Green Not Orange Julius Immunity Smoothie

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This smoothie came together one morning after minimal sleep and the tell-tale symptoms of an oncoming cold—minor muscle aches, congestion, throat tickle. Blurry-eyed and determined to keep illness at bay, I threw together everything I could think of that might help bolster my immune system.

Every single ingredient in this smoothie is working to benefit your immune system. Oranges and yellow bell peppers are packed with Vitamins C and A, as well as gorgeous carotenoids for battling oxidative stress. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, and it acts as a cool salve to your cells. Raw honey and coconut milk are packed with antimicrobial components for battling pathogens. And then, the mac daddy ingredient of this recipe...brussels sprouts!

Brussels sprouts offer a remarkable range of nutrients and are superstars in the world of internal repair. I like to blanch and shock mine before adding to the smoothie, as this will remove some earthiness and make them easier to digest. However, if the notion of brussels in your smoothie still makes your stomach turn, feel free to substitute for organic baby spinach or another green. Or leave out completely!

If you're feeling a little under the weather these days or want to avoid sub-par health, give this recipe a try! Your body and your taste buds will thank you.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup light coconut milk or unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 navel orange halved and frozen
  • 1 frozen ripe banana sub 1/2 frozen avocado plus 4 drops stevia for lower-sugar version
  • 1/3 cup yellow bell pepper seeded and diced
  • 1 inch piece ginger root
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons raw honey
  • 3/4 cup blanched and shocked brussels sprouts
  • 1/2 teaspoon Optional: orange zest I like to do this but it just requires an extra step
  • 1 tablespoon Optional: hemp or chia seeds for protein and fiber

DIRECTIONS

Smoothie:

  • Puree until smooth is a high speed blender. Add ingredients in the order listed.

How to Blanch and Shock Vegetables:

  • Heat a pot of water to boiling (approx 4 quarts). Add a pinch of salt to bring out the green color.
  • Prepare a large bowl with ice and water.
  • Add vegetables to pot and boil for 2 minutes.
  • Turn off heat and use a strainer to take the veggies out and place them in your ice bath. Allow to cool completely before removing.