Smoothies have long been recognised as a great way to get our daily serving of fruit, and with the creation of green smoothies we can get our intake of vegetables in delicious drink form as well. But now a new smoothie trend is surfacing – herbal smoothies.
Herbs have been used to boost health for centuries and now they are being combined in smoothie recipes to bring even better health benefits from these drinks which are already packed with so much goodness.
So how do you create herbal smoothie? While you can purchase ready-made smoothie mixes containing herbs, it’s easy to just add them into the fresh smoothies you are making already from scratch – and it’s always better to go as fresh as possible.
Here are a number of different herbs which you can try for creating herbal smoothies and a quick guide to the benefits they bring:
Already known for making a soothing tea, chamomile can calm the nerves and support digestion, and is very gentle on the stomach. It is also a great source of magnesium and fatty acids.
As well as adding a distinctive flavour, cinnamon works as a great tonic for the body and helps to improve circulation. It’s also a good support for the digestive system and can help to reduce stress and anxiety.
- Green Tea
A little known health benefit is that green tea can protect our teeth as it contains natural fluoride, as well as being able to boost our metabolism.
- Olive Leaf
This natural antioxidant also helps to boost the immune system as it is a natural antibiotic. It can help to promote overall health and wellbeing.
- Passion Flower
This herb works as a sedative and is great for calming blood pressure, headaches and insomnia. It also contains many essential nutrients including magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and protein.
- Red Raspberry Leaf
This herb is full of many essential vitamins and minerals including phosphorus and vitamins A, E and C, as well as the vitamin B family.
- Rose Hips
These are actually the dried fruit of rose bushes and hold vitamin C in droves. They are particularly effective for reducing stress and beating infections.
This herb has amazing powers for supporting joint health and the immune system as it has strong anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to protect the body from stress and is rich in vitamins and minerals.
- Nettle Leaf
Works well for purifying the blood and has a laxative impact helping to improve liver function. It contains significant vitamin and mineral levels.
- Turmeric Root
This root is renowned for historical use as an anti-inflammatory agent and is often used for cleansing the body.
As you can see there are many herbs with great medicinal benefits which are easy to include in your smoothie recipes, these are just a small number of them. However, one of the issues can be the taste as some herbs have a very strong flavour, and many can be bitter, which means they can take over the way the smoothie tastes overall.
There are a number of ingredients which can be included however, to try to counteract this problem and make the smoothie taste good as well as being good for your body.
Here a number of ingredients to improve the taste of herbal smoothies:
- Orange juice
It’s really a case of trial and error to see which flavours work best for you and you can always add and take away different ingredients until you get it just right. It will be a case of trying out different amounts and different combinations until you find one that’s perfect. You can even include things like hemp in recipes like these.
If you are using a pre-made herbal mixture then start out by adding small amounts to your smoothies and you can increase the amount gradually as you get used to the taste and flavour. The great thing about herbal smoothies is they can be drunk by the whole family to share the benefits.
Children might object to the flavour so if you are making them for your children then less is more and it’s a case of getting the taste just right to get them to drink it, as they will benefit from whatever amount you manage to use in their versions.
The number of smoothie recipes out there is endless and it’s really up to you what you want to include in them. Adding in a sprinkling of fresh herbs or a spoonful of dried ones can really add an incredible health kick to your already good-for-you drink.
If you have a specific health condition then try adding a herb which is renowned for that particular issue, otherwise just choose the ones which you think taste the best.
This is a guest post by Scott Reid