This week's smoothie is a take on another smoothie I did during the summer, my 'Refreshing Green Smoothie with Cardamon, Lime and Strawberries' (click here for the recipe). Cardamon adds a beautiful warmth to this smoothie. I love this as now that the weather is getting colder, it is sometimes harder to have a cold green smoothie in the morning. Adding ingredients like cardamon and ginger to smoothies help to warm them and make them them easier to drink in the winter time. Cardamon is said to have many medicinal benefits from helping with digestive problems and oral health, to its diuretic properties, to being anti inflammatory, to helping with depression.
The green comes from a generous serving of baby spinach. Baby spinach is a great leafy green to add to smoothies as it doesn't have a strong flavour and so the smoothie doesn't taste too 'green' or too 'vegetably'. It is high in vitamin A, vitamin K and folate. This smoothie has 1 and a half cups of spinach per serving. Just one cup of raw spinach provides more than the daily recommended value of vitamin K. It provides 50 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin A. Vitamin K is required for blood clotting and Vitamin A is required for healthy eyesight, our immune system and skin and bone health.
I included sunflower seeds as they are a really good source of healthy fats and protein. This smoothie has 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds per serving, which provides 6 grams of protein, 12 per cent of the daily value. Not bad for first thing in the morning. The banana provides sweetness and the lime a lovely tangy flavour.
3 cups of almond milk
3 cups of baby spinach
4 tablespoons of sunflower seeds (soaked overnight and rinsed before use)
Juice of 1 lime
6 cardamon pods
Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Drink straight away or store in the fridge in a glass airtight container for up to 48 hours (shake well before drinking).
(Serves two good size portions)