Winter well and truly is a distant memory, and Spring is starting to gain the hint of heat of that Summer will bring. The leaves are back on the trees, the bulbs are flourishing. I've just done a big tidy up of the winter garden and have gone a little mad planting herbs, fruits and vegetables. Spring is such an energising time of the year, the weather calls you to get outdoors and start moving. This also helps to shake off the cobwebs of Winter, throw open the windows and let the breeze blow through not only the house but the body too.
Throughout Winter, I tend to avoid raw foods.
I cut back on the raw treats and smoothies and instead feed my body warmer and more nourishing foods. But now the weather is warm again, I'm introducing some raw foods back into my diet, including the odd smoothie. And boy am I enjoying a lovely big salad again! And now that we've shaken off the Winter shackles, it's the perfect time to have a bit of a detox. Our Spring journal post we had Amanda Adey sharing her tips for Spring and explaining why it's a great idea to detox.
Feeling a little sluggish myself, this smoothie is a perfect internal cleanse
I normally don't mess around with smoothies too much. I've previously posted My Favourite Smoothie which is really the only one I make. I deviate from it ever so slightly depending on what I have available but more or less stay true. It's delicious as it is and I do prefer a vegetable based smoothie rather than fruit based. The small amount of banana in it adds just the right amount of sweetness without tasting like banana. But now feeling the need for a cleanse, the Spring Detox Smoothie is a clearer and lighter drink.
Cucumber is a stunning vegetable, one I think is overlooked in terms of the benefits it provides.
Being full of water cucumber promotes hydration, plus they have a number of phytonutrients (natural compounds produced by plants to keep them healthy but also have anti inflammatory and antioxidant benefits eg curcumin, the yellow pigment in turmeric is a phytonutrient) that can potentially lower chronic inflammation and oxidative stress. It has only 16 calories per cup and has a very low GI. It is high in vitamin K (essential for blood clotting and bone maintenance) has good levels of vitamin C, B1 and biotin, copper, manganese, magnesium and potassium. But where the cucumbers power lies is in the phytonutrients it contains. Researchers have now been able to identify 73 different compounds that "are likely to provide us with antioxidant and amti-inflammatory benefits!" (Quote from whfoods.org) Cucumbers help the body rid itself of waste and toxins so are perfectly suited for supporting the kidney and liver through a detox.
Mint is fabulous for digestion
We all know about peppermint tea and how it soothes the stomach. Mint increases bile production which allows for easier digestion and helps relieve any excess gas. It's also great for heartburn. It is an acquired taste for some, just add what you enjoy, and if you really don't like it leave it out. I grow my mint, and have peppermint, spearmint, Vietnamese mint and Australian native River Mint. I love a selection of mint in this smoothie, as all the mints taste so different. Mint is also associated with the liver meridian in Chinese Acupuncture and helps remove stagnation of the liver, so is the perfect addition to this detox smoothie!
And we all know the benefits of leafy greens! If you read, or even made (hopefully you did!) the Kale, Broccoli and Berry Salad (another recipe inspired by the Spring post) you'll be familiar with the goodness leafy greens bring to your diet.
I'd love to hear if you make this smoothie!
- 11/2 cups coconut water - I use Natural Raw C coconut water
- 1 apple (your favourite kind)
- 1 cup chopped kale (or spinach)
- 1 cup cucumber
- 1 stick celery
- ½ lime - juice and skin. If you don’t have lime, lemon works well also
- Handful of fresh mint (to taste)
- Pinch of Celtic salt
Blend everything together until smooth and gloriously thick
Additions or Variations
- Blueberries or any berries
- Hemp seeds are something I add on a regular basis
- Chia seeds for a protein kick
- Any of the fruit or vegetable powders such as maqui, dragonfruit powder, beetroot powder, wheatgrass, acai - these are the ones I usually keep in my pantry although there are many others on the market.
- Jimmy Blacks black bean powder for protein