The Love of Smoothies

We all LOVE smoothies don't we?

There are so many recipes for all different kind of smoothies.

Vegetable Smoothies, Fruit Smoothies, chocolate smoothies, or mix them all together?

Why not!

Here is a sweet, cool and tangy smoothie made from beetroot, blood orange, vanilla, honey and creamy avocado.

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You can see from its bright pink colour that this smoothie is good for you. Not just a pretty drink - that vibrant colour is the result of the red pigments from both seasonal blood orange and classic red beet. These same pigments, coupled with their high vitamin C content, are powerful anti-oxidants and also play a role in the body's detoxification process.

So what gives this smoothie its aphrodisiac qualities? Beetroot has been known as nature's Viagra since Roman times. We now know that it contains the mineral boron which plays a significant role in the production of our sex hormones, as well as tryptophan (the precursor to serotonin and melatonin), helping to create a sense of wellbeing. The B vitamin, choline, in beetroots contributes to a relaxed state of mind and improves blood flow - so beets can very well get you in the mood.

Sweet, sticky, raw honey is another wonderful source of boron and B vitamins, along with other nutrients, enzymes and phytochemicals - keep it raw for maximum benefits. Avocado made it into this smoothie purely because we wanted a creamy texture, with a flavour that didn't overpower, and some good fats to nourish and balance the sweetness. It turns out that the Aztecs thought the avocado was quite something else, and Spanish Catholic priests forbade it on looks alone!

Blood oranges are in season from January to March and they boast the pigment anthocyanin usually found in cherries. They look like a typical orange from the outside but as soon as you cut through their skin you reveal a deep, dark pulp. Blood orange is said to be uplifting and stimulating - that sharp, sweet, citrus smell and tangy taste (think orange and raspberry) together with the vanilla kindly mask the earthy beetroot flavour in this drink. If you can't find blood orange use the usual orange instead - it won't have quite the tangy taste but you'll still have a delicious smoothie all the same.  

Vanilla is the rich and aromatic pod from tropical climbing orchids - hard to come by as these flower only once a year under careful cultivation. The Ancient Mayans always believed that vanilla had aphrodisiac qualities, probably due to its rarity and enticing fragrance - the smell alone is enough to satisfy a sweet tooth. Vanilla too, is high in anti-oxidants, B vitamins and has a mild sedative effect to help you relax. A fresh pod is worth seeking out for this special day, otherwise a good vanilla extract will add that unique flavour and aroma you need for this smoothie whilst still adding antioxidants.

Ingredients

use organic ingredients where possible

1 medium-ripe avocado

1 small/medium beetroot

3 medium-sized blood oranges

1 tablespoon of raw honey

Seeds from half a vanilla pod or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (we like Nielsen Massey)

250ml filtered water

Instructions

  1. Scrub the beetroot and slice into quarters, or grate if you don't have a high-powered blender.
  2. Peel the blood oranges, halve crossways and remove any pips.  
  3. Halve the avocado and scoop out the flesh.
  4. Add the beetroots, blood orange flesh, avocado flesh, raw honey, vanilla extract and water to the blender.  
  5. Pulse a few times and then blend until smooth.

 

drink it up ;)