Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Eating Your Spinach

Spinach just happens to be one of those amazing power foods that packs a lot of nutrients into one serving. Spinach is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Niacin and Zinc, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Manganese. In other words, it's just that healthy!

The downside of spinach is the taste. It has a deep earthy flavor that some adults and kids alike find off-putting. But if we are to be good stewards of our bodies then finding ways of incorporating good nutritious food like spinach into our diet is essential.

Enter the smoothie! Smoothies are a fun easy way to get lots of good stuff into our diets without sacrificing flavor and enjoyment. Just take this recipe, for example. The spinach gets blended with a banana and wheat germ or flax seed for an added boost of fiber. When it's all ready to pour into a glass the spinach is still there but the banana is the only thing you can really taste. And I did let my kids try this and they loved it.

Banana Spinach Smoothie


•1 whole Banana, Sliced
•1 cup Packed Fresh Baby Spinach Leaves
•1 cup Soy Milk Or Skim
•1 teaspoon Ground Flax Seed Or Wheat Germ
•½ cups Crushed Ice


Combine ingredients into a Magic Bullet or blender. Blend for about 30 seconds or until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy.

Serves one.


Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Pineapple Avocado Gazpacho

I LOVE everything pineapple. Pineapple juice, fresh pineapple, pineapple upside-down cake, pineapple salad, pineapple Hawaiian shirts! And I LOVE almost everything avocado. Avocado guacamole, avocado salsa, avocado smoothies, avocado bread (but NOT avocado green refrigerators - I did say almost).

But putting pineapple and avocado together in a chilled soup was a little daring, for me, but I am more willing to take the leap when I think about all the health benefits of pineapples and avocados. For instance, pineapple is a great low-calorie food at just 50 calories per 100 grams, or about 1/2 cup. It is high in Vitamin C and is a great digestive aid, especially if eaten between meals as a snack. Avocado is also a wonderful health food, as avocados provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid.

So I dare you to try this recipe and tell me if you're as surprised at how tasty it is as I am!

Pineapple & Avocado Gazpacho Soup


- 2 cups fresh pineapple
- 1 avocado
- 1/2 to 1 jalapeno pepper
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 lime
- sprouts (sunflower sprouts are the best) or cilantro for a garnish

1. Remove the seeds and chop the jalapeno pepper. Wearing gloves is a great idea when you do this so that you don’t risk your fingers burning, and be careful not to touch your face or eyes until you remove the gloves and wash your hands!
2. Squeeze the juice of one lime into a blender and add 1 cup of pineapple, half an avocado, half the jalapeno pepper and the sea salt.
3. Blend the mixture well.
4. Pour the mixture into a large bowl and mix in the remaining finely chopped 1 cup of pineapple, half an avocado and half the jalapeno pepper.
5. Add a little water if you prefer a thinner soup, but I like my gazpacho thick.
6. Garnish with the cilantro or sprouts and make sure the soup is chilled!