August 2, 2012

Drink your greens!


Howdy!  I have been a busy bee today but I definitely have a dandy of a post for you this afternoon, or at least I think so.

After working all morning getting my classroom ready at school (the kids start 1 week from today – eek!) I took lunch over to my friend Kamrin’s house for a much needed catch up session.  After getting a tour of the garden from Keltin, Kamrin’s daughter and my Goddaughter, we ate lunch and then mixed up a batch of “green ice cream” in the blender, trying not to wake Kelty’s napping brother, Palmer.  Luckily he was zonked! 

I must admit, I was a little skeptical of the “green ice cream” at first while reading the ingredient list, but have heard that putting spinach into smoothies is now quite the rage, and very nutritious, so I thought I would give it a try.  The verdict?  I loved it!




Kam’s fancy new blender (which came with the cookbook we used for the recipe below) whipped the ingredients into an ice cream-like consistency and if I didn’t see the spinach go in the blender, I wouldn’t have known at all – you couldn’t taste it a bit!!! (yay!)

So, although I am a bit late to the “spinach smoothie” fad, I am now a believer.  Kamrin even gave me a bag of spinach to take home and try in some of my own smoothie concoctions (I think just adding a handful of spinach to any regular smoothie recipe will do the trick).  I am not a huge fan of spinach raw or sautéed, so to know that I can get the nutrients without the gag reflex is awesome!  I can’t wait to experiment!

Here is a picture of the “Popeye Ice Cream” recipe that we tried today (I love that they offer variations at the bottom as well):



*we used honey instead of agave nectar and it tasted great.


Still not into spinach?  Well here are 11 reasons that you should be!

--Information below found here.


11 Health Benefits of Spinach

  • Diet
    One cup of spinach has nearly 20% of the RDA of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar, and curbs overeating.
  • Cancer
    Flavonoids -- a phytonutrient with anti-cancer properties abundant in spinach -- have been shown to slow down cell division in human stomach and skin cancer cells. Furthermore, spinach has shown significant protection against the occurrence of aggressive prostate cancer.
  • Anti-Inflammatory
    Neoxanthin and violaxanthin are two anti-inflammatory epoxyxanthophylls that play an important role in regulation of inflammation and are present in unusual amounts in spinach.
  • Antioxidants
    The vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, manganese, zinc and selenium present in spinach all serve as powerful antioxidants that combat the onset of osteoporosis, atherosclerosis and high blood pressure.
  • Blood Pressure
    By inhibiting the angiotensin I-converting enzyme, peptides within spinach have been shown to effectively lower blood pressure.
  • Vision
    Both antioxidants
    lutein and zeaxanthin are especially plentiful in spinach and protect the eye from cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
  • Immunity
    One cup of spinach contains over 337% of the RDA of vitamin A that not only protects and strengthens "entry points" into the human body, such as mucous membranes, respiratory, urinary and intestinal tracts, but is also a key component of lymphocytes (or white blood cells) that fight infection.
  • Skin
    The high amount of vitamin A in spinach also promotes healthy skin by allowing for proper moisture retention in the epidermis, thus fighting psoriasis, keratinization, acne and even wrinkles.
  • Bones
    One cup of boiled spinach provides over 1000% of the RDA of vitamin K that can prevent excess activation of osteoclasts (the cells that break down bones), as well as promote the synthesis of osteocalcin, the protein that is essential for maintaining the strength and density of our bones.
  • Calcification
    Vitamin K is a crucial component of the process called carboxylation, which produces the matrix Gla protein that directly prevents calcium from forming in tissue. Eating one cup of spinach contributes to this process that fights atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease and stroke.
  • Brain and Nervous Function
    The abundance of vitamin K in spinach contributes greatly to a healthy nervous system and brain function by providing an essential part for the synthesis of sphingolipids, the crucial fat that makes up the Myelin sheath around our nerves.





Have a happy and healthy day!


Here are some additional links to some delicious sounding spinach smoothie recipes.

No comments:

Post a Comment