I don't know about you, but am I EVER looking forward to SPRING!!! While I love a beautiful snowfall outside my window, or a good snowshoe or cross-country pursuit, by this time of the year, as are many of us I'm sure, we are more than ready for warm weather, greenery and the sights and sounds of spring!
Along with the anticipation of spring comes this inherent desire to detoxify from winter, to refresh, rejuvenate and re-energize the body! I came across the following recipe in my search for a smoothie recipe that would help with that intention, and in finding what I found, I was surprised to see just ANOTHER way in which I can also use tahini (sesame seed paste) in a smoothie! Prior, I had used tahini with banana, among other ingredients, including ground cardamom, ground turmeric and black pepper, but was looking to combine it with one of my favourite, antioxidant-rich fruits - blueberries! Low and behold, I come across a blueberry, cucumber and tahini recipe that is incredibly FRESH-TASTING, REJUVENATING and reminds me of....you've got it...SPRING!
The recipe is sourced from "Nutritiously Naughty", a beautiful blog by Ruth Cardiff of the UK . Her blog features Celiac Disease and IBS-friendly recipes, for those that would particularly benefit from that type of nutritional focus. You may access her blog here.
The recipe, including my adaptations:
150ml almond milk (*I like to use anywhere from 1-1.5 cups, depending on desired thickness)
1 banana (*I like to use not overly-ripe, frozen banana - this could even be reduced to a 1/2 banana)
1 cup frozen blueberries
15 cm cucumber
1 tbsp. tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 tsp. maca powder
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional) (*any protein power you have on hand would be fine - or you could substitute a few tbsp. hemp seeds as a complete protein source)
½ tbsp. cacao nibs (as garnish)
1. Combine all of the ingredients (except the cacao nibs) into a high-speed blender and blend until thoroughly combined.
2. Pour into a glass and sprinkle with the cacao nibs.
Is sesame seed paste
“Unhulled” sesame seeds/tahini will be more nutrient-rich yet more bitter,
“Hulled” sesame seeds/tahini will contain less calcium, due to the hull/outer coating of the seed being removed
Is rich in dietary fiber
Rich in calcium, copper, iron, lecithin, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin (vitamin B1), selenium and zinc
Additional Ingredient Highlights:
Cucumbers provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits[i]
They are an excellent source of both vitamin K (assists with blood clotting) and molybdenum (a mineral that assists with the metabolism of both carbohydrates and fats)[ii]
Blueberries lend rich antioxidant value, working to counteract the effects of oxidative stress within the body
Blueberries show evidence of improving memory and slowing down cognitive decline with age[iii]
Blueberry intake has been shown to support the Cardiovascular System, by means of improving blood fat balances (including reduction in total cholesterol), increasing HDL (good) cholesterol and lowering of triglycerides (which help store fat that your body uses for fuel – too many triglycerides is not a good thing!)[iv]
[i] The World’s Healthiest Foods: Cucumber. Retrieved February 20), 2017 from http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=42
[ii] The World’s Healthiest Foods: Cucumber. Retrieved February 20, 2017 from http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=42
[iii] The World’s Healthiest Foods: Blueberries. Retrieved February 20, 2017 from http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=8
[iv] The World’s Healthiest Foods: Blueberries. Retrieved February 20, 2017 from http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=8