Monday, 9 January 2012

New Beginnings


Bosc Pears
After an extra week off, I am back and here we go: New Year, new resolutions and new beginnings. And for new beginnings, today I am going to share with you a breakfast smoothie recipe. After all the indulgence of the holiday season, I just feel like having something in the morning a little less demanding for my body.
At this time of the year, damp, cold and wet conditions affect the body and increase mucus, catarrh and colds. The good news is that Bosc Pear is in season now. Pear fruit helps to moisten the lungs and throat and get rid of the excess mucus.  
You may think I am talking about detoxing after Christmas and New Year’s Eve, but I am not. You also may be reading, in almost every magazine, about the benefits of detoxing now, but I disagree with these articles. In Ayurvedic medicine, detox is done at the change of seasons. It is considered especially beneficial in the Spring, which represents renewal and rebirth. The cold and darkness of Winter beg us to slow down but for most people living in a busy city and having a heavy work schedule it’s nearly impossible. We need to get that extra energy from the food we choose to eat. So, limiting our diet and choosing to do a detox programme during Winter is not advisable.   
For now, I would just recommend cutting down the “naughty” foods (refined sugars, excess alcohol, fizzy drinks…), and don’t starve! Choose warming, seasonal and comfort foods that won’t make you bloat but will make you feel healthy and content - and will give that extra energy you need to endure the cold months.
As for my delicious and lubricating smoothie… here we go!

The ingredients. You can also add a banana if you like a
sweeter taste

Add a tablespoon of Chia seed to a glass of milk or water

Mix the seeds and let them soak
The seeds will become a gel-like consistency
Blend the pear, celery, grated ginger, cinammon powder
coconut oil, Chia seed and almond milk together
Enjoy this wonder smoothie for an energetic start to
the day!

Pear, celery and ginger smoothie
Serves 2

A lovely combination of nutrient dense ingredients. This smoothie is packed with vitamins, essential fatty oils and fibre. A winning breakfast!

INGREDIENTS

1 Bosc pear, cored and peeled (if using Comice or Bartlett, unpeeled)
4g fresh ginger, peeled and grated
200ml milk of your choice (I used organic almond milk)
dash of cinnamon
1 celery stalk
1 tbsp organic coconut oil
1 tbsp Chia seeds soaked in 50ml of milk or water (you can also grind them before adding to the blender). If you can’t find chia seeds, use flaxseed or linseed.
½-1 banana (optional, if you want a sweeter taste)
4 cubes of ice (optional)
You can also add 2 tablespoon of organic natural yoghurt. I left it out on this recipe as I opted for the dairy-free version this time.
METHOD
Place all ingredients in a blender.  Pulse until smooth or to desired consistency.
The ingredients and their healthy benefits

Almond milk Besides tasting great, almond milk can be taken for constipation and inflammation of the gut (e.g. colitis, IBS and Crohn’s disease). It lubricates the intestines and is used to treat persistent coughs. Contains vitamin E, vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium and they are great source of complete protein. Studies have shown that it can help lower cholesterol levels.

Celery (Apium graveolens): the leaves have a very high content of vitamin A, whilst the stems are a great source of folic acid, B6 and vitamin C. Celery provides minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, sodium and potassium, which are important for regulating fluid balance and stimulating urine production. It contains the compound Coumarin, that can prevent free radicals from damaging cells.

Chia seed (Salvia hispanica): cultivated by the Aztec, who used it as a main source of nourishment. It’s a member of the mint family. The Chia seeds have a high content of Omega 3 fatty acids (similar to flaxseed), protein and fibre. They also contain the naturally occurring antioxidant quercetin, which is known for the prevention of allergies. They can be used to treat constipation. Research has shown that adding Chia seed to a high sugar diet gradually reduces insulin resistance, which makes them a great lower blood sugar level food.

Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum). Studies have shown that cinnamon moderates blood sugar, making it beneficial to people with diabetes. It also has been shown that cinnamon reduces triglycerides and LDL (the "bad" cholesterol) and lowers blood pressure. It also contains phytochemicals with antimicrobial activities (eugenol and geraniol) which can help treating Candida. It is used to treat nausea (due to a compound called Catechins) and indigestion. It helps prevent formation of gas in the gastrointestinal tract. Cinnamon is a natural analgesic and antioxidant. 

Coconut oil: contains a fatty acid called lauric acid, which is also found in mother’s milk and is often used in babies’ formulas. It has strong antimicrobial and antifungal properties. It has antiviral effects and has been tested against herpes. It is used therapeutically for cystic fibrosis, AIDS and cachexia (in cancer patients). Researches and clinical observations have shown that coconut oil can prevent heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, osteoporosis and diabetes; it reduces epileptic seizures and increases metabolic rates. It supports overall immune functions.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale): reduces fever and eases asthma symptoms. It also helps to lower blood pressure. Plus, it reduces cholesterol and aids circulation. Ginger contains fibre, vitamin C, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and folic acid.

Pear (Pyrus communis): contains pectin, which helps with lowering cholesterol levels. Pear juice enhances the liver function. It contains potassium, phosphorus and calcium. It also helps to eliminate excess mucus, and moistens the lungs and throat. Used for constipation, loss of voice, and gallbladder inflammation and obstruction. 

Till next week!

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