Tamarind Smoothie

I made an interesting smoothie yesterday that I just had to share.

  • of frozen Tamarind pulp
  • mixed berries
  • 1 banana
  • about 1/4 cup of kefir
  • romaine lettuce
  • water
  • stevia to sweeten

Note: my measurements weren’t exact. I just kind of threw everything in the blender and mixed.

I had never seen a smoothie recipe with these ingredients before but i’ve become bold with my smoothies!!!

Here was my process: I woke up in the morning. After my morning coffee and my time spent on the computer I head over to my kitchen to start preparing breakfasts and lunches for the whole family. The kitchen is bare. We didn’t stock up on groceries this weekend since we were in Orlando. The fruits and veggies are running low. The romaine lettuce is a day away from wilting. I open my freezer and I see frozen berries and frozen tamarind. I remember that tamarind is incredible healthy for you and is good for the colon, digestive tract, etc. I think to myself…we could definitely use a fruit that is good for the digestive tract and that will help all of us go to the bathroom and eliminate waste and toxins.
So I stick it all in the blender, hope for the best and press blend!

Tamarind is sour and the kefir I buy is not sweetened so it tastes like sour yogurt… so initially when I tasted the smoothie it was just too sour. The banana didn’t make a dent in the flavor. So I added a packet of stevia to balance the flavors and it was a hit. It still tasted a little too sour for me, but i’m pregnant and not sure if my tastes buds are totally accurate. Orlando and the kids, however, loved it and drank the whole thing.

So just to give you an idea of the health benefits of my new smoothie creation, here you go:

Tamarind

  • Tamarind can be used as a mild laxative, because the pulp comes from the pods of the tamarind tree which improve sluggishness of the bowels.
  • Tamarind pulp is a rich source of non-starch polysaccharides – or DIETARY FIBER
  • Tamarind is used to treat bile disorders
  • Tamarind lowers cholesterol
  • Tamarind is good for a sore throat
  • Tamarind is full of antioxidants but its different from lemon because it is rich in tartaric acid instead of citric acid. That is a powerful antioxidant and gives you a different benefit than lemon, which is also so good for you.
  • among its minerals are copper, potassium, calcium, iron, selenium, zinc and magnesium.
  • Its vitamins include thiamin, vitamin a, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin c.

Romaine Lettuce: 

  • Forgot to add protein powder to your smoothie??? You don’t always have to. Romaine lettuce is considered a complete protein. It has all 8 essential amino acids. It is actually 17% protein per head.
  • Romaine lettuce is high in calcium
  • It contains Omega 3 essential fats
  • It is richer in vitamin C than an orange
  • it has Vitamin B1, b2, B3, B5, B6, and B9 (folate), viatmin A and K.
  • it also is rich in minerals such as copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and zinc.

Kefir

  • Kefir is an excellent source of probiotics- experts believe it is a better source of friendly bacteria than yogurt. (It is especially good to consumer kefir after you’ve taken antibiotics to restore the friendly bacteria in your body)
  • It is also considered a complete protein with all 8 essential amino acids.
  • Kefir has Tryptophan which has a calming effect on the nervous system. Tryptophan is great to treat depression and anxiety, and sleep disorders.
  • Kefir is an excellent source of all the vitamin Bs, especially B12
  • Kefir helps stop food cravings!!!
(*health benefits of these products are taken from a mix of Livestrong.com and other internet sources and The Body Ecology Diet)

When I went to the store to purchase Kefir for the first time, I was overwhelmed because there is a rather large selection to choose from. I had read that you have to be careful with Kefir because a lot of the products are not true kefir with yeast. Helios Nutrition is a brand that is heavily relied upon by the source I read. I looked for it but it was out of stock. I was told that Lifeway was an excellent brand. I bought that one and bought the plain unsweetened one. I didn’t want to undo the benefits of the kefir by buying one that was loaded with sugar. So I add stevia to improve the taste and the kids have liked it. I pour some into my smoothies in the morning and give it to the kids for snack with fruits if I’m out of yogurt.

NOTE FOR THE PREGNANT WOMEN: Isn’t it fascinating that when we become pregnant we all run to our prenatal vitamins and take them every day religiously with that underlying fear that we may not be getting enough of what we need for the health of our babies? It has been an interesting experience for me the 3rd time around to not have that obsession with my prenatals. I do take my vitamins of course but I take such comfort in knowing that everything I need for my baby is coming from my diet.

For example folic acid. All pregnant women know they need folic acid. Well, I learned from Dr. Furhman that folic acid is actually a synthetic of FOLATE which is what you really need in your body. Of course taking folic acid is great if you’re not getting enough folate but if you had this smoothie for breakfast, for example, you would be loading yourself with folate first thing in the morning before you even pop in a prenatal.

So while taking vitamins is wonderful as a supplement, I urge women to use their prenatals as precisely that: a supplement! It is a wonderful feeling to eat foods that you know are good for you and your baby. It has made this pregnancy for me such a pleasant experience!!!!

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