and vegetables that you do not particularly like, because as long as you put a banana in, it will cover most tastes. Spinach and avocado are good examples of healthy vegetables that some people do not like on their own. Blend them with a banana. You will not know they are there! Coconut milk has the same effect. It disguises tastes.

The Magical Kiwi Smoothie

So these days I am blending one apple, two kiwis and one banana. I also add 1/4 cup rice or almond milk, just because my blender behaves better if there is some fluid at the bottom. I do not have a Vitamix (but if you want to get me one as a present I would be thrilled), just a simple blender made of glass. Which means that no matter how crappy your device, you do not have an excuse to get away from making smoothies.

It takes less than 5′ to make, including the peeling of all the fruits. I have read online that some people eat the peel of the kiwi as well, because it offers more fiber this way. Sounds reasonable. You can get rid of the fuzz if you scrub it with some kitchen paper. You can also choose to peel the apple or not.

Now, why did I choose these particular fruits?

Kiwi: It is high in potassium. Potassium is a mineral which -among other things- regulates the fluid balance in our body. It plays a key role in nerve response, muscle contractions as well as proper cell function. If you have a high blood pressure and the doctor has dictated a low sodium diet, increasing your kiwi intake is a good idea, as potassium counteracts sodium. A cup of kiwi offers almost 1/3 of the daily recommended amount of potassium and copper and about 8% of the daily recommended amount of manganese. A cup of kiwi will also provide you with twice as much vitamin C as you need daily. It will also provide you with 18% of the vitamin E you need and 60% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin K. This means that it is full of antioxidants that will keep your skin, hair and nails looking youthful, while vitamin K is necessary to regulate blood clotting processes.

Apple: “an apple a day…”. It actually is true. Apples are low in calories and high in fiber, which means that they are a great weapon against obesity. Fiber is very important in order to make sure that you have regular bowel movements and avoid constipation. Additionally, dietary fibers helps keep cholesterol levels low and prevent cardiovascular disease. Apples have vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, potassium, folate, phosphorus and calcium as well. Apples also contain a mineral called boron that scientists believe might help prevent osteoarthritis and reduce pain to arthritis patients.

Banana: Bananas are fat and cholesterol free so you can use them to satisfy your craving for sweets without guilt. They are also rich in potassium and they have vitamin C. They also contain vitamin B-6 and 3 bananas can give you more than 100% of the daily recommended amount. B-6 is used by the body for the creation of new cells. Those 3 bananas will also provide you with all the manganese you will need daily. Manganese is used to keep a healthy metabolism and strong bones.

A note about carbohydrates

Keep in mind that fruits provide our body with natural, complex carbohydrates. Contrary to simple carbohydrates, like refined sugar and refined flour, that satisfy your sweet tooth but cause your blood sugar to spike, complex carbohydrates are a source of energy that is steadily used by your body, without creating energy crash, moodiness or new cravings. Drinking a fruit smoothy each time you feel tired will pick you up in no time and this energy will last for many hours.

The extras

If you feel you need some more energy, you can add to your smoothie a handful of soaked cashews or two medjool dates (or both). I like to add a spoonful or raw hemp powder, when I feel I need more protein, a teaspoon of chia seeds for extra calcium and a teaspoon of flax seeds for omega 3 fatty acids. I get bored easily, so I change up my recipes and mixes.

Do not drink your smoothie half an hour before and half an hour after consuming coffee. Caffeine inhibits the absorption of iron and possibly other vitamins and minerals.

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