“Stimulating. Cleansing. Internally antiseptic.” Ever think you’d hear those words applied to a common orange?
“Detoxifying. Anti-bacterial. Good for digestion.” A description worthy of a lowly carrot?
According to a book my mother gave me called The Food Doctor, Healing Foods for Mind and Body, yes! Moms and books are always right. Well, these two are.
I decided to combine these orange superfoods to make one heck of a beta-carotene rich smoothie. Beta-carotene is one of those friendly little anti-oxidants we love to invite to dinner. It helps your body remain cancer-free and in perpetual, sunny health. We could all use more help with that. I could. Okay, I could use more help with that. You may love this smoothie just because it’s so zippy.
Since carrots and oranges are both sweet, and therefore tasty in smoothies, I thought I could get away with adding a bunch of spinach too. Turns out, you can!
Note: always add some banana or apple when you put greens in your smoothie. They really help mellow the “green” flavor of them. (If you can get your spouse to be your hand model, you’re really onto something).
Incidentally, spinach also has beta-carotene, so, it figures they would go together. And the book actually calls it “the perfect food,” so how could you not let it join the party?
While a bowl of spinach cooked with garlic is good, there’s nothing like getting your greens out of the way first thing in the morning, in the form of a sweet smoothie. Makes you feel so virtuous, you don’t even regret that row of Oreos you polished off at your father-in-law’s last night! Or something like that. Anyway.
I cut up the carrots a little bit before putting them in. I like to do some of the work for the Vitamix so it doesn’t have to blend as long. The longer it blends, the warmer the food gets. It won’t be truly hot for at least four minutes, longer if you do naughty things like add ice, but still. I like smoothies c-c-c-cold.
Add a little water first, to make sure the blades have somewhere to go. (If you can get your spouse to sweep your floor as you blend, you’re really going places).
This beverage, like so many powerfully healthy ones, is…well, there’s no way to get around it: green.
And not a charismatic, intense green. If you have little kids, as I do, it becomes Turtle Green or Dinosaur Green. Or, just put it in a non-clear glass, call it an Orange Smoothie, and add a straw. A straw makes everything more appealing.
Even for mom.
If you don’t have minneolas or oranges, you will be happy with tangerines, clementines, whatevs. I really like the tartness of the minneolas, so you may want to add a 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice if you use a sweeter citrus. That tang is where the BLAST part of the “Beta Blast” comes in. It really is zingy!
Here’s the recipe!
- ⅓ cup water
- 3 medium carrots, or 2 large ones
- 3 minneolas or oranges, peeled
- (1/4 teaspoon lemon juice for tartness, if desired)
- ½ banana
- 4 cups loosely packed spinach
- 4 ice cubes
- Cut the carrots into 6-8 pieces. Put the water into the Vitamix, followed by the carrots, oranges, (lemon juice, if using), spinach, and banana. Turn on Variable 1, and quickly increase to Variable 10, then High. Tamp down, if necessary, to get everything moving. Blend for one minute. Add ice cubes through the lid, one at a time, and keep blending another minute.