This month’s smoothie is a gorgeous color. As a creator of healthy smoothies-as-meal-replacements, I’ve never really been as concerned about the way the smoothie looks as I am about the way it tastes. Lots of the smoothies I’ve presented to the Smoothie Clubs at Highland and Fairmont have been a sludgey green-brown color. It can happen that way when you mix cocoa powder with spinach or strawberries with kale. Last month’s Mocha Chip smoothie was absolutely delicious, but the color wasn’t great, and I was surprised to hear that it turned people off. I got similar feedback when I shared a holiday smoothie and someone said, “this is delicious, but my kid would never ever try this because it looks like swamp water.” Gross! And such a shame that the color could make the difference.
That being said, my goal this month was to make a beautiful, inviting drink that would please the eyes as well as the palate. I did this without compromising the eternal mission of creating a healthy smoothie-as-meal-replacement. This drink includes an extremely nutritious veggie alongside a healthy protein source and antioxidant-rich fruits.
You don’t typically think of cabbage as a sweet vegetable, but purple cabbage can be very sweet, especially raw. Rich in fiber and antioxidants, it brings a bit of sweet to the table without a blood sugar spike or empty calories. The red, purple, and blue colors in all fruits, vegetables, and flowers (including blueberries) is due to the anthocyanin content. Anthocyanins are a class of flavonoid compounds working as antioxidants in the body. They have been shown to yield tremendous health benefits:
“There is considerable anecdotal and epidemiological evidence that dietary anthocyanin pigments and polyphenolics may have preventive and therapeutic roles in a number of human diseases … A number of studies have shown that mortality from [Coronary Heart Disease] is inversely correlated with intake of flavonoids in the diet. Flavonoids may also help prevent strokes. While some flavonoids have been shown to inhibit tumor development, some experts have concluded that compounds other than flavonoids must be responsible for the anticancer effects of dietary fruits and vegetables.” – Ronald E. Wrolstad, Ph.D. (source)
There’s still a lot of work to be done to understand the important role that colorful fruits and vegetables play in disease prevention, but in the meantime, loading up on them in our diets seems to be the right way to go. This smoothie is as great place to start!
Deep Purple Something
- 1/8 small head purple cabbage
- ¼ green apple
- ¼ cup frozen blueberries
- ½ frozen banana
- 4 frozen strawberries
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt (either honey flavored or add a drop of honey)
- Equal parts almond milk and cold water